Quoted: Lucy Liu On Racial Image And Romantic Comedies

by Joseph Lamour

Image via Net-a-Porter.

The levels to which I would like to see Lucy Liu, Eva Mendes, or Aisha Tyler as the next Rom Com Queen knows no bounds. It’s nice to know Ms. Liu feels the same way. From The Edit magazine:

“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.”

I have so many (read: so many) ideas in the works for romantic comedies, each starring a lead of color. And, one gay one- starring me, of course. If Lena Dunham can do it, so can I. I just want to see someone like Lucy fall in love in a movie lit like a Dannon commercial. Doesn’t everyone want that?  Fellow lovers of Hitch, The Wedding Planner, and Something New: who would you like to see meet-cute, wardrobe montage, and run towards (or away from) an airport in a romantic comedy? Make your case in the comments.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

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  • zdrav

    When’d she say that?

  • ballewal

    I am LOVING her on Elementary. Aisha Tyler would be a good one. Or Rosario Dawson.

  • http://twitter.com/rebelwerewolf Ike

    I want a guns, explosions, and car chases action flick where the two leads are both women.

  • bbdoodles

    But… Lucy Liu HAS done a romantic comedy before, it was a miniseries called “Marry Me” on Lifetime. It was hilarious and there were three guys fighting for her affections. Of course, no one probably acknowledges it because it was on Lifetime, but it really was a great non-stereotypical role. And there was a fancy dress up montage in it where Lucy looked majorly beautiful *swoons* Whenever I read things like this I think of YouTube and how we need more Issa Rae’s of all colors and all genres putting out daring, original shows and movies. IE – All the things you’d never see in Hollywood

  • http://www.allthingsbeautifulblog.com/ Alyssa Bacon-Liu

    Um, how stunning is Lucy Liu in this picture?? Damn girl! I’m happy that Elementary is doing so well and that we are seeing another Asian American actress have a major role in primetime TV.

    I know you are talking about ladies, but I would actually LOVE to see maybe a little more edgy/mature Rom Com starring John Cho. I thought he was sweet, charming, hilarious, and super handsome on “Go On” and they hinted at a possible love interest for him before the show got the axe. I’d love to see him switch things up and be a leading funny man but with a romantic side.

    • Greg_G

      I’ve always thought that John Cho had leading-man potential. I also agree that Liu is much more talented than Hollywood gives her credit for. Elementary is a great showcase for her. Good to see her speaking out about this issue.

    • emisc

      I was just about to comment and say JOHN CHO!!! He would be perfect. :)

    • Medusa

      As much as I like John Cho, I think him being America’s resident Asian actor is part of the problem. There are a ton of actors of color who we never even hear about, and I think that is a large part of the reason that people of color aren’t seen as fully human in a way.

      • happyappa

        I agree.. come on, there are more east asian actors out there besides John Cho. Just look at “About this blog” on the right of this page and the point it is making.

        • http://www.allthingsbeautifulblog.com/ Alyssa Bacon-Liu

          @disqus_7AddwPUWNC:disqus @happyappa:disqus I totally get where you are coming from, but I’m not saying there is no one else besides John Cho. The question was who do we want to see in a Rom Com and I think John Cho would be great (in my opinion). His popularity doesn’t discount the fact that he would make a great rom com lead (in my opinion). Of course I would love to see other Asian Americans in all types of roles as well, not just the few that are well known already.

    • zdrav

      Hollywood would never let an Asian male actor take the lead in a rom-com, unless it was opposite some sassy Black woman and the whole basis of the movie was how ludicrous such a pairing is.

      Hollywood 101 is that in racialized rom coms, it’s ALWAYS gotta be a white guy with an attractive WOC.

  • http://twitter.com/kimmychoo Ki.D

    Reading this, it really goes to show that perceptions revolving around race and ethnicity are something you are taught. When I look at Lucy Liu, I think, “Huh, how come I haven’t seen her in any romance movies or light hearted work?” It’s funny, because she almost seems made for it- she bright, friendly, witty and would probably be a bit of a goofball. I mentioned it to my older brother and he said the same thing. It is beyond frustrating for creative people of color to be constantly limited in the human roles and actions they are allowed to partake in.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000709864513 Michelle Kirkwood

      For real—how the hell can anybody be “too Asian” or “too American” for comedy? I guess because I’ve seen so many Asian comedies (unfortunately, I can’t name too many Asian-American comedies I’ve actually seen) I know doggone well the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Liu did a film called Lucky Number Slevin some years ago in which she played a quiet,thoughtful, and and kind of funny supporting role,which was such a contrast to her strong and tough-as-nails kick-a** roles. It’s been cool seeing her on TV in a laid-back and thoughtful role (hmmm,I just repeated myself) but,yeah, it would be nice seeing her in a comedy for a change.