In November 2005, The Hollywood Reporter named Marie one of the "Next Big Things."
Marie got into acting while studying engineering at UCLA. She heard about auditions for the show Miss Saigon and was so excited to learn that there was a hit Broadway Musical written about Asian characters that she decided to try out for it, in spite of having no training in theatre performance.
At age 14, Marie joined a semi-professional traveling singing group called Young Americans.
Marie says she is bothered by the Hollywood stereotypes that surround Asian actors. She says that she is often forced to play prostitutes or "passive, meek characters that speak a foreign language with an accent."
Marie has studied both Tae Kwon Do and Karate Do.
Marie is one of the producers of the television series K'Pow!. She describes the show as a "hip-hop, multi-cultural Mickey Mouse Club.
In 2000, Marie was nominated for an AX Award [Asian-American Film and Television Awards] in the category of "Best Actress in a Feature Film" for her work in the Wesley Snipes movie The Art of War. At the 2006 AX Awards, she was named one of the "Top 20 Newcomers" in Asian-American entertainment.
Marie's likeness can be found on several Xena: Warrior Princess trading cards. She calls them her "biggest giggle to date."
Marie has worked with Dr. Lazereff, from UCLA's Pediatric Neurosurgery division, to help rescue and aid abandoned babies in China.
Marie's hobbies include skateboarding, snowboarding, scuba diving, and making music.
Marie is represented professionally in the United States by Holder Management. She signed with the company in mid 2006. In Canada, she is represented by Martinez Creative Talent.
Marie began playing piano at age 4 and, when she was in grade school, dreamed of being a concert pianist.
Marie is the co-founder, and Vocal Instructor, of the Vivace Conservatory of the Arts in Los Angeles.
Marie is Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino. She calls herself an "Asian Mutt."
Marie appeared on the cover of Yolk magazine in January 2002. The issue also contained an interview with her and a multi-page pictorial.
Marie's theater credits include:
- Miss Saigon
- The Vagina Monologues
Marie speaks 5 different languages. She says she enjoys having conversations using these skills.
Marie: I was wondering for a long time why does it pay to be good. Lots of times when you're good, people just step on you and kick your ass. I'm trying to find that balance.
Marie: (on Oliver Stone's "The Corruptor" and "Xena") When I got cast for Oliver Stone... for me, that was huge... When I got cast for Xena, people went crazy! I had no idea there were so many devout watchers.
Marie: (on training to be an actress) [Asian] girls and boys were brought up... to never answer back to your parents, to respect authority, to always respect your elders. You never break down... You never have these huge crying screaming fights with your parents. So I started taking acting classes and it [was like], `Whoa, what`s this feeling? Oh, I can be sad and it`s okay? I can be angry and pissed off and it`s a good thing?` As long as you`re honest, it`s all good. I was literally experiencing feelings I had never felt in all my life.
Marie: The beautiful thing about Xena is that they have no color lines. Xena was my first opportunity to play these incredible strong women without an accent, and I was able to try all these different things that I do in acting class all the time but I wasn`t able to do it in film. This was the first time. It was truly, truly a gift.
Marie: I`ve gone for so many roles where it started out Asian, and then... they changed their mind or lost confidence in using an Asian actress, so they turned it back to a white character.
Marie: (on her "The Art of War" character, Julia) I was able to draw on my own technical background as an engineering major at UCLA and my passion for the performing arts to bring the character to life.
Marie: (about her appearances on "Xena") It was pure, pure fun! It was one of the most beautiful experiences I`ve ever had as an artist, because you didn`t have the Hollywood attitude; you didn`t have the politics. Everyone was there to create beauty From the lead actress to somebody that was there for the first time saying one line, nobody was there for a pay check. Nobody was there just for their next gig.