By Ethel Navales
Recently, Off Beat released a list titled “20 of Hollywood’s Hottest Asian Actresses.” They weren’t wrong– these ladies really are drop dead gorgeous, but there’s so much more to these talented women as well. How do we know this? Well, we’ve featured nearly every single one of the actresses in our print and online magazine. Check out why these girls are not only hot, but also talented and deeply inspiring.
1) Rila Fukushima
The model-turned-actress, Rila Fukushima, was featured in the Summer 2013 issue of Audrey Magazine after filming Marvel’s The Wolverine. “I love a good challenge,” Fukushima admitted. “And I look for roles that speak to me somehow.”
That challenge certainly came when she took on the role as Yukio, the ninja character in The Wolverine. “The role required intense training in a variety of martial arts styles and techniques, from sword fighting to bo staff,” said Fukushima. “I think the biggest challenge was the physicality of the role. Long days of martial arts and stunts were really hard. It was both incredibly rewarding and humbling to go through it. I definitely learned a lot of things about myself.” Beautiful and kickass? No wonder she made it onto the list.
2) Jamie Chung
Jamie Chung was none other than Audrey Magazine‘s Fall 2012 cover girl. During her interview, Chung admitted that the decision to go into acting was a scary one. “[Acting] has always been a secret desire of mine. When I first started, I was so afraid of failure that I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing,” Chung revealed. “But, once I decided, I dove right in.”
Now, the actress has no problem doing what she loves most. “I just wanna do the things I love and spend time with the people I care about and cut out the bullsh-t. Life is too short,” she said. A half-second later, she added, “And that goes for food, too. If I want a burger, I’m going to eat a burger.”
3) Claudia Kim
Claudia Kim, who plays Dr. Cho in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, was just featured in our recent Summer 2015 issue. Kim also plays the fan-favorite warrior Khutulun in Netflix’s expensive epic series, Marco Polo. After all, who says only men can be warriors?
“To play the role of a female warrior was physically laboring and required a lot of research and training,” she said. “It’s different from playing an average male role that’s mainly based on fighting with brute strength. I needed to take good care of my body despite traveling so much and also make sure that I was focused throughout.”
4) Kimiko Glenn
Kimiko Glenn, who is most known for her role as Brook Soso on the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, was featured in Audrey Magazine‘s Fall 2014 issue.
Glenn has openly spoken about her multi-ethnic background and how shows like OITNB aim to change mainstream television. “It was disheartening as a kid to grow up knowing that. In the real world, there is room to cast more openly, but it’s still a big issue and something that I deal with on a daily basis. This show is a great example of colorblind casting. They cast who’s best for the part. The women on the show are not the kind of people you normally see in Hollywood. I think OITNB is opening people’s minds about what they want to see.”
5) Rinko Kikuchi
Summer 2013 not only marked the release of sci-fi action film Pacific Rim, it was also when Rinko Kikuchi was Audrey Magazine’s cover girl. In the film, Kikuchi plays Mako Mori, Raleigh Becket’s badass co-pilot. Despite Kikuchi’s fear of some of the more dangerous stunts, she handled the scene like a champ.
“I wore an armor suit where I was in a cockpit while driving the robot. It was similar to [riding] a rollercoaster; I was so scared,” she admitted. “It was the most physically demanding shoot, but we [along with co-star Charlie Hunnam, who plays former pilot Raleigh Becket] really felt like pilots during that particular scene.”
6) Fan BingBing
You may recognize Chinese actress Fan BingBing from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Her character, Blink, is not only a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, but can not only teleport herself as well as large masses of people. You probably also recognize Bingbing from the Cannes Red Carpet where she has been the talk of the red carpet fashion world time and time again.
7) Maggie Q
The talented Maggie Q was Audrey‘s cover girl in Winter 2012-2013. Most impressive of all, Maggie Q is able to understand that success is a journey. “When I first started acting, there were times where I absolutely didn’t know who I was, and because of that, the confidence didn’t follow,” she remembered. “You feel lost, and you’re always trying to find something that matters to you. But the older I get, the more I understand what my values are, who I am, what I believe in. And because of that, I’m able to have confidence.”
Now, it is this confidence that has led Maggie Q to a successful career. “My standards are very high,” says Maggie. “They’re high on set, they’re high for the writers, they’re high for myself. I told them from my first meeting that if I can’t do movie-quality action, then I’m not interested. I want to do something on TV that we haven’t seen before.”
8) Zhang Ziyi
It goes without saying that Zhang Ziyi has become iconic. Just take a look at her most memorable movie moments.
