Lucy Liu: ‘Marriage is not on my bucket list. I don’t have a bucket list’

Lucy Liu has always been cool as hell, but I will always have residual warmth for her because of her work in Elementary, which (for my money) was a better update on Sherlock Holmes than the Benedict Cumberbatch series. Lucy still lives in New York and she’s a single mom (by choice) to son Rockwell or, as she calls him, Rocky. He’s 5 years old and he sounds like a pistol. Lucy covers the latest issue of Women’s Health, and she talks a lot about the Chinese-American experience, raising a child on her own and how getting married isn’t on her radar. Some highlights:

Being Chinese-American: “There’s a shield that, culturally, I was raised in. It’s not just a veil. It’s a shield….I don’t think I ever even looked at myself. I didn’t know about the human body.”

No “silly names” for anatomy with her son: “There should be a sense of openness with your body, to run around naked and to feel the freedom of that until you don’t feel comfortable doing it anymore. When he decides he doesn’t want to run around naked, then that’s fine.”

She wanted to pose in swimwear for a reason: To show that “you don’t have to be 20 to wear a bathing suit. With all the flaws and all the life that a body experiences, it’s still something that you should carry with confidence.”

How she dealt with being objectified or exoticized as an Asian-American woman. “When people started to label it as ‘dragon lady’ or ‘geisha’ or whatever—I had to look up ‘dragon lady.’ I literally was like, ‘What is this? I don’t even know what that means!’” I suggest that’s because she grew up in one of the most multicultural places on Earth: Queens, New York. By way of agreeing, she says, “Who’s going to call me dragon lady on the street? I had to learn this.”

Stop Asian Hate: The hate crimes are “terrifying” and “outrageous”…“This proves, without a doubt, that words matter. It clarifies that when violence happens, [it’s because] the seed has been planted through thoughts and words that give people permission to act out their frustrations and anger. People who use [racist] words, or who don’t use their words to protect other people, are complicit—regardless of what side or color you represent in the political atmosphere.”

Feeling unsafe in New York: “I don’t feel relaxed enough to take my son out without having a plan. I don’t improvise and explore the city, which is the whole point of being in New York City. I was born and raised here. I chose to live in a cosmopolitan place because I feel safer in it. These attacks have really created a vulnerable feeling, not just for me but for so many other people.”

She hopes to influence Asian-Americans to become more political: “If I have a voice and I can use it for the better, and if it can help influence people to go out and vote…” She adds that Asian Americans historically haven’t voted at the same rate as white Americans. “We don’t think our voices matter, and they do.”

She DGAF about marriage: “I do what I want according to how I feel. I don’t have to fall into a social norm of ‘now you’re going to get married.’ No! Not because I’m rebelling against it. When it’s right, it’s going to be right. But I’m not going to do it for the sake of doing it. Marriage is not on my bucket list. I don’t have a bucket list.”

[From Women’s Health]

I know very little about Lucy’s personal life beyond the fact that she has a kid and she lives in New York. I remember some rumors about her dating a billionaire at some point, but she keeps that information on lockdown. Good for her, honestly. I admire the way she lives her life, the work she does, she chances she takes. She wanted a kid and she figured out a way to become a mom. She DGAF about marriage so she’s not married. She wanted to do more behind the scenes, so she challenged herself to direct episodic television. And she’s dead-on about the way she was exoticized, especially early in her career. Everyone had a racist stereotype about her and they even worked those racist tropes into several of her films. Ugh.

Cover courtesy of Women’s Health, additional photo courtesy of Avalon Red.

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