Lucy Liu has been acting for 22 years, and at 44-years-old, the actress has played everything from "Asian girl who beats everyone up" to "Asian girl with no emotion". That's a direct quote from Liu, by the way.
That's not to say that she hasn't had some choice roles that are far from stereotypical — two of her favorites include Lucky Number Slevin and Watching the Detectives — but she's often had to fight to be seen for parts that aren't all about her ethnicity.
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.
As we've talked about before, being an Asian actor can be tough in Hollywood — or in the theater world, for that matter — and it's inspirational to see a powerful figure speak honestly about the very real — and very shitty — challenges.
[Image via AP]