In The Protégé, Maggie Q makes history as the first Southeast Asian female lead star of a Hollywood action movie. Even after four seasons of capably playing a tough spy in the 2010 tv series Nikita, it still took the industry a decade before she was given the chance to lead her own film.
The Vietnamese American's journey as an actress encapsulates the difficulties encountered by Asian talents in Hollywood. "When I started in Hollywood back in the day, it was way more of a struggle than it is now. But I think that those years are put in for that reason so that we can move into it to a separate place, and I think that we fight for a reason. It's changing finally which is really nice to see," said Q. "The stories that I have -- oh my goodness. But they've all made me who I am and the nice thing is that I don't get discouraged by people that I don't care about."
The Protégé marks her first onscreen partnership with Hollywood icon Michael Keaton. Another legendary actor, Samuel L. Jackson, plays her mentor.
In real life, Q credits action superstar Jackie Chan for being one of the people who helped her become stronger. "Observing him, and everything he's earned in his career -- he's the hardest working man I've ever known. And he deserves everything he has," shared the actress. "Seeing that as a young person in my late teens and growing into that into my early 20s, that was a huge and a valuable lesson -- to understand that there are no shortcuts. If there are, then you don't have a solid foundation. So you have to just keep at it and be tenacious in your approach to whatever it is you're doing. You'll get there, but the patience and the tenacity have to exist."