Jing Lusi, star of Gangs of London and Argylle, leads the cast of Red Eye, a new ITV thriller set on the red eye flight from London to Beijing.


Lusi plays DC Hana Li, a British police officer who is assigned to escort Dr Matthew Nolan (Richard Armitage) back to Beijing on the next North China Air flight after he is accused of murder there. However, when incidents start occurring on board the flight, Hana finds herself in the midst of a conspiracy.

Lusi spoke exclusively with RadioTimes.com about her character, and explained why Hana's past resonated with her.

She said: "Hana’s mother died in Hong Kong and the circumstances of her death are not known to Hana. It's something that's not discussed within their family. So she feels like there's a huge part of her that she doesn't understand.

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"Losing your mother is one of the most traumatic events that could happen to anyone, regardless of how old they are. But also, to not actually understand it at all, especially as a child, and then just find yourself in a different country where you don't know anyone and you don't speak the language.

"And for me, I can really resonate with that, because Hana emigrated when she was five from Hong Kong, and I emigrated at exactly the same age from China – from Shanghai.

"And so, just to kind of wake up one day and be in this country, which is predominantly white and have to learn the language very quickly and just get thrown into school… I think that's just made her extremely, extremely confused woman looking for some sense of belonging in the world."

Richard Armitage as Matthew Nolan and Jing Lusi as Hana Li in Red Eye. Armitage is looking up with disgust as he is handcuffed and has bruised knuckles while Jing is looking up with a mute expression as they are both sat on a plane.
Richard Armitage as Matthew Nolan and Jing Lusi as Hana Li in Red Eye. ITV

Lusi continued: "There's a lot of correlation between Hana’s dad and my dad… something about Chinese men, especially of that generation, there’s a real sense of stoicism. And a real sense of ‘we don't talk about emotions’.

"I think it is quite an Asian thing to not really discuss emotions. So she's grown up in this family where really her dad is her only biological link to this world, and he doesn't speak to her about it. And then you've got this annoying little sister who wants to talk about every other thing.

"And so, for her, I do think culture really plays a big part in it. Having grown up in a family where my father and I don't discuss emotions – we discuss everything else: grades, politics, finances, everything – but not emotions, I think that will resonate with a lot of Asians."

As well as Lusi and Armitage, the series also stars Lesley Sharp as MI5 director Madeleine Delaney, who is leading the tense operation back in Britain, but has to tread carefully as a Chinese-British nuclear deal could be at risk.

Red Eye premieres on ITV1 at 9pm on Sunday 21st April. Stream all episodes on ITVX after episode 1 airs.


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