NOT many people can say they have worked alongside Angelina Jolie but one actor from Cowley, it has been a reality.

Jon Xue Zhang, who has lived in Cowley for over a decade, made a major film debut this year as a stunt double for Don Lee in Marvel Eternals.

The film which aired last month features Harry Styles, Kit Harrington, and Salma Hayek, among others, and had a $200 million dollar budget.

Laughing Jon, who has worked in the film industry for over a decade, said: “When I was young I always wanted to be a superhero so I had to settle for playing a superhero in a film."

Oxford Mail: Right: Jon Xue Zhang. Left: Don LeeRight: Jon Xue Zhang. Left: Don Lee

Jon was asked by Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019 whether he would be available to play Don Lee's character, 'Gilgamesh' in its upcoming film.

He said: "I initially thought this must be a scam – but it turned out that it was legit. 

"I was going to be playing for Don Lee, one of my heroes, and when I got told I almost had a heart attack because it was a dream come true. 

"Don Lee is the equivalent to Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson in Asia, he is a huge person and very famous there."

Jon went with the crews to film on location in Fuerteventura, and conveniently for him, less than 20 miles away from Cowley in Stokenchurch.

When arriving on set, he only had to put on a wig to look like Don Lee - they looked that similar.

"The only difference between us is that he has hair and I don’t," he explained.

“Most student doubles have to put on weight or lose weight in order to match the actor – I didn’t have to do anything other than wear a wig.

“Being hired is based on how you look and your ability to move – my appearance is quite niche, I am a large, bald Asian and I can move quite well” he laughed.

When Jon wasn't flinging himself off buildings, or jumping into the air while attached to a wire, he spent a lot of time rehearsing with other actors - namely Angelina Jolie.

He said: "I rehearsed with Angelina Jolie for a week or two because if Don couldn’t get there, I would have to rehearse with her – which I did not mind at all.

“She was very nice, very intelligent, and she’s really switched on - I really enjoyed my time with her.”

Jon hopes this experience will open up more gates for him in the future and will show younger people that they can also achieve their dreams.

He said: "My advice is that people should start early, remember you will hear a lot of no’s but you only need one yes, and finally don’t stop believing – the world is big enough for everyone and there’s a place out there in the industry for all of us."

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