It is bittersweet posting my last Doctor Strange Cast Interview today. Hopefully you have been to theater at least once to watch Doctor Strange in 3D. It really is a must to appreciate the visual experience of this film. If you’ve seen it, then you may have laughed out loud, more than once, thanks to Benedict Wong! Let’s learn more about this intriguing funny man, who played Wong in Doctor Strange, in this Exclusive Benedict Wong Interview!
I’m this cog. I just feel like I’m a cog in a part of these amazing machines. Everyone’s in it as well, and special effects and the writing teams and everyone, and the crew. Everyone’s just putting so much energy into this and I’m just there to be a part of that really. – Benedict Wong
You may recognize Benedict Wong from Marco Polo on Netflix. He was traveling around the world filming for that so he “was auditioning in Budapest and sending tapes in Slovakia, and then I found out in Malaysia” said Wong of getting the role in Doctor Strange. When he finished filming for Marco Polo, he “flew back to London, dumped my bags, and was picked up an hour later” to begin filming with Marvel. Whew.
I personally feel like I’m the one that won the competition, you know. ‘Hey, you get to be in Doctor Strange and you get to work with these guys’ and it’s like ‘oh yeah, and we pay you as well.’ – Benedict Wong
The character of Wong in Doctor Strange, is the keeper of Kamar-Taj’s vast library of mystical tomes. In the very beginning of the film, Kaecilious not-so-kindly removes the current keeper Kamar-Taj’s library of mystical tomes of his duties. Wong is the one who replaces him. No-nonsense, quiet, and unassuming, Wong is the decider of who is worthy of studying from The Ancient One’s private collection. How did Benedict Wong approach playing Wong?
For me, as an actor, I’m always looking for a flow, what can we do to promote a positive role model, you know. The fact that I feel this kind of stoic strength of Wong, that is serious, no doubt he is serious about the severity of what is about to happen, and these forces that we do not know. Obviously with the story of this arrogant Neurosurgeon becoming a broken man, coming to find himself being humbled that he has a place that is bigger than himself, and I’m thrilled to play this role and I think Marvel, Kevin Feige, and the gang, are doing a great job to kind of promote that. – Benedict Wong
During our Scott Derrickson Interview, he discussed completely reinventing Wong’s character. “I sort of inverted his character. Everything about his character in the comics, I just flipped on its head” So, instead of a man servant, Wong is a Master of Mystic Arts. Instead of a sidekick, Wong is Doctor Strange’s intellectual mentor.
I never really knew much about Doctor Strange if I’m honest. So, when I saw Chiwetel for lunch one time, I asked what he was up to. ‘OK, you’re doing this Doctor Strange, let’s just have a little chit chat,’ and then I saw this picture, it was Doctor Strange. And then there was a Wong Character. I was like what? I was always so crestfallen that there were no Asian Superheroes, like where are the Super Asians. It’s why I have to simply get this by birthright, you know, Ancestors will not let me live this down. – Benedict Wong
The relationship between Strange and Wong is interesting indeed. As Benedict Wong put it, “They’re a little bit like The Odd Couple,” and he’s kinda right, aside from the mystical powers and all. 😉 I also think Wong is right when he said, “I think he’s also there to put him in check and help guide him through this crazy multiverse that we’re about to encounter.”
You know, for me, it’s like I’m very thrilled to be a part of this incredible cast, this magnitude of Marvel. We’re really embarking on this incredible journey together. I just feel like really ecstatic. When we came back to LA, we did a bit of additional photography. I was just looking over incredible costumes as we were walking into Santorum again., and I thought, “oh this is just…” They’re just beautiful moments and you just get that warm, fuzzy feeling. I think it was just a warm fuzzy Actor Production feeling. I just thought ‘Aw wow, it’s culminated into something really wonderful’ and it’s sort of a mixture of childhood dreams to sort of being in the Marvel Universe. – Benedict Wong
“I’m a little bit of a goofball really, like a serious goofball,” said Benedict Wong, but when we asked what super power he would like to have, it got a serious in a good way.
Oh wow, Super power. You know, I think this place really needs the power of understanding. I think I’d forego that from flying around and being invisible. Yes, unifying, that we’re all one. – Benedict Wong
Speaking of goofball, we wondered if Benedict Wong did anything quirky on set, or to help him get ready for his roles. He mentioned that he “never actually went to drama school, and I’m always kind of sort of doing little funny voice warm up exercises.” He then explained further, while showing us, and I REALLY wish I had video I could share, but I don’t, so vivid imagination is the key.
You’re bending over and you’re letting your tongue hang out and you say — Mary Had a Little Lamb Whose Fleece Was White as Snow and Everywhere That Mary Went, the Lamb was off to go. Mary Had A Little Lamb Whose Fleece Was White. — There was one time where I was doing that, practicing my lines, and I think it was a film with Tim Robbins, and it was my scene with Robbins. I’m practicing my enunciation and then the director walked past and tapped me on the back going ‘yes, do it like that’ and I go ‘what?’ I was going ‘No No No, it was just, it was a vocal warm up.’ So, you’ll see me doing it in a scene with Tim Robbins like Daffy Duck or something like that or Porky the Pig. – Benedict Wong
You can still catch Benedict Wong, and the rest of the cast of Marvel’s Doctor Strange, on the big screen! Just in case you are wondering, Wong is listening to more Beyonce now, but only in is quiet place. 😀