Maggie Q nourishes itself with local products and ‘Dateline’
on screen, Maggie Q Hard-core power women are adept at banging necks, spraying bullets, and showing no fear in thrillers like “Nikita” and “Designed Survivor.”
But offscreen, even Q, whose real name is Margaret Quigley, sometimes gets nervous. And for “The Protégé,” in which she plays a contract killer seeking revenge, the source of her concern was not taking on a physically demanding role two months after her spine surgery. Or running to finish filming in Romania and London with the pandemic on his heels. Or even jumping repeatedly from a four-story balcony one night because the cameraman kept missing the shot.
Rather, his co-star in this game of fatal attraction was Michael Keaton.
“It was my inner challenge to go into this with someone I had great respect for,” Q said in a call from Los Angeles. “I just thought, ‘Well, whatever I know about this movie, I can pull that off.'”
Q’s next venture will depend on her wit, a weapon she rarely pulls from her arsenal in the take-no-prisoners roles that have made her famous: she signed “Pivoting”, alongside Ginnifer Goodwin and Eliza Coupe. Made, a new Fox comedy, this winter, nearly three best friends in their 40s are getting some serious navel-gazing following the loss of their fourth.
“It’s exciting because you can do a variety of things in your career, but the reality is that the kind of films I do are action-oriented, they’re bigger and so they have more reach – that’s what There are always going to be people to remember,” Q said, as she discussed the cultural influences that shaped her life and kept her body and mind resilient. “It’s a good year to mix it up and end it in a different way.”
These are edited excerpts of the conversation.
1. “American Gigolo”
Everyone needs to experience Richard Gere at this time. Prestigious. And who doesn’t want to see Lauren Hutton? She hits me with that face – it will destroy you. I watched the movie in my teens, and I remember fashion. Movie costume designers were making major statements at the time, and they were influencing fashion designers. Nowadays it’s like this: “Don’t make Scarlett Johansson look pretty and just one of the guys. Put her in a T-shirt and jeans.”
2. Farm Box Delivery
Farm box delivery became mandatory during the pandemic as they closed all farmers’ markets. We went from 150 farmers’ markets in LA to five, and they were very regulated until all these people were losing their income, and their families were suffering. Then some cool people decided to contact those farmers directly and let them drop all the things at their house, and then they would arrange the boxes. So I do the farm box or I go to the farmers market. It doesn’t get any more sustainable than that unless you grow it yourself in your backyard.
3. Asian Soup
Drinking soup is in my blood as the daughter of a Vietnamese woman. I think it’s one of the more healing things in life, and great for relaxation and stress, which is better for overall mental health. There is the famous pho, but there are different types of crazy soups. My mom, if she ever comes to visit, will make big pots of soup and she will put them in separate bags, like a serving, and put them in the freezer. She’s an Asian mom, right there.
It doesn’t have to be yoga. You don’t need to label it. Just stretch please. It will change your life and your body. You’re activating your muscles, and you’re freeing up your lower back and your hamstrings. That is all very important. And I’m not kidding you, it will make you an overall better person because you will reduce the pain.
I wasn’t interested in it at all, but recently a business advisor of mine was like, “I want to get you in the game.” It’s really about strategy. Learning is not difficult. It’s very difficult to win. You have to have big picture thinking. And it’s about knowing when to take a risk and when not, and seeing where you’ve made mistakes and improving your risk assessment. I have three companies. And I find that playing backgammon really helps me build better strategies as a business person.
6. Rescue Dogs
It is important to remember that the animal world has a lot to offer to humans who are suffering or struggling. As evidenced by watching dogs and disaster-relief animals, the daily offering of an animal companion is a gift that cannot be overvalued. And if you choose to adopt, you will be giving them the gift of life. This is called win-win.
7. Asian Stand-Up
I love that there are more Asian stand-up comedians these days. There’s this kid who was on “The Daily Show,” this guy Ronnie Cheung. You have Ali Wong, who has had great success. When I was growing up, she was Margaret Chow. She was alone. That’s why it’s really nice to see such a diverse group of comedians coming out of the woodwork. I think part of it is that streaming has allowed for a lot more content, and that makes me really happy. I know that being a minority in a business – no matter whether you are male or female – is really hard to get over.
8. Plays on Record
When I was a kid, I used to listen to “A Pink Panther Christmas” in December because it was that time of year. The plays that the records had were incredible because you had to use your imagination. I used to sit and picture the scenes being played out in my head as I listened. It was simple. I can’t imagine the excitability I have in children now. For me, I would put on a record and let it all be revealed, and I would have to be an active listener to participate.
I don’t think I need to go through Blondie’s hits, because there are so many. Debbie Harry was the coolest. She was so rock and free and sexy – no one like her. His style and his confidence never leaves me. I saw him perform at the Met Ball a few years back. And guess what? Even then Understood.
I love the “dateline” the air I breathe. It’s so easy to turn it off and it all gets sucked into the why and whodunit. You sit down and Keith Morrison is talking to you. I know what I’m going to get. I’m going to guess, and I’m going to be wrong. Then you go down the rabbit hole. I love getting caught by bad guys. I like a little justice with my early dinners in front of the TV.
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