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Who is Wonder Woman’s Singaporean connection?

By now, I’m sure we all know of Game of Thrones‘ and Star Wars‘ Singaporean connection – actress Jessica Henwick, whose mother is Chinese-Singaporean. But did you know that the upcoming Wonder Woman movie also has a Singaporean connection?

Action actress, personal trainer and fitness model Mayling Ng has reportedly landed a role in her biggest film yet, as Orana, one of the Amazons of Themyscira.

UPDATE: Soon after this article went out, Mayling herself confirmed on Instagram she’s playing Orana!

Born in Liverpool to a Chinese-Singaporean father and English mother, Mayling lived above her father’s restaurant. The only daughter in a family full of brothers, she decided early on that the restaurant business wasn’t for her. Since then, she’s reinvented herself as sort of a world citizen. The personal fitness trainer now shuttles between LA, Singapore, the UK, Hong Kong and Tenerife.

Though she’d tried to enter the film industry over a decade ago as a stuntwoman, it’s only been recently, after competing in the Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness’ 1st Annual Singapore National Championships back in 2011, that she’s landed roles. She first appeared as Yasmin, a mamasan with a Scouser accent, in the 2013 arthouse thriller film Mister John, which was shot in Singapore and starred Aidan Gillen (best known as Game of Thrones’ Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish) and Queen of Caldecott Zoe Tay.

Yeah, it’s really not a big part, but compared to the local stars in the movie like Oon Shu An and Janice Koh, Mayling really stood out, and perhaps this was what led her to her next role. This time, she plays a Russian psychopath in the yet-to-be-released female-led action movie Lady Bloodfight.

And then, in February this year, she posted this on Instagram:

The next few weeks on her Instagram had pics of her at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, UK, before flying to Naples to film in Italy, so we could probably guess which movie she was referring to, but this is the clincher:

That’s Doutzen Kroes, who’s already been confirmed to have a role in the Wonder Woman film, after she was seen in Instagram photos with the movie’s stars Gal Gadot and Connie Nielsen.

But who is Mayling playing in the movie? IMDb is saying it’s Orana.

Orana who?

wonder woman orana
Credit: AmazonArchives.com

Orana is a relatively obscure character in the Wonder Woman mythos. She first appeared in Wonder Woman #250 (December 1978) and was a challenger to Diana’s title of Wonder Woman. Where Diana is compassionate and focused on safety, Orana is brutal and brash, eventually winning her challenge and calling herself the “New Wonder Woman”. Unfortunately, her time as a superhero is short-lived, as her relative inexperience leads to her demise in the following issue #251. Orana is said to be one of the influences on the more familiar character Artemis, who also became Wonder Woman for a time.

So is Mayling’s role as Orana going to be a significant one in the movie? It’s hard to say for sure. For one thing, IMDb’s information seems unsourced. According to her Instagram she got called up to be in the Warner Bros. Studios in the UK slightly over a week ago, but those were her last scenes.

No matter how big or small the role, we’re happy to have a very Singaporean connection to Wonder Woman! Looking forward to seeing Mayling Ng on the big screen come 2017. In the meantime, enjoy her weapons showreel filmed at the Henderson Waves.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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