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Maggie Q Bio
At the suggestion of a friend, Q began modeling in Tokyo at the age of 17, before making an unsuccessful move to Taipei, and finally trying in Hong Kong. She has said it was not easy for her: “I had twenty bucks in my pocket. I mean, I literally did the same thing that my mother did when she left Vietnam… didn’t speak the language… had no money.” But, it was in Hong Kong that she was selected by Jackie Chan, because he saw a potential action star. His intensive training taught her the importance of professionalism and always doing her own stunts. Q later said, “I had never done a day of martial arts in my life when I started in the business. I couldn’t even touch my toes.”
1998–2009: Start of acting career
In 1998, she started her acting career in the TV drama House of the Dragon, which was a huge hit in Asia. In 2000, Q made her film debut as Anna in the horror film Model from Hell, and went on to star as an FBI agent Jane Quigley in the action thriller Gen-Y Cops the same year. Her appearance in Gen-Y Cops impressed Jackie Chan so much that she was cast in Manhattan Midnight and Rush Hour 2.
In 2002, she starred as martial artist assassin Charlene Ching in the action film Naked Weapon. In 2005, Q played Harmony in the German-Singaporean TV mini-series House of Harmony, opposite Fann Wong. The same year she also co-produced the animal treatment documentary Earthlings narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.
In 2006, she starred alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III. She played Zhen, the only female member of the IMF team. In 2007, she appeared as Mai Linh in the Bruce Willis movie Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth film in the Die Hard series, and as Maggie in Balls of Fury.
In 2008, Q played fictional Cao Ying, a granddaughter of the warlord Cao Cao in Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon, her first ancient Chinese costume performance. That same year, she also appeared in the drama/thriller movie Deception starring Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman, as Tina, an investment banker who introduced Jackman’s character to an exclusive anonymous sex club list.
Q also stars in the video game Need for Speed: Undercover as the seductive lead character, federal agent Chase Linh, who is the player’s only contact to the Tri-City Police.
2010–present: Nikita, Divergent and Stalker
In 2010, Q became the lead character, an assassin gone rogue, on the CW series Nikita, based on the 1990 French film of the same name. Since the premiere of Nikita, Q has been incorrectly stated as the first Asian American series lead in an American television drama; actress Anna May Wong is the first Asian American series lead of an American television series with her show The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong which aired back in 1951. Q received mostly positive reviews for her role in the series. The character was included in TV Guide ’s lists of “TV’s Sexiest Crime Fighters” and “TV’s Toughest Ladies”.
In 2014, Q played the role of Dauntless faction member Tori Wu, in the film Divergent, the adaptation of the same-titled novel. Q reprised her role in the sequel to Divergent, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which began filming on May 27, 2014 and was released on March 20, 2015. She also stars in the CBS drama series Stalker by Kevin Williamson as Detective Beth Davis along with Dylan McDermott and Mariana Klaveno. The series premiered on October 1, 2014 for the 2014–15 fall television season. The series was ordered for a full season on October 27, 2014. The series however was canceled after one season, leaving the show on a cliffhanger.
In October 2013, Q started filming for A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island, starring alongside Frank Grillo, AnnaSophia Robb, Dianna Agron, John Leguizamo, Ed Westwick, Mary McCormack, Christopher McDonald and Minnie Driver. The film is directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Hilary Shor, Atit Shah and Aaron Becker. Jekyll Island is set to release in 2016.