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

lucy liu womens health

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.

CBS All Access Premiere 'Why Women Kill'

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

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29 Responses to “Lucy Liu: ‘Marriage is not on my bucket list. I don’t have a bucket list’”

  1. Chartreuse says:

    I’ve always liked LL. she seems like a good, solid actress and keeps herself to herself. And she looks amazing.

  2. Merricat says:

    She’s great in Elementary.

    • Sally says:

      Elementary is one of my fave comfort series. Yes, it’s a procedural with sometimes ridiculous cases, but they put a lot of thought and work into the characters’ relationships and they’re what’s at the heart of the show. It helps that Lucy and Jonny have a great and easy,friendly chemistry and that they’re both so good at the heartfelt moments. I’m a big fan of her in general, she has a beautiful, distinctive face and clearly brains too.

    • LightPurple says:

      I miss that great show but it went out before it got stale and I can’t argue against that.

    • Eleonor says:

      I love Elementary too! I love J.L.Miller , I love LL as Watson, it’s a really good take on Sherlock Holmes, and I swear this woman is my spirit animal.
      She exists for herself and that’s it.
      It’s a lot of personal inner work to get there, and I admire her.

      • Noo says:

        Hi Eleonor, I wanted to share something I have been learning is to not use “spirit animal” in a casual way as it has sacred meaning for many Indigenous peoples. Sharing here in case that makes sense for you too. Cheers!

  3. Tanguerita says:

    I have loved her ever since Ally McBeal – she has always had a knack for choosing the coolest characters to play, and she seems to be just as cool in real life.

  4. Darla says:

    I’m so disgusted with these attacks on Asians in our streets.

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      Same, I’m glad she’s talking about it and raising awareness, but so sad that she has to.

  5. Laalaa says:

    Loved her, and I especially love the marriage thing she said. It is exactly how I feel about it, it’s plain and simple like that, and I don’t know why it becomes so complicated when I say it to people. Oh, well

  6. Cantaloupe says:

    She’s beautiful and I have always been envious of her dancer’s body! Fit and toned!

  7. Lauren says:

    I’ve always found her so stunningly beautiful! I loved Elementary, she was excellent in it! She makes a great point about marriage, if it happens great if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Too many people pressured into marrying or having kids because it’s what’s expected of you.

  8. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    I always wondered why Bill Murray hates her so much, but even in the early sights I assumed it was more him being unable to deal with a strong woman Asian woman than anything that she did.

    • bubbled says:

      Is this true that Bill Murray hates her? I have never heard that. If true, I side with LL based on nothing but my LL admiration and because he seems like a misanthropist. After watching St Vincent, I’m so tired of the canonization of old white male misanthropists.

    • Amando says:

      Wasn’t it because she wasn’t talented enough in his eyes? He seems like he’d be the snobbish type.

  9. Runaway says:

    I’m just here for the SMC love (single mom by choice). As an SMC myself of 2 wonderful girls, I love any attention given to non traditional families. There’s more than one way to become a family, to make your patenting dreams come true, and with people like January Jones, Mindy Kaling and LL bringing it to the forefront it helps others know that you don’t have to settle in order to be happy

  10. cassandra says:

    I really like the idea of not having a bucket list. It seems like it relieves a lot of pressure

  11. Watson says:

    This woman never ages. Smart, articulate and so unbelievably beautiful. Love her!!!

  12. Lucy2 says:

    She looks great! I’ve always enjoyed her work but have never seen Elementary.
    I like that she’s just doing her own thing and doesn’t make a fuss about it.

  13. ellie says:

    Is she giving interviews because she’s promoting a new project? Would love to see more of her!!

  14. Anna says:

    Absolutely love Lucy Liu! She is beyond gorgeous and so smart, so on-point in everything she does and says. And I love that she’s a painter as well, the commitment to exploring all sides of her creative self and living life on her own terms. Definitely one of the people I look up to and strive to emulate.

  15. Ann says:

    She seems terrific. I wouldn’t want to be a single parent but she did and does, so I’m glad she is doing it on her terms. Elementary filmed an episode in my parents’ building in NYC. They used the neighbor’s apartment to film the scenes and used my parents’ place as a hang-out space for eating lunch, meetings, etc. The got paid $1000 to just beat it for the day!

    • LeenaK says:

      That’s so cool! Do you know which episode?? I love the show and it would be fun to watch that episode again knowing this… I don’t know why! :)

  16. Blairski says:

    My husband worked with Lucy Liu on Why Women Kill. He’s jaded about actors but he’s a BIG fan of hers, which tells me she must be something really special. He is not easily impressed.

  17. Lucy says:

    I realized I don’t know a lot about Lucy other than her work and the things she chooses to talk about, and I kind of love it that way? She’s not even going on and on about how private she is, she just…is.

  18. Katiekate says:

    I’ve loved her since Ally McBeal, so I’m glad she’s still cool. She’s also a great artist.

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