Maggie Q: Good Hollywood roles rare for Asians

By Min Lee
The Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — Despite landing roles alongside Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis, Maggie Q says Asian actors still have a hard time getting good roles in Hollywood movies.

The 29-year-old actress, whose full name is Maggie Quigley, told The Associated Press in an interview Oct. 14 that 90 percent of the scripts she receives are written for Caucasian female characters.

“The first part of it is going into a room (for an audition) and trying to quell this stigma that people have about Asians only doing certain kinds of roles and Asians only being looked at a certain way,” Quigley said. “You run into these stereotypes a lot.”

She was speaking after a press conference in Hong Kong to promote the video game “Need for Speed Undercover,” which features a character she portrayed.

Quigley said American filmmakers are confused by her biracial background. Born in Hawaii to an American father of Polish-Irish descent and a Vietnamese mother, the actress first made her name in the Hong Kong film industry.

“They think, ‘Wow, what is this? There’s this girl. She’s Asian, but she’s not. … They’re really not sure where to put me,” Quigley said.
She described competing for roles in Hollywood as a “battle.”

“It’s a struggle. You got to win roles. You really got to fight for them. When I left Asia and went to the U.S., essentially I was starting over. It’s very hard. It’s a lot of work,” she said.

Quigley’s credits include “Mission: Impossible III,” starring Tom Cruise, and the fourth installment in the “Die Hard” series, “Live Free or Die Hard,” starring Bruce Willis. She also appeared in “Deception” alongside Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams.

Quigley is currently shooting Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang’s “The Warrior and the Wolf,” which is about the friendship between two generals in ancient China traveling near the Silk Road. ♦

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