First Cow: An interview with star Orion Lee
Director Kelly Reichardt’s latest film First Cow is a beautifully understated tale of friendship and survival set in 1820s Frontier America. The minimalist and touching storytelling is perfectly delivered by the film’s leading duo, Orion Lee and John Magaro.
Lee plays the role of King-Lu, a Chinese immigrant who meets an introverted aspiring baker nicknamed Cookie, played by Magaro. The two strike up a friendship of sorts and join forces as they try to get ahead in a world full of perils. The dynamic between the protagonists is one of harmony and collaboration, but it is clear that they both carry deep traumas that have caused them to become withdrawn and diffident as they lead their solitary existences.
This is the first leading role for Orion Lee on the big screen, but he is already well known for his appearances in popular sagas such as Star Wars and Justice League. On this occasion, he has the opportunity to fully delve into the psyche of his character and offer an intense and nuanced performance. We caught up with Orion to find out how he approached this experience with Reichardt and her deliberate, intimate style. He revealed the personal emotions that came up for him while he was preparing for the role, and how he thinks there is a less noble side to friendship.
First Cow is released in select cinemas on 28th May 2021.
Watch the trailer for First Cow here: