Asian women on the verge of a nervy breakthrough

Although AfterEllen.com was
the first to notice that network TV has more Asian-American
actors in recurring roles than ever before, the rest of the blogosphere
may be catching up. Last week, cinematical posted a list of seven Asian-American actors who
made an impression this year, on film as well as on television.

Those who made the list are
not necessarily new to the business, but had standout performances and,
in cinematical’s opinion, are on the verge of stardom. In the spirit
of gender equality (cough), let’s look at the men first: Roger Fan, Sung Kang, Ken Leung and Daniel Wu. Any questions? Good. I suppose we
should just be glad that three of the seven are women.

Of course, three women are
always more interesting than four men. And equally interesting, though
unsurprising, is that none of these three women are new to those of
us who naturally notice talented, beautiful women.

Yunjin Kim, who plays
Sun on Lost, was a star in South Korea well before her current
role, after a powerful performance in the action film Shiri.
Kim’s talent was obvious from the beginning of Lost — we could
see every nuance of emotion in her face even when we thought she couldn’t
speak English. That was in 2004. Where have you been, cinematical?

The name Maggie Q might
not ring a bell, but the, um, face is familiar to those who’ve seen
Naked Weapon
. OK, Oscar fodder it wasn’t, but sometimes acting is
just not the most important thing in a movie. She also kicked some butt
in Live Free and Die Hard and Mission Impossible III,
which I mention primarily so I can post this adorable photo with

Keri Russell.

A curious selection for this
particular list is Grace Park. Not that Boomer/Sharon/Athena isn’t awesome, but please: Park has
been on BSG since 2003. And in Number Eight’s every incarnation, Park
has been up to the challenge of being a different character in the same
body. Again, where have you been, cinematical? By the way, here’s a
little Grace Park trivia: Park was one of the last two finalists for
the role of Starbuck. She’s also September on Siege’s 2008 calendar.

I’m a little surprised that
Michaela Conlin
from Bones didn’t make this list. In my opinion,
Conlin’s performance is an important part of the entire team’s chemistry.
Of course, I may be biased because of hints that Angela’s orientation falls somewhere near the middle of
the Kinsey Scale. Come on, Angela. You can tell us.

Who else is missing? Have any
Asian stars caught your attention for the first time this year? Any
predictions on who will be on next year’s list?

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