Lucy Liu admits racism has held her back in Hollywood


Lucy Liu is probably most known for her kick-ass roles in Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill. I think she is great in them but she wishes that she could get offered other roles. She believes that her ethnicity is the reason she doesn’t.

Talking to net-a-porter’s digital magazine, Lucy said: “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”.


The 44-year-old continued: “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.”

Liu was born in America to Taiwanese parents, so she doesn’t have conventional looks for either stereotype which means producers have trouble placing her in movies.

She added: “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.”

In Elementary

In Elementary

Lucy seems to have dropped lucky with the lead in Elementary, a TV series about Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. She plays the first ever female Watson alongside Johnny Lee Miller. That’s a bit different surely?!

I understand what she is saying but people get typecast all the time. Not just for what they look like but because of their previous work. If you have done a lot of action movies, you will only get offered action movies until you break out into something else. She did that for a while after Kill Bill and Charlie’s Angels but then last year, she took a kick ass role in Man With the Iron Fists which probably didn’t help her cause.

In Kill Bill

In Kill Bill

She admits that the films she is most of proud of are Lucky Number Slevin and Watching the Detectives, which weren’t box office hits yet she liked them as they were different.

“Both are special to me because I didn’t have to do any kind of action or karate kicks. It was just about the acting, and I was able to stretch my muscles in them. Well, figuratively, anyway.”

Sure, there is racism in movies in the same way there is stereotyping. If she doesn’t want to be seen as only an action character, she needs to stop taking those roles! Man with Iron Fists was definitely a step backwards.

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