Within the new film “The Protégé,” Margaret Quigley, recognized professionally as Maggie Q, performs an murderer who travels the world with the person who raised her as they full high-profile kills.
Quigley’s character, Anna, is taken in by Moody (Samuel L. Jackson) as a baby in Vietnam. From there, she learns the ropes of his enterprise and turns into one of many world’s sharpest assassins. Years later, after Moody is murdered, she returns to Vietnam to trace down his killer — however can be compelled to confront her previous.
Quigley, who has starred in “Mission: Unattainable III,” “Reside Free or Die Exhausting,” the “Divergent” sequence and the TV present “Nikita,” the place she additionally performed a spy and murderer, mentioned one of many issues that drew her to “The Protégé,” which will likely be launched Friday, was the nuance in Anna’s character, one thing she mentioned is uncommon within the motion style.
Everybody engaged on the movie understood that “a very powerful a part of an motion film is the character improvement, and that doesn’t occur typically,” she informed NBC Asian America. “Actually not on this style. Relationships and character arcs are all the time rushed by way of after which we get to the motion, and I really feel like we did the other with this movie.”
Being a protégé isn’t a job she’s unfamiliar with. In actual life, Quigley was considerably of a protégé to Jackie Chan, a relationship she mentioned has impressed her personal appearing profession.
Quigley, who’s Vietnamese American, mentioned the martial artist and actor noticed her as a possible motion star early on in her profession, when she was dwelling in Hong Kong, and that it was his workforce who launched her to the style. Quigley was later forged in minor roles in a number of of Chan’s films, together with “Rush Hour 2” and “Across the World in 80 Days.”
“Observing him and the best way he earned not solely his profession, however his place on the desk in Hollywood, was very inspiring as a result of he’s such a novel particular person,” she mentioned. “There’s nobody like him, and I don’t know that there ever will likely be. Clearly, he has distinctive expertise. However along with that, he’s the hardest-working man I do know. For him, it’s by no means actually sufficient. He’s all the time striving for excellence.”
Working with different world-renowned motion administrators from Hong Kong additionally impacted her profession, she mentioned.
“The bar was so excessive within the Hong Kong movie trade as a result of that’s what they’re recognized for,” Quigley mentioned. “They’re just like the Hollywood of Asia of their heyday.”
“I believe the important thing factor I acquired from that point in my life was the work ethic, and expertise, however I additionally discovered what it took to have a novel place that you simply carve out for your self while you attempt for that,” she went on. “[Chan] did, and it’s actually admirable.”
It was his willpower and the intensive coaching she obtained that left an enduring affect on her skilled profession. For the previous 20 years, Quigley has carried out most of her personal stunts in exhibits and flicks and did so for “The Protégé,” regardless of having major spinal surgery a couple of months previous to filming.
Starring in movies with advanced, nonstereotypical Asian roles is one thing Quigley has constructed her profession on, however she mentioned as Hollywood continues to reckon with illustration, Asian American actors also needs to be extra selective within the roles they’re keen to take.
“It’s as essential what you don’t take as it’s what you do,” she mentioned. “We could be answerable for perpetuating our personal stereotypes if we give in to these issues, so we’ve to make good decisions and higher decisions.”
“We simply have to enter these rooms and present folks what we’ve to supply, and that actually actually turns into plain,” she mentioned. “We have now to start out saying no to issues that we don’t really feel signify us correctly, however go for issues that they’re not even contemplating us for, and that’s the place I’ve lived for the final 20 years.”