Lucy Liu on directing

Lucy Liu on directing


Lucy Liu answers a few questions with Miklos Wright of Media 66



Media 66:  What are three of your core intentions for directing?

Lucy Liu:  Teamwork 

I don’t consider myself a director with a singular vision. To me directing isn’t a power position, it’s about sharing the creative space with other people that are experts at what they do. Together we can craft a shared vision that’s much more powerful than what I could do on my own. 


Entertainment and storytelling are magical and can give people hope, make them laugh, make them cry - make them feel. It’s my job to bring those expressions to life.


I feel like I have a slight advantage working with actors because I’ve worked in front of the lens. I know what it feels like to have a great director inspire you. I work hard to communicate with the actors to bring out their best performances, and the subtleties are important to me. . 


Media 66:  When did you know you wanted to direct?

Lucy Liu:  I’m a creative person and I always need something new to challenge me and push me to the next level. I was given the opportunity to direct a short film and I knew instantly I wanted to experience more of the process. It was a challenging experience but afterwards I knew directing had pressed my creative button and I’ve had the bug ever since.


Media 66:   As a highly experienced performer how does that effect your process with directing actors?

Lucy Liu:  Recognizing the environment is key when I direct. All actors live in a specific mind-space when they work. I take into account how they move, react and listen in the rehearsal, then it helps me understand how best to communicate with them and draw out what they are hoping to express in their performance. This is the best of both worlds as they sometimes transcend the written words when they are so connected to where they are and what they are doing. Most times when something really clicks as an actor, you don’t remember what happened after the director says CUT- that’s when you know you have the take because the actor has removed themselves completely from the scene as who they are and become immersed fully in their characters. 


Media 66:  Have you ever thought about directing virtual reality?

Lucy Liu:  I haven’t thought about this as much as I have thought about directing theatre. I don’t know enough about this medium yet but am so curious to explore it as it seems so all encompassing and fascinating. 


Media 66:  Can you list three strengths of the post process from working with Miklos Wright?

Lucy Liu:  Miklos engages with your ideas and tries to accomplish them no matter how odd the request!

He gives his honest opinion when you describe your vision and how you want the audience to feel. And from his many years of experience he has strong suggestions on how to make the edit better, which goes right back to question 1. Having a strong creative team at every part of the process is core to how I see directing.

directing photo from syfy