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‘The Brothers Sun’ Interview: Justin Chien and Sam Song Li


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Justin Chien and Sam Song Li talk Netflix series 'The Brothers Sun.'

(L to R) Justin Chien and Sam Song Li talk Netflix series ‘The Brothers Sun.’

The new Netflix series ‘The Brothers Sun,’ which premieres January 4th and was created by Brad Falchuk (‘American Horror Story‘) and Byron Wu, stars Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh (‘Everything Everywhere All at Once‘), Justin Chien (‘Sun Moon‘) and Sam Son Li (‘Take the Night’).

Related Article: TV Review: ‘The Brother’s Sun’

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Justin Chien and Sam Son Li about their work on ‘The Brothers Sun,’ the complex characters, having Michelle Yeoh as a scene partner, and collaborating with series creators Brad Falchuk and Byron Wu.

Justin Chien and Sam Song Li attend Netflix's 'The Brothers Sun' Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

(L to R) Justin Chien and Sam Song Li attend Netflix’s ‘The Brothers Sun’ Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix.

Moviefone: To begin with, Justin, what does playing Charles and being a part of this series mean to you personally?

Justin Chien: It means the world to me. The role of Charles was a dream role. I honestly couldn’t have dreamt up a better role in terms of the resonance of the story to my own life. Family is important to me and as it is in the story and to this character, the fact that I get to do an extensive amount of stunt work, the fact that I have a romance arc, a family arc, an arc with my brother, all those things I’ve experienced in my own personal life, and I cherish all those experiences. So again, to do this, it’s still surreal sometimes and I’m incredibly grateful.

Sam Song Li attends Netflix's 'The Brothers Sun' Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

Sam Song Li attends Netflix’s ‘The Brothers Sun’ Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix.

MF: Sam, what has it like for you to be a part of this series?

Sam Song Li: I feel almost the exact same way. I think this is a dream come true. I tell my friends, especially my acting colleagues, that if I were to never work a single job again in my life, in my career, I would be happy. I would be so content right now because I feel like I truly got to experience a little bit of everything on this. It was such a well-rounded experience and I feel like I just got to do it all. I think my whole life experience, because I’m sure both of us have sacrificed a lot to pursue this, but I feel like my whole life experience has been really working up to this point. I just feel happy that I’m right for this project. I feel grateful that I got to be a part of it, especially with such talented creatives across the board on this project.

Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun in 'The Brothers Sun.'

(Center) Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun in ‘The Brothers Sun.’ Photo: Michael Desmond/Netflix © 2023.

MF: Sam, how would you describe your character, Bruce?

SSL: I think Bruce has first world problems. I think he’s still beating himself over the head like, “Why can’t I just have a mom that lets me do what I want?”

Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun, Michelle Yeoh as Mama Sun in 'The Brothers Sun.'

(L to R) Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun, Michelle Yeoh as Mama Sun in ‘The Brothers Sun.’ Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

MF: Sam, what is Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh like to have as a scene partner?

SSL: It’s effortless acting with Michelle. It’s truly effortless. She’s a pro. She’s a veteran and her experience shines. I’ve used this example but it’s like playing basketball with Steph Curry or LeBron James: you’re going to win every single game. I think she just has that effect. She’s great. She’s just amazing both on and off camera.

(Left) Brad Falchuk attends Netflix's 'The Brothers Sun' Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix. (Right) Byron Wu attends Netflix's 'The Brothers Sun' Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix.

(Left) Brad Falchuk attends Netflix’s ‘The Brothers Sun’ Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix. (Right) Byron Wu attends Netflix’s ‘The Brothers Sun’ Los Angeles Premiere at Netflix Tudum Theater on January 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix.

MF: Finally, Justin, what has it been like collaborating with series creators Brad Falchuk and Byron Wu on this project?

JC: We got to speak extensively with Byron and Brad. They were always accessible, always open, and always collaborative. I remember very early on something that Brad said to me that I was not expecting, but when he said it, it really clicked. He said, “Charles is in somewhat of an abusive relationship.” That clicked for me and as I developed this character, I started to realize more and more just how tortured and broken Charles is on the inside. It really gave me another dynamic to explore as an actor for this character. But we were so lucky to have those two guys on our team. Brad was the ultimate ally. I feel like he really put his money where his mouth is in terms of getting us the support we needed. Byron was wonderful as well. I play video games with Byron on a pretty regular basis now.

Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun, Justin Chien as Charles Sun in 'The Brothers Sun.'

(L to R) Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun, Justin Chien as Charles Sun in ‘The Brothers Sun.’ Photo: Michael Desmond/Netflix © 2023.

What is the plot of ‘The Brothers Sun’?

The life of average Californian Bruce Sun (Sam Song Li) is turned upside down when his older brother, Charles Sun (Justin Chien) visits Los Angeles, California from Taipei, Taiwan. Having no recollection of his past in Taipei, Bruce soon learns about his family’s profession as Taipei’s most renowned gangsters, with his brother being a hardened criminal raised by his crime boss father. After an attempted assassination on his father, Charles must move to LA to keep his family safe. Additionally, Bruce finds out that his mother (Michelle Yeoh) moved with him to California to build a life away from her estranged family. His mother’s effort has proved to be futile as now Bruce has to adapt to the gangster life of his family.

Who is in the cast of ‘The Brothers Sun’?

  • Michelle Yeoh as Eileen “Mama” Sun
  • Justin Chien as Charles Sun
  • Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun
  • Joon Lee as TK Lee
  • Highdee Kuan as Alexis Kong
Justin Chien as Charles Sun in 'The Brothers Sun.'

Justin Chien as Charles Sun in ‘The Brothers Sun.’ Photo: Michael Desmond/Netflix © 2023.

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