Lucy Liu is a rightfully beloved celebrity by fans world wide. And this writer learned that the gilt doesn’t rub off when you get closer to her.
For a recent Lucy Liu conference call I had my trusty Olympus digital recorder, but my phone attachment was plugged into the wrong input (there’s only two, I had a 50/50 chance!) so the audio on Lucy’s side is not audible at all. Listening to the recording is like putting a seashell up to my ear. Major.Bummer.Guys. Especially since I’m such a Liu fan! What I realized that I CAN do, is paraphrase what I heard, as well as talk to you about my general impressions of Lucy on the call (something I wouldn’t otherwise do – so this could be fun.) So, here we go…
Lucy Liu is undeniably upbeat and right away she wanted to account for the reason she was late to the call – the line wasn’t letting her through. She isn’t the sort to make people wait on her, no matter who they are. Of course, I gladly would have waited even longer to talk to this acting icon from TV shows like Ally McBeal (all seasons available on DVD now!) and Cashmere Mafia (now on Netflix Watch Instantly!), and movies like Charlie’s Angels and Lucky Number Slevin (a movie she’s still so fond of that she even referenced in the call.)
Having participated in enough celebrity interviews to gauge even the most subtle mood of a call and interviewee, I am confident in saying Lucy was distinguishably sincere and open to answering questions. None of her answers seemed affected, or motivated by any need to do anything but give a gracious and thoughtful answer to every question asked. She was actually light-hearted and willing to laugh at herself.
When did she laugh at herself? Well, for instance, in explaining that she really hasn’t thought about what she’d want as a dress or hair for a real wedding. Even the crew of Marry Me didn’t believe her at first. But although she’s admittedly a die hard romantic, she hasn’t planned out any perfect wedding ideas for what she’d want. For now she’s just living life. If she said point blank that she really cares only about who she marries and not at all about the actual ceremony, she’s one of the few people I’d actually believe was being truthful. (I can’t lie, I’d care about my wedding dress!)
When she mentioned how she’s a true romantic, it’s easy to see this is true. And not just in a sense where she must love being with someone, but in the sense that she’s a dreamer with an open heart. She’s open to the romance of life.
Talking to Lucy Liu makes you want to be in a room with her, and hope to someday work with her (or become her best friend.) She presents herself as balancing on that thin line of having an incredibly responsible work ethic (she mentioned that there’s no such thing as over-rehearsing, and that she loves to rehearse and work on the craft of acting) and easy-going casualness where you can actually joke around with her and not feel on edge she might hold a diva moment. She’s simply Lucy. More than anything, her warm tone of voice and her words made me feel considerably more comfortable to talk to her than I’d thought I’d be. She’s a reassuring presence whose head isn’t big.
Now, although she’s talented with acting, her interests are varied. She’s interested in new acting projects, fashion, traveling, her work with UNICEF, TV when she has time, musicals, and art. She mentioned she has an art book coming out that she’s been working on for two years and that’s something I’m very interested in seeing. (I’m much more interested in this sort of thing, than in a celebrity who “creates” a perfume.) I love that she has an artistic side. She’s even created some paintings with an alias, simply because she wants to be judged on the merits of her art. If you haven’t seen her paintings and sculptures, you should. Even though I’m not much for modern sculptures, to hear her explain one really makes you understand the symbolism inherent in her pieces. She’s a smart cookie, you know?
As for goals, she’s very interested in going back to Broadway and doing theater, but if she were to go back to TV she’d most likely jump at a chance to do a sitcom over a drama (you listening, execs?) That’s not what I thought she’d say, although I do remember her being on Joey! The reason for this boils down to the fact that she really wants to do more comedy.
In fact, the reason she liked this mini series for Lifetime is that it was a romantic comedy, and she has never gotten to do that kind of a role. Plus, comedy is just plain fun! Something else that’s fun? Musicals.
If she can “learn to sing” (I suspect she can already sing decently, but she would only commit to a part if she could train her voice to be polished and worthy of her part) she’d love to be part of a musical. She mentioned recently going to see Mary Poppins and West Side Story, and I’m sure there’s a longer list of musicals she’s seen and loved.
But what about TV shows she’s not on? She’s not someone who dismisses TV with a shrug like some actresses do. She loves TV, but doesn’t have tons of time to watch it. She was quick to mention that she’s been so busy that she’s embarrassingly behind in her TV watching, and tends to just buy a DVD season of a show and watch it all at once. TV shows she’s a fan of include: 30 Rock, Modern Family, Dexter, and Boardwalk Empire.
I asked her about fairytales, since Marry Me is being described as a modern fairytale. She emphasized that fairytales are all about any good story, not just a story with a princess and romance. She loves Disney movies, citing Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, and Bambi as three she adores. To her, fairytales all have an encouraging feeling of triumph – she referenced Dumbo not needing his feather to fly.
The part of Rae Ann Carter had been written for a Southern Blonde, and Liu was so glad to have gotten the role – but insisted they not change the name. She loves when a part can be about more than “this is for an Asian.” I told her I loved the name, especially since I’m Jessica Rae, spelled the same way. I used to be so embarrassed of my name, thinking people thought it was “Ray” like a guy’s name (I was in middle school, everything embarrassed me.)
They filmed this Lifetime mini series in Atlanta, so I asked her if she was giving a tour, where would she take us. Well, first she wanted to mention the Southern Hospitality. Even on the plane going down to Georgia she met a man who offered to let her come to his house for a home cooked dinner. And that wasn’t the only invite she got. While you might shrug and say that of course people would like to invite a celebrity into their homes, I think that people who live other places might not even have it occur to them to bother asking. In Georgia, the friendly vibe seems to be as natural as breathing – without ulterior motives even considered. If you’re away from home and down in Atlanta, someone’s going to scoop you up and give you a home cooked meal! (And it would probably be delicious.)
Taking a pause and with a heightened inflection of “omg I must tell you this!” Lucy revealed that there was a museum in Atlanta with a Dali exhibit she loved (High Museum of Art), and then she mentioned a special hamburger place she heard about but didn’t make it to. Apparently they only make X amount of hamburgers a night, and then they’re out. The novelty seems fun, and she explained how people will line up hoping to get a burger.
We’ll have to schedule a trip to Atlanta in the future, but make sure to tune into Marry Me on Sunday, December 12th & 13th to see Lucy Liu in her first real romantic comedy role. If you need one more additional reason to watch, the writer is Barbara Hall of Joan of Arcadia and Judging Amy!
Marry Me Synopsis: This modern fairy tale Christmas story starts off with a love triangle where two male best friends fall in love with the same girl. Her ex-boyfriend also returns and complicates things even more, and the twists and turns that ensue will surprise and delight, culminating in a romantic wedding. But who will the groom be?
The Official Marry Me Website has tons of goodies.
Marry Me Preview:
Marry Me airs on Lifetime on Sunday December 12th and concludes on December 13th.