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The Brothers Sun's Justin Chien Recalls Sharing a Scene With His Mom: 'She Just Had This Ear-to-Ear Smile'

No, not Michelle Yeoh. We're talking about his actual mom.

Kat Moon

Opportunities to star in a project with Michelle Yeoh playing your mother might come once in an actor's career. But to star in a project with Michelle Yeoh playing your mother next to the woman who actually is? That happens once in a lifetime. For The Brothers Sun's Justin Chien, he experienced acting alongside his fictional mom and his real-life one in the new action dramedy's third episode. Justin told TV Guide that sharing a scene with his mom, Ginny Hu Chien, was "by far the most special moment from this entire process." 

In Episode 3 of Byron Wu and Brad Falchuk's new series, Charles Sun (Chien) and Eileen (Yeoh) continue their search for the assassins targeting their family — the stakes are higher than ever after Charles' younger brother, Bruce (Sam Song Li), has disappeared. A reluctant Charles follows Eileen to the place she frequents to play mahjong. "You see a basement full of chatty old women," Eileen says. "I see a complex network of relationships, favors, and debts." One of these "chatty old women" is none other than Auntie Rebecca, portrayed by Ginny Hu Chien. As Charles slides into the seat next to Eileen, Justin Chien comes face to face with his actual mom across the mahjong table.

Justin Chien, The Brothers Sun

Justin Chien, The Brothers Sun


"She actually dreamt of being an actor when she was a kid," Justin said of Ginny Hu. This is the first role for which she is credited. To help his mom land the job, Chien coached her in the audition process. And that wasn't all. "I got to be the one that made the call to be like, 'Hey, you got the part,'" he recalled. "Every actor loves hearing that call."

While Justin said Ginny Hu is based in Taiwan, she traveled to the U.S. for filming. "She stayed with me. We drove to set together and she walked onto the lot and saw her own trailer with her name on it," he said. The actor remembers his mom going through hair and makeup. "And someone from set was super cute. They wrote 'Justin's mom' on one of the chairs, and she got to sit with me."

Filming the scene together is a vivid memory for Justin. "I remember watching her as she's bonding with the other mahjong aunties, and she just has this ear-to-ear smile that she's trying to contain," he said, adding that Ginny Hu wanted to keep her cool. "I love my mom, so being able to give her a little bit of joy through this experience is something I'm going to carry with me for the rest of my life."

All eight episodes of The Brothers Sun Season 1 are available to stream on Netflix.