Thuy Trang had her first big break in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers where she played the original Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan. Thuy appeared in 80 episodes from the first one-and-a-half seasons before she and fellow co-stars -- Austin St. John and Walter Jones -- left the show due to contact disputes.
Thuy Trang appeared in a brief cameo role in Spy Hard (Leslie Nielsen) as a manicurist.
The film was released on May 24, 1996 and made just over $10 million on its opening weekend, coming in third place behind Mission: Impossible and Twister.
Thuy Trang made her film debut in the sequel to the cult favourite movie, The Crow (Brandon Lee). She portrayed a villainess known only as Kali in The Crow: City of Angels.
"In this industry, coming off (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), people look at me like, 'Sure, you're coming off a number one show, but it's a kids' show. So what?' It wasn't an advantage. If anything, it was a disadvantage because I have to prove what I'm capable of doing, which is quite all right because I'm confident in what I can do. Putting me to the test gives me more of a rush. That's what led to the Crow sequel."
The Vietnamese actress was tested alright. Her character in The Crow: City of Angels was a radical departure from the sweet goody-goody, Trini Kwan, she played on MMPR. Clad in leather, high-heeled boots, and carrying a gun, Kali was someone who was not to be messed with. And perhaps best of all, Thuy didn't have to wear any yellow! But what did she think about the role?
"When I read the script, I thought, 'Oh my gosh!' This character is so interesting. She is so dark and so much more mature. There is so much more life and background compared to Trini, the high school student character I played in Power Rangers. It was like a 180-degree turn."
City of Angels allowed Thuy to further showcase her skill in the martial arts. But it was her initiative that led to those action sequences; you see, they weren't originally in the script. Ms. Trang managed to talk director Tim Pope into adding in the kung fu fighting and allowing her to perform her own stunts! As a result, it was Kali's fight scene that stole the show.
"Tim was great. He was very understanding, very giving. He gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do. All the cast members were very giving."
Kali was the only opponent of Ashe's (Vincent Perez) to put up any kind of fight. Although she fell like the rest of her fellow baddies, the femme fatale managed to at least get a few good shots in. Other than their leader, Judah, her male counterparts were all pushovers.
Filming for this movie started on October 9, 1995 in downtown Los Angeles. It took all of 46 nights to complete shooting. Complete with yellow smog interlaced with aquatic green lighting effects, director Tim Pope brought to life a world he wished to resemble a dream state, as if the action took place underwater. For the most part, Thuy had no difficulties with production of the film.
"It was very pleasant. The only thing I had problems with were the night shoots. I'm usually in bed very early. I'm not like the normal Hollywood type who goes out and parties and all that. For me, the whole night thing was hard getting used to."
Lastly, one can't help but to remember the tragedy that occured on the set of the original Crow movie with the untimely death of Brandon Lee. An ironic fate happened to the young Asian star. That piece of history was certainly not forgotten by Thuy Trang either.
"I'd be lying to say I didn't think about it. It was kind of eerie as we were shooting the movie. I kind of felt his presence. It was weird. I could sense that he was there with us, his spirit protecting us in a way. During the shoot, I felt some kind of security around the whole thing. I don't know what the others were feeling, but personally, I felt that he was protecting us because it happened to him and he didn't want it to happen to us. Brandon, James Dean and all the others who die young, it tells me that talent is something that won't let you wait. You have to use it while you can."
The film was released on August 30, 1996 and made just under $10 million on its opening weekend, coming in first place. It was written by David S. Goyer, who went on to pen the Blade trilogy (Wesley Snipes), Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (Christian Bale), and ABC's FlashForward.