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From Kungfucinema.com

Julia Ling

Julia Ling - ’Buffy’ actress boards ’Silvergun Samurai’

Saturday 9 April 2005, by Webmaster

Chicago, IL Silvergun Samurai has more "potential" than ever before. Actress and martial artist Julia Ling, who appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Chosen" as the "Power Potential," has signed on to play the female lead in the Nathyn Brendan Masters’ Hong Kong-styled actioner Silvergun Samurai.

For financial reasons Masters’ original design was to grab a Chicago native to play the role. Masters is quick to point out he’s been lucky with Chicago talent such as Jon Ross, Jason Walsh and Katie Getty. Not to mention Windy City natives like Valerie Mikita and extreme martial artist Shawn Bernal, who have already signed on to the SGS cast.

Many local women have been vying for the leading lady spot. In addition, women from Los Angeles, New York and as far away as Singapore were looking to show off their talents and martial arts skills in the low-budget actioner. But after reviewing the candidates Masters decided on Julia Ling.

"It was a hard choice. We had to think on many different levels in regards to who should play Taki," says Masters. "Right off the bat Julia matched the description. The words ’insanely cute’ easily describe her and she has the necessary skills. To put it simply, she’s cute, talented and can do her own fighting. In the age of Jackie Chan and Tony Jaa, fans just aren’t interested in martial arts films with stars who can’t hold their own."

Physical appearance and martial arts skill were important, but the producers had to also look at experience. "In a low budget production inexperienced performers can really hurt and we’ve seen this before," says TimeCode Mechanics media relation’s director David Michael Chance. "Great talent like Chicago actors Michael MacRae and Glenn Dhont, who understand and bring life to a character without needing a director breathing down their neck, are gems you don’t find often. Julia’s resume did influence us in regards to her experience, particularly her Buffy credentials, considering some of our producers were big fans of the show."

Ultimately Masters says her positive attitude was probably the clincher. "It was something she seemed to want more than a lot of the other girls. I liked that because this is something I want to see happen and I want others who want to see it happen working with me."

Masters plans to film Silvergun Samurai later this year. The low budget urban action flick hopes to bank on "effects-free" martial arts action, slick style, nostalgic genre-based elements, and cameos by extreme martial artist Shawn Bernal and fan favorite Robert D’zar.

The Fourth Beast, Masters’ first direct-to-DVD feature was released on February 15th, 2005 from York Entertainment.