Who Is Maria Zhang? 5 Things to Know About Avatar's Suki Star from Netflix Live-Action Series

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
maria Zhang Avatar's Suki Actress

Actress Maria Zhang has the tall task of bringing Suki to life in Netflix's live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender here are some interesting facts that fans should know about her.

Nickelodeon's animated Avatar: The Last Airbender series is one of the most popular and beloved shows of all time, so many fans were overjoyed when it was revealed that Netflix was coming out with a live-action version of the show.

In the new show, actress Maria Zhang portrays Suki, a leader of one of the Kyoshi Warrior bands on Kyoshi Island. Just like in the animated series, Suki only appeared in one episode of Season 1, but if the narrative remains largely the same, fans can expect to see her again.

Everything Fans Should Know About Avatar's Maria Zhang

Maria Zhang as Suki in Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender

Maria Has Lived All Over the World

Despite being so young, Maria Zhang has lived in many different countries around the world and, due to her upbringing, has also been exposed to many different cultures.

Maria was born in Poland, but she was raised in Beijing, China by her mother and father. She later moved once again (this time to Southern California in the United States) for college, meaning she lived in three different countries before even graduating college.

Maria is Multilingual

It is rare enough for someone to be fluent in two languages, but Maria Zhang is skilled enough to speak at least four languages.

In an interview with Mixed Asian Media (MAM), Maria revealed that her mother is Polish and her father is Chinese, so when she grew up, she would speak her parents' native languages to them.

In the same interview, she also revealed that her parents spoke Russian to each other:

"So I’m half Polish, half Chinese. My mom is Polish, my dad is Chinese, and I grew up in a house where my parents spoke Russian to each other (I spoke Polish to my mom and Chinese to my dad), so it was a whole jumble of languages and cultures. To me that just felt like the norm, but whenever I’d tell other people that, they’d be like, 'Oh my God, this is crazy.'"

In the same interview, Maria revealed that she wrote her own play in college that contained four different languages:

"I actually wrote a solo play in college and was so baffled because it ended up having four different languages."

Maria's Love For Acting Started in Theatre

In the same interview with MAM, Maria shared that her first exposure to acting was in a theatre production of Alice in Wonderland in Poland.

Although the actress lived in Beijing at the time, she would return to Poland "every summer just to be a part of [that] theatre group:"

"My grandma actually saw this newspaper clipping asking for young actors to come do this community theatre show. They were doing 'Alice in Wonderland,' and I was like, 'I have to do this!' I ended up going back to Poland every summer, just to be a part of this theatre group. It was like magic, ‘cause it was in the middle-of-nowhere countryside of Poland. We would run on the grass, pouring our hearts and souls into weeks of rehearsals to create this imaginary world."

Maria also described how those plays ignited her passion for acting, as well as how it caused her to know what she wanted to do in life:

"We would put up the shows on an abandoned train track and everyone would bring their own pillows to sit and watch the show. I would be hiding behind bushes, ready to go on, and I’d see the lights. Feel my heart pounding. I’d be terrified, but loving it. Never wanting it to end. I just knew in my heart that that's when I was the happiest. That's what I love the most. And here I am doing it."

Maria's Artistic Abilities Stretch Beyond Acting

Alongside being an actress, Maria also likes to draw and sew.

In an interview with Phosphor Magazine (which featured her on the digital cover of the issue), she revealed that both her parents are artists and that one of her career goals is to "draw a children's illustration book:"

"I’m really into visual arts as well. I come from a family of artists, so I love drawing. One of my bucket list things is to draw a children’s illustration book. I think that would be really cool. On the side, I also have been learning how to sew and trying out other DIY projects. It’s very soothing for me."

Maria Was Inspired by a Few A-List Actresses

In the same interview with Phosphor Magazine, Maria opened up about which movies, TV shows, and actresses she loved growing up.

The actress mentioned that she loved to watch Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place, but specifically named Natalie Portman and Emilia Clarke as inspirations for her:

"Then there’s the more serious stuff that inspired me. I remember seeing Natalie Portman in 'Léon: The Professional.' I love her. That’s one of my favorites. I binged all of 'Game Of Thrones' one summer. I love Emilia Clarke, and I think she’s so powerful in anything she does."

Where Can Fans Follow Maria on Social Media?

Fans can find actress Maria Zhenger on Instagram. Her official username is mariaxzhang.

All eight episodes of Season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender are available to stream on Netflix.

Read more about other current actresses below:

Who Is Meredith Garretson? 6 Things to Know About Resident Alien Actress

Who Is Nell Verlaque? 4 Things to Know About Thanksgiving Movie Actress

Who Is Andrea Ellsworth? 3 Things to Know About Vince Staples Show Actress

- In This Article: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Release Date
February 22, 2024
Dallas Liu
Gordon Cormier
Ian Ousley
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.