Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stuck in Asia, Dreaming of Hollywood

I found this old article in the archives of The New York Times. Its about Asian stars dreaming to making it big in Hollywood. At that time, our 'Nikita' star Maggie Q was virtually unknown in the US but a big star in Asia. Much so that the caption of the photo said:
Maggie Q, a star in Asia but still relatively unknown in the United States, in “Live Free or Die Hard.

But we all know that a little patience goes a long, long way. So here we are now, fast forward to present and Maggie Q is the star of a US TV series.

Having lived in 2 continents, Maggie has had different experiences and exposures to working conditions. And that I think will make you a better person.
In Hong Kong a cracked shin earned her an hourlong respite. “On ‘Live Free’ I got a little cut and they were like: ‘Oh my God! Medic!’ ” she said. “It was so wonderful. I was, like, in tears.”

I loved the fact that she kept her HK manager.
At one of Taiwan’s bustling night markets, she met a woman who suggested that she go to Hong Kong: “She gave me a number and said, ‘Call this woman. She’ll help you.’ ”

That woman was Meeyian Yong, who, nearly 10 years later, is still Ms. Q’s manager. She lent her money and found her a place to stay until she started getting work.

But Hollywood is Hollywood. It is the measure of success of TV & movie actors.
But as big as Asian-American talent can become in Asia, true success is still often measured in American terms. “My manager’s biggest dream is for me to be on Letterman,” Ms. Q said. “Letterman comes on at, like, 2 a.m. in Hong Kong, and she watches him every night. She says, ‘Oh, Maggie, will you promise me you’ll be on Letterman?’ What can I say? I just tell her I can’t promise, but I’ll try my best.”

Stuck in Asia, Dreaming of Hollywood
By Robert Ito

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