When we did our Perception of Beauty piece, we struggled to find famous Asian-American beauty types. Lucy Liu is the only one who would consistently come to people’s minds. Her long career is a testament to her remarquable talent, but it hasn’t been easy for her to get that recognition. In an exclusive interview with Net-A porter, she touches on breaking racial stereotypes, including from her own parents. Photographs by MARIANO VIVANCO (more after the jump).
“I wish people wouldn’t just see me as the Asian girl who beats everyone up, or the Asian girl with no emotion. People see Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock in a romantic comedy, but not me. You add race to it, and it became, ‘Well, she’s too Asian’, or, ‘She’s too American’. I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It’s a very strange place to be. You’re not Asian enough and then you’re not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.”
“I can’t say that there is no racism – there’s definitely something there that’s not easy, which makes [an acting career] much more difficult.”
[On playing Dr Watson in a new Sherlock Holmes] “It was a challenge,” admits Liu. “It’s so steeped in history, you want to keep that temperature, but acclimatise people to something new you’re shifting them towards.”