As her family spoke Mandarin Chinese at home, she did not learn English until the age of 5.
Graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a degree in Asian languages and cultures.
Graduated from New York's prestigious Stuyvesant High School (1986).
Attended New York University for a year.
Her mother is a biochemist, her father works as a civil engineer.
Grew up in the Jackson Heights section of Queens County, New York.
Was the first Asian-American female to host "Saturday Night Live" (1975).
She once worked as an aerobics instructor.
Plays the accordion.
Practices rock climbing, skiing and horseback riding.
Auditioned for a role in Shanghai Knights (2003), but lost out to Fann Wong.
Is an initiated sister of Chi Omega Sorority.
Announced that she plans on marrying Zach Helm, her boyfriend of one year (April 2004).
Shares a birthday with Britney Spears
Mentioned in Outkast's hit "Hey Ya".
Good friends with Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore since Charlie's Angels (2000)
One of the guests at Ashton Kutcher's and Demi Moore's wedding in 2005.
Graduated Stuyvesant High School the same year as Yelba Osorio and Zorikh Lequidre.
Is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, Italian, Spanish and a little Japanese.
Is close friends with her "Pearl" (1996) co-star Rhea Perlman and her husband Danny DeVito
Ranked #56 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement (2005).
Auditioned for the role of Elektra in Daredevil (2003), but lost out to Jennifer Garner.
Ranked #79 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement (2006).
Lives in New York with her brother Alex Liu and his wife.
Has had gallery exhibitions, showing her collage, paintings and photography.
Was named a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Ambassador (2005).
Considers herself multitasking.
Chosen by Goldsea Asian American Daily as one of the "100 Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time" (ranked #51).
Speaks 6 languages.
I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, with no money. I was taught not to take anything for granted. If you are too busy being a diva or a freak, then you are not enjoying it.
Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend.
[about "Ally McBeal" (1997)] It's so much fun playing her [Ling], but I have this fear that people are going to run away from me in terror on the streets. They think I'm going to bite their heads off or something.
I'm so proud of my heritage, but yes, I think there's always a danger when people put you on a pedestal. Especially when you're just trying to live your life and pursue your dreams. The intention is not to represent Asian Americans, but to be an Asian American who is working as an actress. People often confuse the two. When you are "representing," you have the burden of some people projecting their hopes onto you. This can eventually lead to a certain amount of disappointment. I strive to not deny myself experiences that open up to me. I hope to live without looking back in regret. If people want to join me on the ride, then I'm happy to have them along.
Martial arts are art forms and require a great deal of discipline and dedication. I so admire people who focus their lives on it, because it's not an easy thing to do.
Producing is like pushing jello up a hill on a hot day.
It's really taking a while but I do think it's becoming more acceptable to cast Asians in roles that weren't originally slated for someone who is Asian, which is so great.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
Charlie's Angels (2000)
Shanghai Noon (2000)
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