Photograph: Jason McDonald. Stylist: Erin Walsh. Hair: Ryan Trygstad. Makeup: Jake Bailey.
Discovered and trained by Jackie Chan, Maggie Q, the Honolulu-born, American-Vietnamese actress, kicks mighty butt. A star of Hong Kong action cinema since her early 20s, Ms. Q (née Quigley) has tussled opposite Tom Cruise (
’s Lt. Beth Davis, Q is busting villains opposite Dylan McDermott. Created by
has topical, hair-raisingly scares galore. “I’m really proud of this show,” says Q, 35, “but there’ve been times where I’ve looked at Dylan and just said, ‘Show’s dark, man.’ ”
.] But stalking is a huge problem, and the number of people who’ve approached me with how much they want us to bring this to light is shocking. The shows are all inspired by true stories. I’ve heard about cases that are so weird that even if we filmed them, no one would believe us.
Right? But, listen, I’ve been tactically trained in the action genre and am very aware of my surroundings. I don’t want to spread paranoia, but I do want people to feel empowered with awareness.
Your character is a badass with stalking in her personal past—she’ll bitch-slap a perp, protocol be damned. What do you love about her?
That she’s a hero. Often, when someone feels the need to protect others as fiercely as she does they’re very damaged. Beth’s decided she’s going to take her hurt and protect people.
Super hot. I just adore him, because Dylan is a
. He’s raised two daughters, so he treats women with kindness and respect. I’m not saying that not all actors do that. But not all actors do that. [
Right. You know, your voice is packed with joy, yet you rarely smile on-screen.
And what’s so funny about that weirdness is that I am always happy! For some reason, there’s a strength that people respond to in me, but I am
You’re a longtime vegan and PETA activist/poster girl. Tell me about your dogs, Cesar and Ladybird.
They’re both Chinese street dogs I brought back, and they’re 100 percent my children. Cesar looks very German shepherd and he’s 12, and Lady is a white shepherd who’s 17. I make their food myself every day. People actually tell me they want to come back as my dogs!
There’s a story about your Chinese/Korean-produced epic,
, where you demanded your costumes be faux fur.
When I can, I’m all about that. I also got into screaming fights with horse trainers on that set. You have to think about factors of education, but I saw a guy kick a horse and I was literally crying and screaming. They were, like, “So what?” I said, “It’s not, ‘So what’! That horse deserves to be here in the way we deserve to be here. How about I kick
Go, Maggie! Last year you did a PETA ad, “Fight Climate Change with Diet Change,” and—
People don’t realize how devastating meat manufacturing is to our planet’s resources. It kills our air, streams, oceans and soil. I was driving in my car in Los Angeles the other day and we’re in a drought, so they were talking about taking shorter showers. I was screaming at the radio, “Take shorter showers?! Don’t eat hamburger!” It’s cruel. And harmful to the planet.
lady and animal crusader, give us Maggie Q’s holiday message.
We’re the species evolved enough to make informed decisions. Whether we’re aware that we’re hurting someone or the environment, it’s our duty to make a difference. You don’t have to be out bombing whaling ships—though that’d be a great weekend for me! [
]—but just in daily moments where you’re kind. Take that responsibility seriously. We’re the only ones who can.