9) Priyanka Chopra
Despite how talented, beautiful, and intelligent our Winter 2013-2014 cover girl is, Priyanka Chopra admits to being a victim of bullying in high school. But rather than allowing these incidents to define her, she used them to grow. “I think it gave me the strength to take adversity head on,” said Chopra. “I also learned that your life and destiny is in your own hands. Take chances, push boundaries, jump, fall, fail, cry, and then brush it all off and start all over. You will face adversity at many points in your life, but you can’t let it become a roadblock.
“The incident [in high school] upset and hurt me tremendously,” she continued, “but ultimately made me stronger. Then being back home in India led me to participate and win the Miss India and Miss World crowns. I found what I loved to do, gave it everything I had and left the rest up to destiny. Nothing anyone says or does will ever change that.”
10) Kristin Kreuk
Kristin Kreuk graced the cover of our Fall 2013 issue and won our hearts with her humble attitude and views of how looks do not define women. “She comes from a family that didn’t feed into how beautiful she is, and she was taught that your currency isn’t in your looks,” explained Sima Kumar, Kreuk’s long-time friend and stylist. “So when Kristin first started acting, and there was a need for her to look a certain way, I don’t think she even understood it. It seemed silly and stupid to her.”
Though Kreuk continues to stray away from being an “object of desire,” she has discovered the empowerment that comes with dressing in whatever makes her happy. “What am I so afraid of? I love beautiful things, gorgeous textiles, colors and craftsmanship. I want to look good and feel good.”
11) Celina Jade
Celina Jade, who can act, sing and fight, was featured in our Summer 2013 issue. During her interview, she revealed a crossroads in life where she had to choose between her education and her career in entertainment.
“I decided to terminate my contract to continue my education because I realized I was not really becoming somebody I admired,” she said. Staying true to her words, Jade got a degree in management at the London School of Economics before pursuing her dreams of performing. “It’s really nice for me, in my opinion, to have an education because by having an education, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.”
12) Grace Huang
In our Summer 2015 Issue. Grace Huang tells us all about her role in Lost for Words. According to Huang, the film can teach us all “to be brave and make a choice. In this day and age, there are so many choices we can make. You don’t have to go and study and then find someone and get married. I have friends who are single, and I’m single myself right now. Before, there were social norms where you felt you that you have to go with the flow. Now, there’s no flow to follow. This movie lets you know that it’s OK to be brave; make a choice and stick with it. Once you commit, that’s when your journey starts.”
13) Jessika Van
Taiwanese American actress Jessika Van was featured in Audrey’s Spring 2015 issue. In addition to speaking about her role in the romantic comedy Seoul Searching, Van also spoke about important life lessons she has picked up over the years.
“As a woman — or even as an Asian woman — I’m always asking for people’s opinions or guidance,” Van admitted. “That’s just how I grew up. But because of my upbringing, I didn’t have as much faith in my own voice or my own opinion. But going through that summer of filming, with everything I did on my own in Korea and everything I accomplished on my own, I’m starting to have a little more faith in myself. Finally, I am finding that I am enough. I know what’s right, and I should listen to myself.”
14) Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling was our Winter 2011-2012 cover girl where she explained where she got her confidence from: “As confident as I feel, it takes an almost comically confident person to be able to say that they were destined to be in movies and television. I don’t think I was destined, but I think I am of the personality type where the rejection or odds of something doesn’t scare me. Maybe it was because my mom moved to Africa at 20 by herself, but there’s a certain fearlessness that runs in my family for things where there’s absolutely no reason to believe that it should work out. I get that from my parents.”
15) Karen David
You would never have guessed it by just looking at her, but Karen David– who was featured in our Winter 2014-2015 issue– was bullied as a child. How did she overcome this and build up her confidence? Well that may have a thing or two to do with her inspiring parents.
“My parents have always been a huge source of inspiration — guiding me with wisdom and humility,” David revealed. “They immigrated [to Canada] with two daughters and $20. They took the leap of faith, and that has been a source of inspiration for me. They taught me to be quietly ambitious — meaning, don’t talk about it. Just let the actions speak.”
16) Arden Cho
Arden Cho, who was featured in Audrey‘s Spring 2014 issue, was able to relate to just about every girl when she spoke out about imperfections.
“It took 20 years for me to feel good about myself,” Cho admitted. “I didn’t wear shorts until a year and a half ago, and now I’m wearing miniskirts on Teen Wolf. Every girl looks in the mirror and wants to change things — I still do — but imperfection is what makes people beautiful.”
Who are the other girls who made it onto Off Beat‘s list? There’s Nepalese actress Amrita Acharia who is most known for her appearance on Game of Thrones, American actress and producer Mara Lane, and Doona Bae who stars in the new Netflix sci-fi drama, Sense8.
As for the final woman on this list, Constance Wu (most known for her popular role as Jessica Huang in the ABC comedy series Fresh Off the Boat). Check out our Latest issue to find out more about her. But trust us, she is just as inspiring and talented as every other woman on this list.