Arrow Vs. China White: Kelly Hu Teases the CW Hit's First (and Brutal) Super Showdown

Tonight on The CW’s freshman megahit Arrow (airing at 8/7c), Oliver Queen’s worlds promptly collide when his hooded vigilante’s beef with a mobster with ties to the Chinese Triad puts lady love Laurel Lance in the path of the deadly China White.

Kelly Hu, whose past credits include the role of X-Men 2′s Lady Deathstrike, gave TVLine a taste of Arrow’s take on the DC Comics supervillainess — as well as weighed in on her “little bit hot” scene partner, series lead Stephen Amell.

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TVLINE | Did you by chance hear about the ratings for the Arrow premiere? It was the most watched episode of anything on The CW in three years.
Oh my God, that’s fantastic. Wow. The show is a bit grittier than one would expect, and there are so many great twists and turns, things you wouldn’t normally anticipate. It’s just really, really well-written. And doesn’t Stephen make a great superhero? That guy is so powerful, and cool… not to mention a little bit hot! [Laughs] It’s hard to believe that he hasn’t done action before, because he is so athletic.

TVLINE | Under what circumstances do we meet China White?
Well, China White in the comic book is a character from the island [where Oliver was stranded], though they don’t really touch upon that in this first episode. So far I’ve shot three [episodes] and her background is a bit fuzzy, so that might be in the future. But you do know that she’s working with the Chinese mobsters….

TVLINE | I get the sense she is dispatched by the Triad, whereas in the comics she is more of a boss.
Well, if you watch the episodes…. I can’t tell you what goes on, but…. Yeah! [Laughs]

TVLINE | Is she stone-cold?
She’s a businesswoman, and she is stone-cold. And I get to speak Chinese in this as well. I’ve been studying a bit of that, so when this came up I was like, “Oh I can actually do this.” What she does for the Triad is … whatever needs to be done.

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TVLINE | And what is her assignment in this first instance?
In the first one, there’s this amazing fight with Stephen’s character, and it all happens in this big silo. It’s such a cool-looking, amazingly choreographed fight. It’s his arrows, and my weapons — I’ve got these cool curved knives that are so much fun to play with. I’m already a black belt in karate, and I’ve studied weapons, but I did have to take the knives home and learn some fancy moves with them. But the fight choreography, I have to say, is pretty brutal.

TVLINE | What else might we learn about China White in subsequent episodes?
In the first episode, she comes out as the sort of right-hand man of the Chinese Triad, as sort of the assassin. It doesn’t seem like I say a whole lot in these first episodes, but later on you’ll see that there’s a bit more going on with her!