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Kristin Kreuk Discusses 'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li'

Kristin Kreuk Goes from 'Smallville' to 'Street Fighter'

By Fred Topel

Kristin Kreuk Discusses 'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li'

Kristin Kreuk in 'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.'

© Campcom Co, Ltd/20th Century Fox
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, starring Kristin Kreuk, Chris Klein, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation), becomes the latest entry in the video game to film genre as Capcom's popular title hits the big screen on February 27, 2009. Kreuk, best known for her role as Lana Lang in Smallville, plays Chun-Li. Chun-Li's not only gorgeous but a skilled street fighter who battles on the side of good, protecting those who can't protect themselves.

Interview with Kristin Kreuk

How did you relate to the story?

Kristin Kreuk: "Just the human experience. I think the Chun-Li story is very human, and then with all the superhuman stuff or the fighting stuff is similar to my experience with Smallville. Just it's a part of their world so it's a little different than our world because we don't have…well, we have people that go around fighting people a lot, but generally it's not for good and then if it is for good, that doesn't quite make sense to me. But in this world, this is the way things are and that's easy for me to understand."

Are you a gamer at all?

Kristin Kreuk: "I’ve never been a gamer, but I’ve seen a lot of 'Street Fighter'. It was really popular when I was in late elementary school into high school, so I’m very familiar with it. I’ve seen a lot of people play it."

Your character is a bit more pear-shaped in the game, don’t you think?

Kristin Kreuk: "You’d say she’s pear-shaped? I’d say she’s hour-glass shaped. She has ginormo thighs. I don’t have ginormo thighs."

How seriously do you take a film like this, so that you can still be earnest with your character?

Kristin Kreuk: "I think it’s really important, at least in this story, to be earnest with the characters because you want people to relate to them while they go through the movie. I think it’s really important that the fighting is really good, but you want to be able to root for the individual, and that means that the character has got to be relatable, in some way. And, if they’re really over-the-top, it’s harder to relate to them in this style of a movie. If it was something else, I think it would be different."

Can you talk about the emotional journey your character goes through?

Kristin Kreuk: "She starts off, in the movie, very young and she loses both of her parents. She loses her mom around 20 years old, and becomes very angry and wants to go and get revenge on the guy who took her father when she was just a young girl. And then, she ends up on this spiritual path where she seeks out a master and she learns to let go of her attachments so that she can see a greater good because her attachments are blinding her sight. That way, she can go out and actually fight for something and understand what it is she’s fighting for."

Were there any injuries during training or filming?

Kristin Kreuk: "Nothing serious, I don’t think. I got punched and thrown into a couple of things, and I had a sore jaw, but it was nothing that was lasting and permanent - that I know of."

Was Bangkok what you thought it would be?

Kristin Kreuk: "I knew Bangkok would be busy. That’s all I knew going into the city. What was a surprise for me was the size of the malls. Bangkok’s malls are so big and elaborate. And there were movie theaters I went to where I was like, 'Whoa! This place is crazy!' The malls there are insane. The food there is amazing. I expected the food to be amazing, and I thought it was really good."

What's happening with Smallville?

Kristin Kreuk: "I just finished. My last episode aired a couple Thursdays ago."

Did you want to go out for good?

Kristin Kreuk: "Yeah, I really did. I've been there since I was 18 years old and I was ready to go and leave that behind and move onto other things in my life. It takes nine months out of the year to shoot a TV show and it became a question of do I want more money and do I want to do this character again, or do I want to take a risk essentially and move on and spend those nine months doing other things? I remember sitting on set going, 'God, I wish I had the time.' And now I do."

That's an eight year journey.

Kristin Kreuk: "I grew up on that show. Some of my dearest friends are on that show."

Was it harder than you expected to say goodbye?

Kristin Kreuk: "No. I mean, it's hard to say goodbye to people but to Smallville it wasn't hard to say goodbye. Because I adore a lot of the people that I work with. Some of them I'll see almost every day for the rest of my life I think, but some of them I probably won't see again unless I run into them randomly. I spent so much time with them and shared a lot of, especially the actors, a lot of intimacy with. So it's weird. It's really a weird feeling where you're really close with people and then you never see them."

Are there more action roles in your future?

Kristin Kreuk: "I realize that I'm actually pretty decent at it, which is good to know. It depends. I think that it depends on the story, it depends on who's doing it, depends on the team, but I wouldn't say yes for sure all the time or no, never again. I think that I like it but it's not where I want to move into completely."

What are you looking at doing next?

Kristin Kreuk: "I'm looking for a project, been reading a lot of scripts. I would love to do something that is more in the real world as opposed to the fantastical realm, even if it's like five lines. I just want to build myself as an actor and start to participate in movies that really help people shift their worldview, even if it's a little bit. That's really where I want to move into is helping people broaden their perspective."

Would you do TV again?

Kristin Kreuk: "Yes. Some of my favorite things are TV shows like Six Feet Under. Even Sopranos, they're really well made, well thought out, intelligent shows with very deep characters that are consistent from beginning to end. There seems to be a very well planned out arc. I like that about TV, but I'd want to talk to the producers and have them go, 'This is our plan. These are our characters. We want to go five, six years at the most. That won't change because this is our arc.' Instead of just going forever, like 10 years, just because they can. I like that."

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