Lucy Liu movie list

Born to immigrants in New York City, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Her mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing & her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts, the energetic actress is finally earning her stripes as an across-the-board leading lady. She graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1986 & enrolled in NYU. However, she was discouraged by the dark and sarcastic atmosphere, so she transferred to the University of Michigan after her freshman year. She graduated w/ a degree in Asian Languages & Cultures, managing to squeeze in some additional training in dance, voice, fine arts & acting. During her senior year, she auditioned for a small part in a production of Alice in Wonderland and walked away with the lead. Encouraged by the experience, she decided to take the plunge into professional acting. She moved to L.A., splitting her time between auditions & food service day jobs. She eventually scored a guest appearance as a waitress on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990). That performance led to more walk-on parts in shows like NYPD Blue (1993), ER (1994) & The X Files (1993). In 1996, she was cast as an ambitious college student on Rhea Perlman's ephemeral sitcom Pearl (1996). She first appeared on the big screen as an ex-girlfriend in Jerry Maguire (1996) (she had previously filmed a scene in the indie Bang (1995), but it was shelved for 2 years). She then waded through a series of supporting parts in small films before landing her big break on Ally McBeal (1997). She initially auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter, which went to Portia de Rossi. However, writer-producer David E. Kelley was so impressed w/ her that he promised to write a part for her in an upcoming episode. The part turned out to be that of growling, ill-tempered lawyer Ling Woo, which she filled w/ such aplomb that she was signed on as a regular cast member. The "Ally" win gave her film career a much-needed boost-in 1999, she was cast as a dominatrix in the Mel Gibson action flick Payback (1999) & as a hitchhiker in the ill-received boxing saga Play It to the Bone (1999). The following year brought even larger roles: first as the kidnapped Princess Pei Pei in Jackie Chan's western Shanghai Noon (2000), then as one-third of the comely crime-fighting trio in Charlie's Angels (2000). When she's not hissing at clients or throwing well-coiffed punches, she keeps busy w/ an eclectic mix of off-screen hobbies. She practices the martial art of Kali-Eskrima-Silat (knife-and-stick fighting), skis, rock climbs, rides horses &plays the accordion. In 1993, she exhibited a collection of multimedia art pieces at the Cast Iron Gallery in SoHo (New York), after which she won a grant to study & create art in China. Her hectic schedule doesn't leave much time for romantic intrigue, but she says she prefers to keep that side of her life uncluttered.