Harvard or Yale may come to mind but they can't hold an ivy-scented candle to the four-month crash course that actress Lucy Liu has found herself in the throes of. It's a school so exclusive that there are only two other students and they're both more rich and famous than she is.
Though this house of learning doesn't have an official moniker, the name given it by Liu's assistant, who types up her insane schedule, seems to say it all: It takes serious training and now that Liu has nabbed the third spot, opposite A-listers Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, in the upcoming big screen version of the 70s TV jiggle-fest, she intends to wear that halo with pride.
I, for one, would much rather see a curvy babe in dolphin shorts hop off a skate board, brandish a. That's why we've been training with these martial arts experts from Hong Kong. This morning, I was in so much pain that I just had to laugh. Tell me, at least, Lucy, that there's some skateboarding.
And from the moment I met Lucy, I knew it was her. The joy of this film is in playing dress-up and Lucy's in and out of a million looks, from a sophisticated Ralph Lauren equestrian setting to a snowboarding outfit. She's really all over the place. It's just a great opportunity for me, as an Asian-American to play a role that's complete Americana culture,' and he heard that.
There's a dryness to Lucy's delivery that really appealed to us. She can come out with some incredible bombshell just as casually as if she's asking you for a cup of coffee. It's all quite an achievement for a girl from Queens, New York, who didn't even entertain the idea of acting until she was a senior at the University of Michigan studying Asian Languages and Cultures.
Liu stretches out her sore legs and sighs. It's not that glamorous, believe me. Drew and Cameron have already gone through what you will go through if this film is a huge hit. What have you learned from them about fame? If anything, they've taught me that just because you're well known and people want a piece of you, doesn't mean you have to have an attitude.
You don't have to become a diva. Sometimes you need to be aggressive about your decisions but you don't have to be anybody other than who you are. They're both so completely human and more normal than you would ever know. I mean, I know it's not going to be a high ride for the rest of my life, but along the way I can try and enjoy where you are in the moment and not complain. Did you have to audition for Charlie's Angels or did they just offer it to you?
I went in and read and I just got along so well with Drew and Cameron. All we did was laugh. I left there sweating and beet red. That'll look really good on camera. That's why they hired me because I was so fantastic while I was sweating. Are you guys playing Jill, Kelly and Sabrina or are you new people? We're the next generation. It's as if there's been Angels between us and them. I think they're going to have a cameo, if they agree to it.
Comedian Margaret Cho tells this joke comparing groups of friends to Charlie's Angels; there's the nice one, the smart one and then there's the ho. My guess is you're the smart one. Laughs Yeah, I'm not having any ho moments. Not to my knowledge. My character's smart and has her stuff together, more Kate Jackson, basically, which is funny because I loved Kate Jackson when I used to watch it.
I read that you got a million bucks for the film! It's like, "Did the photo come out good? Yeah, something like, "Didn't she look nice in that dress? That's when you know you made it.
On to Ally McBeal. When you see scripts, are you like, "Oh my god, I get to be really obnoxious this week? You have to really allow her honesty to come through, and that's all she's being and I think that's why people appreciate her.
I've had a lot of people say to me, "I know someone exactly like Ling. Why haven't we had a big number from Ling? I'd love to but I can't sing. David Kelley called me specifically and said, "Do you sing at all? And when I say no, it pretty much means, no!
Ling would join the circus. I'd love to do the highwire or learn how to stand on a horse and do flips. If they still had Circus of the Stars, would you be on it? Laughs I don't know if I would whore myself that way. I might just pay someone to teach me. What's your favorite thing on the Ally set to fiddle with? I don't have enough time to say all the great things I have to say about him.
He's imaginative, smart and sexy. Do you like Gil Bellows with blonde hair? I'm on the fence about it. Very sexy though I'm not sure about the earring.
You were nominated for an Emmy this year. What do you remember about the ceremony? I was one of the last people in and they pushed me into my seat. Then they announced the winner, Kristen Johnston and my stomach dropped and all I could think about was food. I was starving but we had to pay, for like, water. It was like being in prison. Laughs The episode where you and Calista had a flirtation and then kissed, did you know before you got the script that it was going to happen?
I learned when I read the script and I was like, "Oh my God! Then we shot it but I still didn't think it was going to make it to the air. I thought they'd start with the kiss and pan over to the book shelf.
Cut to the frog! Laughs Cut to the jellybeans, who knows? Because the kiss that Roseanne had with Mariel Hemingway was nothing, and it was a big deal. Our kiss was a truly intimate moment, and I'm glad Fox was able to air it. Of course, for them it was for ratings. But they did it, and it was a really ballsy moment for them. Did it make you proud to be part of something that explored sexuality in a different way?
I felt so proud. I don't think Calista or I talked about it in the press at all because we didn't want to devalue it in any way. How did doing such a provocative scene together affect your relationship with Calista? I don't know if it made us any closer in terms of friends, like we don't hang out anymore, but I think there was a unspoken bond that was formed, like an appreciation for each other as professionals. Once you've kissed somebody, I think there's always that connection that occurs.
I think she's the shit. She really puts herself out on the line. Have you become like a lesbian icon now? If it makes a difference for anybody, I'm glad to do it. I got tons of mail and I'm assuming people are really thrilled about it. What kind of fan mail do you get? I get a lot from Asian girls who want to be actresses. Most of them say, "I'm going to business school to please my parents and as soon as I graduate, I'm going to do what I want to do. I got a degree in Asian languages and cultures and it's really helped me.
You're obviously a role model, whether you want to be or not. How does that make you feel? It's definitely a little scary. It's not like they send you a fax and say, "Will you sign this as an acceptance that you're a role model?
Back then, the struggle was so intense and I thought that I didn't have many options. It seemed like you were in a tunnel, like, "Where is the goddamned light?