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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Status Report: Asian Actors in Hollywood

Too often Asian actors fall way under the radar and are often typecast in Hollywood. Battling stereotypes and other challenges, many talented actors are criminally underrated. Like other thespians, they go the indie film route or can't break out of the small screen cul de sac.

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, here's a status report of some of just a few of the most promising Asian actors:



Ken Watanabe

Claim to fame: The Last Samurai
Underrated performance(s): Batman Begins, Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha
Last seen: Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home (Japan, 2012)
Next up: ???




Michelle Yeoh

Claim to fame: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Underrated performance(s): The Lady, Memoirs of a Geisha
Last seen: The Lady (2012)
Next up: Cooktales (2012)




Ming-Na

Claim to fame: TV's ER
Underrated performance(s): The Joy Luck Club
Last seen: TV's Eureka
Next up: ???




Jet Li


Claim to fame: Hero
Underrated performance(s): Hero (bears repeating)
Last seen: The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011, China)
Next up: The Expendables 2 (2012)




Jackie Chan

Claim to fame: the Rush Hour movies
Underrated performance(s): Rumble in the Bronx
Last seen: 1911 (2011, China)
Next up: Chinese Zodiac (2012, China)




Lucy Liu

Claim to fame: Kill Bill, Charlie's Angels
Underrated performance(s): TV's Southland, Detachment, Lucky Number Slevin
Last seen: 1911 (2011, China)
Next up: TV's Elementary (2012)




Ziyi Zhang

Claim to fame: Memoirs of a Geisha
Underrated performance(s): Memoirs of a Geisha, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers
Last seen: Til Death Do Us Part (2011, China)
Next up: The Grandmasters (2012, China)




Sandra Oh

Claim to fame: TV's Grey's Anatomy
Underrated performance(s): Rabbit Hole
Last seen: TV's Grey's Anatomy
Next up: 33 Liberty Lane (2013)



Freida Pinto

Claim to fame: Slumdog Millionaire
Underrated performance(s): Trishna
Last seen: Trishna (2012)
Next up: ???




Parminda Nagra

Claim to fame: TV's ER
Underrated performance(s): Bend it Like Beckham
Last seen: TV's Alcatraz (2012)
Next up: Twenty8k (2012, UK)




Ben Kingsley

Claim to fame: Gandhi
Underrated performance(s): Sneakers
Last seen: Hugo (2011)
Next up: The Dictator (2012)




Irrfan

Claim to fame: Slumdog Millionaire
Underrated performance(s): The Namesake
Last seen: Thank You (2011)
Next up: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)




Kal Penn

Claim to fame: the Harold & Kumar movies
Underrated performance(s): The Namesake
Last seen: TV's House
Next up: TV's Prairie Dogs (2012)




Lou Diamond Phillips

Claim to fame: La Bamba
Underrated performance(s): Stand and Deliver
Last seen: TV's Southland (2012)
Next up: TV's Arachnaconda, A Place Where the Sea Remembers (2013)

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