Female Asian actresses on the rise to stardom

A-pop! is a column about all things Asian in popular culture

By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly

» Margaret Cho with her dancing partner Louis Van Amstel on this season's second episode of "Dancing with the Stars" (Photo by Adam Larkey/ABC) » Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim photos from CBS » Maggie Q as Nikita (Photo from CW) » Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina and Harry Shum Jr. as Mike on "Glee" (Photos from FOX) » Brenda Song as Christy Lee in "The Social Network" (Photo from Columbia Pictures) » Frieda Pinto as Dia in "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" (Photo from Sony Pictures Classics) » apl.de.ap, or Allan Pineda Lindo Jr., is a member of Black Eyed Peas (Photo from CW)

Welcome back to another month of Asian American entertainment news! This fall, a number of Asian Americans embark on new projects. Margaret Cho followed last season’s Asian contestant (and winner), Nicole Scherzinger, on “Dancing with the Stars,” and the Black Eyed Peas may be performing at next year’s Super Bowl. In scripted television, Asian actors were winners across the board, and a few star on the big screen.

Margaret Cho puts on her dancing shoes, then takes them off

“Dancing with the Stars” kicked off its 11th season on Sept. 20 with 21 million viewers. Contestants included Asian American comedian Margaret Cho. Cho’s first dance, which incorporated physical comedy, was not well received by the judges. However, she was safe for two weeks as David Hasselhoff and Michael Bolton were the first two to be eliminated. Sadly, however, Margaret was eliminated this week. So sorry, Margaret.

We wished for more!

The Black Eyed Peas to perform at the Super Bowl?

The Black Eyed Peas have had an incredible year, and 2011 looks to be no different. Rolling Stone reports that the Grammy-winning group is rumored to perform at the Super Bowl XLV this upcoming February. The Black Eyed Peas performed at the event in 2005 as an opening  act, but in 2011, they may be the main act.

Fox Sports President David Hill has expressed interest in moving away from the classic rock performances of the past six years. If that’s the case, the Black Eyed Peas should be a good choice. I can’t wait to hear more about this story!

Television watch

Asian American actors have been performing incredibly well this fall on the small screen.

Maggie Q’s “Nikita” debuted on the CW network to record-high ratings. The action-drama brought in a network-high for its hour at 3.3 million viewers. Hopefully, the hype for this show continues to grow!

“Hawaii Five-O,” co-starring Grace Kim and Daniel Dae Kim, opened at number one in its time slot on Sept. 21. The remake captured 14.2 million viewers and beat the number two show “Castle,” by more than 40 percent. Congratulations to the cast! Could we have a new hit show on our hands?

“Glee” opened its second season with a strong start of 12.3 viewers on Sept. 22. I’ve mentioned before that Charice would be guest-starring on the musical dramedy this season. The Filipino pop star plays Sunshine Corazon, an exchange student from the Philippines. “Glee” co-stars fellow Asian actors Jenna Ushkowitz and Harry Shum Jr.

Asian actors on the big screen

Brenda Song co-stars in the heavily hyped “The Social Network,” which opened to big numbers last weekend.

Freida Pinto co-stars in Woody Allen’s latest film “You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger.” The film explores the witty tale of a pair of couples whose marriages have gone askew. It reflects Allen’s ironic outlook on life and death. Allen has been known to catapult many actresses to stardom in the past, so who knows? Perhaps Pinto is next!

Good luck to both ladies on their new films, and check back next month for more updates! ♦

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  4. i am a certified Gleek and i really love the TV Show GLEE. Diana is very pretty `’;

  5. Bald-headed Baby says:

    hispanic and native americans are the TRUE underrepresented groups in Hollywood.

  6. Gleek says:

    You forgot the word of Stage Musical / Broadway.. LEA SALONGA just participated in gthe 25th Anniversary of Les Miserables in O2 arena in london. She played fantine and sung “I dream a dream”. Shes the only asian in the cast amidst caucasian actors that includes Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers.

  7. hoooootness says:

    it’s great to see that so many Asians are finally getting their well deserved big break in an industry that doesn’t give many breaks to Asians. we now have rising Asian artists like Charice (who ranked #4 on Billboard’s Top 21 Under 21), Wonder Girls (who ranked #16 on the Billboard’s Top 21 Under 21), Far East Movement (all Asian group and currently #2 on the Billboard Hot 100) and of course Bruno Mars (who is half Filipino and is currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 =)

    then there are the already established Asian artists like Nicole Scherzinger, Vanessa Hudgens, apl.de.ap, Mike Shinoda, Enrique Iglesias XD Love it!

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