“Not only do I not want to be stereotyped as this Asian girl who fights - gee, what a wonder - but also I have more to offer than that.” Maggie Q.
A former fashion model initially gained fame in Hong Kong, Maggie Q gained fame in America for her roles in such American blockbusters as “Rush Hour 2” (2001), “Around the World in 80 Days” (2004), and “Mission: Impossible III” (2006). She recently appeared in "Live Free or Die Hard" (2007), "Balls of Fury" (2007), and "Deception" (2008). Maggie will next be seen in the upcoming films "New York, I Love You" and "Rogue's Gallery."
“When you come to America, it's a very serious thing. It's not like you arrive and they say, "Hey, come on! Do movies!" I can't just be hopping around. I have to focus and be still and make sure that I put the time and effort in. Because if I don't, I could lose it like that.” Maggie Q.
This beautiful 5' 6'' Eurasian had been romantically linked to actor-singer Daniel Wu, Edison Chen, Satoshi Rivers, Daniel Henney, and Japanese soccer player Hidetoshi Nakata.
“I used to get really bothered and depressed about what the press wrote about me, but not anymore. They are always making up these fantastical stories about me and the men I go out with.” Maggie Q.
Childhood and Family:
“I've tried to stay who I am, and family and friends still say I haven't changed. To me, that's the greatest compliment.” Maggie Q.
Daughter of a Vietnamese mother (a property investor) and Polish-Irish American father who met when he was stationed in Vietnam, Maggie Denise Quigley was born on May 22, 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The youngest of five children, she has two older half-siblings from her mother's previous marriage in Vietnam, and two older sisters.
“My parents are proud of me today, not because I'm a 'star' but rather, it's that whatever I've achieved, I've worked and done it myself.” Maggie Q.
She attended Mililani High School with Traycee King and traveled to Japan and Hong Kong to become a fashion model after graduation. She would later shorten her last name from Quigley to Q in order to make it easier for Chinese audiences to pronounce.
On how she got her name shortened to just Maggie Q, she explained, “What happened was when I was living and working in Hong Kong, one of the biggest newspapers there when they first started writing about me, around seven/eight years ago, they couldn't pronounce my last name. I think to them it was just like, 'Oh, uh.' And so they printed Q, Maggie Q. And because it was a big paper, everyone followed them.”
Maggie is a vegetarian. She reportedly had dated actor-singer Daniel Wu, Edison Chen, Satoshi Rivers, Daniel Henney, and Japanese soccer player Hidetoshi Nakata.
“All the loves in my life, my dogs are the greatest loves of my life. I mean, no man could ever compare to my dogs, unfortunately.” Maggie Q.
Live Free or Die Hard
At the age of 18, after graduating high school, Maggie Q traveled to Japan and Hong Kong to become a fashion model. Thanks to her unique look, Maggie soon became a popular attraction and went on to grace the covers of major publications, including various Asian editions of Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Madame Figaro, Marie Claire, and Elle.
In 1998, Maggie got her first role in the highly acclaimed Asian television drama “House of the Dragon” and was offered her first big-screen role in 1999's “The Legendary Tai Fei.” Since she could not actually speak Cantonese, Maggie had to learn all of her lines phonetically and some lines in her first several Hong Kong films may have been dubbed.
Entering the new millennium, Maggie co-starred in the Hong Kong comedy/horror movie "Gui ming mo" (aka. "Model from Hell") and played the female lead as an FBI agent named Jane in the Hong Kong action movie produced by Jackie Chan, "Tejing xinrenlei 2" (2000; aka. "Gen-X Cops 2: Metal Mayhem"), with Mark Hicks and Paul Rudd.
In the following year, she was cast by Chan in his award-winning action/thriller film "Manhattan Midnight" (2001) and played a small role as a girl in a car in her first American film, Brett Ratner-directed action comedy "Rush Hour 2" (2001), starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. She was subsequently cast as Charlene, one of the world's most sought after professional killers, in Hong Kong’s box-office smash "Chek law dak gung" (2002; aka. “Naked Weapon”). She also briefly appears kissing another girl behind Santana and Michelle Branch at the beginning of the music video "The Game Of Love" (2002).
"I did once knock out a cameraman on set. I accidentally nailed him with a kick that sent him flying. Luckily the camera was okay." Maggie Q.
Maggie continued to add to her resume with roles in the comedy "Yi wu liang huo" (2003; aka. "The Trouble-Makers"), playing Miss Clary, a lovely unemployed fashion designer, and in the romantic comedy "Moh waan chue fong" (2004; aka. "Magic Kitchen"). She also teamed up with Chan again in 2004 for the comedy/adventure film based on Jules Verne's novel, “Around the World in 80 Days,” playing a female agent.
After appearing in the drama/comedy "Hainan ji fan" (2004; aka. "Rice Rhapsody"), Maggie co-starred with Carl Ng in the 20-minute short drama film "Taped" (2005) and acted in the action thriller "Maang lung" (2005; aka. "Dragon Squad").
In 2005, Maggie played the titular role of Harmony in the German-Singapore two-part television movie "Barbara Wood - Das Haus der Harmonie" (aka. “House of Harmony”), opposite leading Singaporean actress Fann Wong. Afterward, she appeared in the horror/thriller film "The Counting House" (2006) and starred opposite Tom Cruise in the highly anticipated “Mission: Impossible III” (2006), playing Zhen Lei, the only female member of Ethan Hunt's team.
“I always play these tough roles. I never smile, I'm never sort of happy or laughing... I think I have yet to have an on-screen persona that has anything to do with Maggie, the real Maggie.” Maggie Q.
During this time, Maggie also posed for renowned Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee for Kee's 2006 charity photo-book "Super Stars," which was dedicated to the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster. It consists of photographs of 300 Asian celebrities by Kee.
Returning to the big screen, Maggie was cast as Mai Linh, the girlfriend of a brilliant computer hacker and ex-NSA agent (played by Timothy Olyphant), in Len Wiseman's action film starring Bruce Willis, “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007), without an audition. That same year, she also starred opposite Dan Fogler, George Lopez, and Christopher Walken in Robert Ben Garant's sports comedy film, “Balls of Fury."
"I got smashed in the face with a piece of two-by-four, which left one side of my face completely black for two weeks. I'm also deaf in one ear where my eardrum was blown out in an explosive stunt." Maggie Q.
Maggie recently co-starred with Andy Lau in the war drama "Saam gwok dzi gin lung se gap" (2008; aka. "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon"), and with Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, and Michelle Williams in Marcel Langenegger's crime/drama/thriller "Deception" (2008). She will next be seen in the upcoming romance film "New York, I Love You" (2008) alongside an ensemble cast that include Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, Hayden Christensen, Shia LaBeouf, Irrfan Khan, and Kevin Bacon.
“People compare me to so and so, and I really feel that being competitive (in that way) is a waste of time. You should be proud of what you have.” Maggie Q.
She is currently working on Fouad Mikati's upcoming action/drama/comedy movie, "Rogue's Gallery," alongside Adam Scott, Jeffrey Tambor, Emilie de Ravin, Ving Rhames, and Ellen Barkin.
“I love independent films. The current projects I'm looking at are darker pieces with pretty challenging ideas. I like pushing the limits. Even the books I read are not mainstream.” Maggie Q.