AMC’s “Into the Badlands” was snubbed by last year’s Emmy awards — something its star has a hard time accepting.
“I question that. Especially for action choreography I was expecting a nomination,” Daniel Wu, the star and executive producer on the AMC show (airing its second season on Sundays), told Business Insider recently.
“I’m still pretty sour about that, because there were shows that got nominated that definitely have lousy action,” Wu continued. “I was very surprised that we didn’t get nominated. I’m not sure what factors are involved in that. I know AMC definitely has the power to push something like that and I know they did, so I’m not sure why it didn’t get there.”
“Into the Badlands” takes place in a post-apocalyptic society where land has been divided among lords and everyone has to choose sides. Wu’s Sunny is the deadliest assassin on his lord’s army, but talented fighters of all ages, genders, and styles can be found among the many factions.
To bring the world’s dangers to life, the show employs many fight choreography stars from the Hong Kong kung fu film industry. The actors all attend an intense five-week fighting camp between seasons in order to pull off the amazing battle moves they’re asked to perform.
“We just built on what we built from last season,” Wu said of the fight camp. “So we took them to the level we got them to and brought it up a notch… It’s very difficult to make someone look like a martial arts expert in a short amount of time.”
The results can be found in the show’s eye-popping fight scenes, which really can’t be found anywhere else on TV. That’s another reason Wu is so perplexed by the show’s lack of awards attention.
“To me nowadays awards shows, there’s so much politics and all kinds of other crap going on,” he said. “I don’t really care that much about it anymore. Especially when you get slighted in something like this. Of course, we have great costumes and great lighting, great camerawork, and all the kind of stuff that should get nominations too. But definitely the action is something different that you’ve never seen on TV before. To not get nominated for that was definitely a sour point in my mind. I’m speaking for myself.”
Last year, the nominees for stunt coordination in a drama were “Game of Thrones,” “Gotham,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Rush Hour,” and “The Blacklist.” “Thrones” ended up winning, a decision Wu understands. But like anyone with a fighting spirit, he would have loved to be in the ring.
“I think ‘Game of Thrones’ won for the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ and I totally think they deserved it — that was amazing fight sequences — so grand and epic,” he told us. “They should have won, but I think we should have been in contention.”
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