May 22 is the birthday of Nikita… or should I say, the star of the CW show of the same name: Maggie Q.
In my opinion, Nikita was highly instrumental in the CW being less known as a channel that aired weepy teen soap operas like Dawson’s Creek aired shows that had some legit impressive stuntwork. Of course, Maggie Q was a big part of that.
Born Maggie Quigley, the Hawaiian-born actor of Irish, Polish, and Vietnamese descent took on her stage name because her associates in Hong Kong had a hard time pronouncing her last name. She started her career as a model in Tokyo. After an unsuccessful stint in Taiwan, she eventually trained under Jackie Chan and worked on her chops as an action star. From there, she made her way into a slew of action sequels such as Rush Hour 2, Mission: Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard.
For you video game fans, Maggie Q also starred as Mai Shiranui in the movie adaptation of The King of Fighters (directed by Gordon Chan). This is likely the first time you’re hearing of the movie’s existence, though, since it made a whopping $2 million domestically.
Her most substantial role would be on TV, though. In 2010, Maggie Q started as Nikita in a TV remake of Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita. She received a lot of praise for the role. I reckon the highest goes to the Huffington Post: “Maggie Q is America’s Michelle Yeoh.”
Maggie Q currently stars in Designated Survivor, a show that I am surprised is still going on… albeit on Netflix.