27 Asian Leading Ladies Who Kick Ass

Defying the stereotypes imposed on Asian women, these actresses prove they’re more than just their skin color and a pretty face. posted on

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1. Mindy Kaling

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Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts
You know her from: The Office, her hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Current project: Her self-produced star vehicle The Mindy Project is going into its second season.

2. Sandra Oh

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Hometown: Ottawa, Canada
You know her from: Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways, Under the Tuscan Sun
Current project: Along with Jennifer Aniston and Kelly Rowland, Sandra is working on The Goree Girls, a musical film set in the 1940s about prison inmates who form a country-western band.

3. Ziyi Zhang

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Hometown: Beijing, China
You know her from: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2, House of Flying Daggers, Memoirs of a Geisha
Current project: Ziyi leads the cast of the Chinese romantic comedy My Lucky Star.

4. Grace Park

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Hometown: Los Angeles, California
You know her from: Battlestar Galactica, Edgemont
Current project: She stars in the reboot of Hawaii Five-0, now going into its fourth season.

5. Freida Pinto

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Hometown: Mumbai, India
You know her from: Slumdog Millionaire, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Current project: Knight of Cups comes out this year, which has Freida in an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman.

6. Lucy Liu

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Hometown: Queens, New York
You know her from: Ally McBeal, Kill Bill, Charlie’s Angels
Current project: Lucy currently stars as Joan Watson in Elementary, which is entering its second season. She’s also directing the film Meena and continues to paint and sell her works, with most of the profit going to charity.

7. Ming-Na Wen

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Hometown: Coloane, Macao
You know her from: The Joy Luck Club, ER, Mulan (she voiced the titular character)
Current project: Ming-Na has been cast as Agent Melinda May in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

8. Gong Li

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Hometown: Shenyang, China
You know her from: Farewell My Concubine, Memoirs of a Geisha, Hannibal Rising
Current project: She’s working on a Chinese film called Gone with the Bullets, slated for a 2014 release.

9. Parminder Nagra

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Hometown: Leicester, England
You know her from: Bend It Like Beckham, ER, Alcatraz
Current project: Parminder is on Psych as Rachael, the girlfriend of Gus, one of the show’s leads.

10. Yunjin Kim

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Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
You know her from: Shiri, Lost
Current project: After Lost, Yunjin returned to Korea briefly to star in Korea’s The Neighbor, and now she’s on ABC’s Mistresses.

11. Michelle Yeoh

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Hometown: Ipoh, Malaysia
You know her from: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Tomorrow Never Dies; Memoirs of a Geisha; The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Current project: Michelle is reprising her role as Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - The Green Destiny, which is slated for a 2014 release.

12. Lea Salonga

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Hometown: Angeles, Philippines
You know her from: Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Mulan (she was the singing voice of the titular character)
Current project: She’s currently one of four coaches on The Voice of the Philippines.

13. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

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Hometown: Mangalore, India
You know her from: Bride & Prejudice, Devdas
Current project: Her last project was Guzaarish in 2010 (probably to spend more time with husband Abhishek Bachchan and their daughter Aaradhya).

14. Maggie Cheung

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Hometown: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
You know her from: Comrades: Almost a Love Story, In the Mood for Love, Clean (for which she won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival)
Current project: According to U.K.’s The Independent, Maggie “turned her back on film” since her Cannes moment in 2004 and has shifted her focus to philanthropy, making music, and editing.

15. Brenda Song

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Hometown: Carmichael, California
You know her from: The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, The Social Network, Scandal
Current project: Brenda will be a supporting character in Dads, a new series coming up on Fox.

16. Maggie Q

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Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
You know her from: Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard, Balls of Fury
Current project: Since 2010, Maggie has starred in The CW’s Nikita, which is now going into its fourth season.

17. Priyanka Chopra

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Hometown: Jamshedpur, India
You know her from: Andaaz, 7 Khoon Maaf
Current project: She most recently released her second pop single, “Exotic.”

18. Isabella Leong

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Hometown: Macao
You know her from: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Current project: Isabella is a Cantopop singer, but she hasn’t released anything new since 2006’s Say Goodbye… Luisa. Still fierce, though.

19. Jamie Chung

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Hometown: San Francisco, California
You know her from: The Real World: San Diego, Sucker Punch
Current project: Jamie plays the recurring role of Mulan on ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

20. Rinko Kikuchi

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Hometown: Hadano, Japan
You know her from: Babel, Pacific Rim
Current project: Rinko is in the upcoming movie 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.

21. Tamlyn Tomita

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Hometown: Okinawa, Japan
You know her from: The Karate Kid, Part II; The Joy Luck Club; The Day After Tomorrow; Glee
Current project: Most recently, Tamlyn was on True Blood and Bones.

22. Hana Mae Lee

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Hometown: Santa Monica, California
You know her from: Workaholics, Pitch Perfect
Current project: Hana Mae is slated to appear on Californication in 2014, according to IMDb.

23. Katie Chang

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Hometown: Winnetka, Illinois
You know her from: The Bling Ring
Current project: Katie was most recently in Birder’s Guide to Everything opposite Ben Kingsley, and she started attending Columbia University this fall.

24. Qing Xu

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Hometown: Beijing, China
You know her from: Farewell My Concubine
Current project: She was most recently in Looper and played Bruce Willis’ wife.

25. Élodie Yung

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Hometown: Paris, France
You know her from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Current project: Élodie’s latest project, 10 Things I Hate About My Life, is slated for release in late 2013 and stars Evan Rachel Wood.

26. Shay Mitchell

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Hometown: Mississauga, Canada
You know her from: Degrassi: The Next Generation, Pretty Little Liars
Current project: Shay stills stars as Emily Fields on PLL, which is entering its fifth season.

27. Ellen Wong

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Hometown: Toronto, Canada
You know her from: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Current project: Ellen stars in The CW’s adaptation of the Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries.

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