Thai Swedish actor Praya Lundberg is set to star in a new film about the Rock Springs massacre, the real-life incident that resulted in the deaths of 28 Asian immigrant railroad workers in 1885.
In “Ghosts of the Railroad,” Lundberg will play the role of Jade, a woman from the present day who gets transported to the 1800s via strange visions. Through these visions, she discovers that her family’s estate was the scene where crimes against Asian railroad workers took place.
Filmmaker V. Vansay Zanubon, who is of Laos Thai descent, is directing the film and co-writing the script with Carmen C. Mosley and Carmen Lavelle. While the film is based on a historical event, its story will incorporate some fictionalized aspects. The film will start production later this year in Colorado.
According to Zanubon, Lundberg was perfectly cast for the role for being “not just an amazing talent but an amazing human being.”
“It’s quite a remarkable journey for both of us to have traveled halfway around the world at different times of our life’s journey to end up in Hollywood and have an opportunity to make an American movie that deals with the historical impact of the Asian-American contribution to American history,” Zanubon was quoted as saying.
The announcement of Lundberg’s casting came just as her other film “Paradise City” had completed filming. “Paradise City,” which stars Hollywood heavyweights Bruce Willis and John Travolta, is set for a November theater release.
Lundberg started her acting career in a local television show at the age of 13 before landing bigger film and TV roles in Thailand.
About the Rock Springs massacre
The Rock Springs massacre, known as one of the bloodiest racially motivated massacres against Chinese immigrants in American history, took place in the present-day city of Rock Springs in Wyoming on Sept. 2, 1885.
Fueled by years of anti-Chinese sentiment in the country, white immigrant miners attacked the homes of Chinese miners living in the area.
The white miners were angered after the Union Pacific Coal Department started hiring more Chinese miners, who were willing to work for lower wages.
Armed with guns, hatchets, knives and clubs, the white miners shot at Chinese miners, looted their houses and burned 78 Chinese homes. The rioting ended with at least 28 Chinese miners dead and 15 injured, as well as property damage worth millions of dollars today.