Live Free Or Die Hard: Asian Women in Hollywood

Hell ya!

For any that don’t want to wait and watch that … that is the teaser trailer for Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard. It makes me excited in ways that Maggie should be jealous of. Die Hard is an institution for any of us kids that grew up spouting off John McClane’s lines for the better part of the last 18 years (yup, been that long since “Yippie ki-yay mother fucker” and “no fuckin’ shit lady does it sound like I’m ordering a pizza?”).

Sticking with the recent Hollywood trend, they’ve tacked a token hot Asian action star to fill the lead lady role (Maggie Q). I first took notice of this trend with The Transporter (former softcore porn model Shuqi), and recently followed up by Maggie Q in MI:3 and Gong Li in Miami Vice. Taking it back a bit further, I know these aren’t the first movies that did this (off the top of my head, 007: Tomorrow Never Dies featured a powerful Asian leading lady in the form of Michelle Yeoh, and I’m sure it goes back MUCH farther than that), but there certainly does seem to be a movement towards it in action films now.

I guess it’s easy to see why – Asian women, with perceived delicateness and timidness, make for cool and exotic action stars when they are doing spin kicks and spitting out 1000+ rounds a minute with hi-calibre weapons. This is, I’m sure, why they’ve long been the mainstay of most Hong Kong action movies. Makes the boys giddy.

I think this also continues what has been a bit of a diaspora of Asian (particularly Chinese) women who are making the break from their Mainland and HK roots to try their luck in Hollywood (read: Zhang Ziyi). Guess us ESL teachers are doing our jobs.

Edit: I should mention, before someone else slices a piece out of my pigu … Maggie Q is Hawaiian, Shu Qi is Taiwanese and Michelle Yeoh is Malaysian. Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi are both Mainland PRC born and bred.

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