The Brothers Sun star Sam Song Li chats working with Michelle Yeoh and doing his own stunts

Netflix Life spoke with Sam Song Li, the talented star of new action-comedy series The Brothers Sun, all about what it was like working on the show, including finding that brotherly dynamic and more.

Brothers Sun star Sam Song Li. Photo credit: Ziyang Wang
Brothers Sun star Sam Song Li. Photo credit: Ziyang Wang /

The Brothers Sun is one of the biggest new Netflix Original series to arrive in the new year, kicking off 2024 with a burst of energy thanks to the show's black comedy and well-choreographed action. In honor of the debut, Netflix Life chatted with series star Sam Song Li, who plays Bruce Sun, brother to Charles Sun (Justin Chien) and son of Eileen Sun (Michelle Yeoh).

Created by Brad Falchuk and Byron Wu, The Brothers Sun centers on the family of an infamous crime syndicate based in Taipei, Taiwan. When the patriarch of the Sun family is assassinated, Charles must return to California to protect his mother and brother. Eileen has been trying to keep Bruce in the dark about their family's secret his entire life, so Charles' sudden arrival threatens to throw everything into chaos as Bruce finally learns the truth.

Some of Li's previous credits include Better Call Saul, Home Economics, and Never Have I Ever, but The Brothers Sun marks the up-and-coming star's first series regular role. Keep reading to check out our conversation with him!

The Brothers Sun. (L to R) Justin Chien as Charles Sun, Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun in episode 101 of The Brothers Sun. Cr. Michael Desmond/Netflix © 2023 /

Netflix Life: I was looking at your IMDB and this is one of your first series regular roles, right? What was that experience like for you?

Sam Song Li: It was honestly overwhelming and a dream come true. This is literally every actor's dream, right? To be able to be a series regular or [have] a leading role, and I feel like I could not have been more lucky to find this type of career success this early on. It felt like I was winning the lottery truly.

Netflix Life: You're working with an amazing cast, too. I mean, what was it like working with Michelle Yeoh, who plays your character's mom in the series?

Sam Song Li: It felt like it just got better and better. Like, it was like, oh, you know, book that and then, hey, Michelle is gonna play your mom and I was like, what the heck is happening to my life right now? I think it was just really incredible, like working with Michelle is so effortless and it's so easy and, and it's incredible to work with someone who's not only just a phenomenal, you know, legendary actor, a global icon, but also somebody who spoke a different language that you share.

I think when you are able to connect with someone, just not only on one language but two, you get to know them even deeper as a person. I felt like even being able to speak to Michelle in Mandarin, I mean it's just so bizarre and I don't think I'm probably gonna have that experience with much more, you know, famous actors like that outside of someone like Michelle, she's just incredible and she's so easy to act with.

The Brothers Sun. (L to R) Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun, Michelle Yeoh as Mama Sun in episode 107 of The Brothers Sun. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Netflix Life: You have such a great chemistry with her and Justin Chien, who plays your brother. How did you guys find your brotherly dynamic?

Sam Song Li: Justin has two brothers and a sister and then I myself have a sister. So I think that we both are familiar with feelings of having a sibling dynamic. I think it was quite easy once we got there, but I actually felt like it was a little bit more doing the opposite because we're supposed to be so estranged.

Netflix Life: I was gonna say, yeah, you guys kind of get to start fresh in a way like your characters do.

Sam Song Li: Justin is an incredibly charming person that I actually just relate to a lot. We have very similar tastes, sensibilities and sense of humor even, you know, so we just get along incredibly well. I almost feel like we had to do some backtracking and make sure we didn't, we weren't too comfortable, to make sure that there was still some tension and some like, who are you entering into each other's?

Also, I was curious, did you ever watch Barry with Bill Hader? Because your character reminded me of him, with the improv classes and then being thrust into a new situation.

Sam Song Li: Absolutely. I think we used, I think Barry as, as part of a slight reference to the show at times, you know.

Netflix Life: I've seen on your Instagram, too, you do little sketches and skits and stuff, so you're familiar with improv. Did you draw from that for the show?

Sam Song Li: Oh, absolutely. I think having that natural, I guess, energy of turning yourself on for the crowd sort of thing. I feel like that is especially prevalent in certain scenes where it's obvious I'm like doing an improv bit, right? Or doing improv in general, but I think that what's cool about this role as opposed to my social media, is my ability to be able to really focus on the human aspect.

To be able to really just explore Bruce as a person. And that's something I actually don't get to do a lot on my social media because social media is so punchy. It's almost nice to sort of slow down when you have a piece like this where everything is so grand and people's attention will be hooked by the scale of the show, you know.

The Brothers Sun. (L to R) Sam Song Li as Bruce Sun, Justin Chien as Charles Sun in episode 102 of The Brothers Sun. Cr. Michael Desmond/Netflix © 2023 /

Netflix Life: I want to talk a little bit about the fight choreography and the stunt work because there's so much happening. Was that you doing your own stunt work as much as possible?

Sam Song Li: Listen, this is so funny. We have a world-class stunt team led by Justin Yu and some of the best in the industry. I mean, these guys worked on like John Wick, Day Shift, you name it, the best action pieces in town and when they saw me, they were like, okay, you're probably already overqualified for the job we need you for, mainly because they knew I was not going to do any badass action ass-kicking, you know.

So they were really hesitant for me to get too involved but I think because of that, they were very comfortable with throwing me into the deep end in terms of having me do my own stunts. So much of the show, if you see the stunt sequences, I'm actually acting it, there's no stunt double for a lot of it, including some action sequences where I'm getting kind of thrown around. It's cool that I get to, you know, be a part of it and I got to channel my Jackie Chan at times and my job was just to make it look as fun as possible.

Netflix Life: In the second episode, did you really get to spend time with that monitor lizard, was that a real lizard?

Yes, that was a real one! I think originally they wanted to have a Komodo dragon. In the original pilot, it was a Komodo dragon, and when we got closer they were like, the Netflix legal team said we couldn't do it because Sam could die [Laughs].

The Brothers Sun is now streaming on Netflix. Stay tuned to Netflix Life for more news and updates on the series! Add the show to your watchlist right here.

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