Lucy Liu graces the cover of online fashion magazine, Net-A-Porter’s Graphic Issue. Liu discusses some of the usual interview tropes–her sense of style, relationship status and her hit CBS show Elementary, where she plays Joan Watson–a decidedly modern and most interesting twist on the typical Sherlock Holmes story.
Liu also talks candidly about racism in Hollywood and the ways in which it has effected her and her career, something that doesn’t always come up in interviews. But Liu is open about the racial stereotypes that permeate Hollywood. While she’s proud of her achievements in her career, she feels that at times she’s been pigeonholed into more action roles.
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.
She also mentions the difficulty to even discuss the function of race in Hollywood–as something she shouldn’t mention but something that is so apparent there’s no way it cannot be discussed.
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.
Kudos to Liu for being open and willing to discuss race in Hollywood. Just gives us another reason to love her even more.
True Colors (Net-A-Porter)