Maggie Q
Q in 2010
Margaret Denise Quigley

(1979-05-22) May 22, 1979 (age 44)[1]
Other namesMaggie D. Quigley
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1998–present

Margaret Denise Quigley[2] (born May 22, 1979),[3] professionally known as Maggie Q, is an American actress.

She began her professional career in Hong Kong, with starring roles in the action films Gen-Y Cops (2000) and Naked Weapon (2002), before appearing in the American productions Mission: Impossible III (2006), Live Free or Die Hard (2007), Priest (2011) and The Protégé (2021). She portrayed Tori Wu in the dystopian science-fiction action film Divergent (2014), and reprised her role in the sequels, Insurgent (2015) and Allegiant (2016).[4]

Q starred in the title role on The CW action-thriller series Nikita (2010–2013), and also had a main role as FBI Special Agent Hannah Wells in the ABC/Netflix political thriller series Designated Survivor (2016–19).[5] She provided the voice of Wonder Woman on the animated series Young Justice (2012–19).

Early life

Q was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.[6][7] Her father is of Irish and Polish descent[8] and her mother is Vietnamese.[7][9] Her parents met while her father was stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.[10][11] She has four siblings,[7] was raised Catholic[12] and attends church.[13]

She attended Mililani Waena Elementary School and Wheeler Intermediate School. She then attended Mililani High School, where she was on the cross country, track and field, and swim teams. She won the title of "Best Body" senior year, and graduated in 1997.[7] She won an athletics scholarship to a private university and intended to study veterinary science; however, her family was unable to assist her financially. She left Hawaii at the end of one school year in hopes of earning enough money to resume at the beginning of the next one.[14]


Q at the world premiere of The Warrior and the Wolf in 2009

1996–2005: Modeling and Hong Kong films

At a friend's suggestion, Q began modeling in Tokyo, Japan at the age of 17, before making an unsuccessful move to Taipei, Taiwan. She tried again in Hong Kong, where she began using the stage name Maggie Q because the locals could not pronounce Quigley properly.[7][10][15] She has said it was not easy for her: "I had twenty bucks in my pocket. I mean, I literally did the same thing that my mother did when she left Vietnam... didn't speak the language... had no money."[9] But in Hong Kong she became a protégé of Jackie Chan, who saw in her a potential action star. His intensive training taught her the importance of professionalism and always doing her own stunts. She later said, "I had never done a day of martial arts in my life when I started in the business. I couldn't even touch my toes."[10]

In 1998,[16] she started her acting career in the TV drama House of the Dragon, which was a huge hit in Asia. In 2000, she made her film debut as Anna in the horror film Model from Hell, and went on to star as FBI agent Jane Quigley in the action thriller Gen-Y Cops that year. Her appearance in Gen-Y Cops impressed Chan so much that he cast her in his films Manhattan Midnight and Rush Hour 2.[7]

In 2002, she starred as martial artist assassin Charlene Ching in the action film Naked Weapon. In 2004 she co-starred with Kelly Hu, Russell Wong and other Asian-American actors in a 30-second PSA produced by Mark Allen for CAUSE USA (Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment), The Least Likely, encouraging Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to register and vote.[17][18][19][20] In 2005, she played Harmony in the German-Singaporean TV mini-series House of Harmony, opposite Fann Wong, and co-produced the animal treatment documentary Earthlings narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.[21]

2006–2013: Hollywood career and Nikita

Lyndsy Fonseca and Q at a panel for the television series Nikita at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2010.

In 2006, Q made her Hollywood breakthrough as co-star in Mission: Impossible III alongside Tom Cruise. She played Zhen, the only female member of the IMF team. In 2007, she appeared as Mai Linh in the Bruce Willis movie Live Free or Die Hard,[7] the fourth film in the Die Hard series, and as Maggie in Balls of Fury. In 2008, she played fictional Cao Ying, a granddaughter of the warlord Cao Cao in Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon, her first ancient Chinese costume performance. That year, she also appeared in the drama/thriller movie Deception starring Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman, as Tina, an investment banker[16] who introduces Jackman's character to an exclusive anonymous sex club list. She also stars in the video game Need for Speed: Undercover as the seductive lead character, federal agent Chase Linh, the player's only contact to the Tri-City Police.[22]

Q during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2013

In 2010, Q became the lead character, an assassin gone rogue, on the CW series Nikita, based on the 1990 French film of the same name.[10] Since its premiere, she has been incorrectly described as the first Asian American series lead in an American television drama.[23] (Actress Anna May Wong was the first Asian American series lead of an American television series with her show The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which aired in 1951.[24]) Q received mostly positive reviews for her role in the series.[25][26] Her character was included in TV Guide's lists of "TV's Sexiest Crime Fighters" and "TV's Toughest Ladies".[27][28]


In 2014, Q played the role of Dauntless faction member Tori Wu, in the film Divergent, the adaptation of the same-titled novel.[4] Q reprised her role in the sequel to Divergent, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which began filming on May 27, 2014, and was released on March 20, 2015. She also starred in the CBS drama series Stalker[29] by Kevin Williamson as Detective Beth Davis along with Mariana Klaveno and Dylan McDermott.[30] The series premiered on October 1, 2014, for the 2014–15 fall television season.[31][32] The series was ordered for a full season on October 27, 2014.[33] The series however was canceled after one season, leaving the show on a cliffhanger.[34] In October 2013, Q started filming for The Crash, starring alongside Frank Grillo, AnnaSophia Robb, Dianna Agron, John Leguizamo, Ed Westwick, Mary McCormack, Christopher McDonald and Minnie Driver.[35] The film was directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Hilary Shor, Atit Shah and Aaron Becker. The Crash had a direct-to-VOD and limited release on January 13, 2017, in North America.[36]

She reprised her role in The Divergent Series: Allegiant, the third installment of the Divergent series, which was released on March 18, 2016.[37] In February 2016, it was announced that she would co-star opposite Kiefer Sutherland in the ABC drama series Designated Survivor as Hannah Wells, a leading FBI agent.[5] The show was renewed by Netflix for a third and final season, which was released on June 7, 2019. However, her character was killed off early in the final season.[38]

In December 2020, she portrayed Sarah in the Fox comedy series Pivoting.[39]

She starred as an assassin in The Protégé, an action film featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton, which was released to theaters August 20, 2021.[40]

Personal life

After meeting her Stalker co-star Dylan McDermott on-set in early 2014, their engagement was announced on January 14, 2015.[41] They stated in 2017 that they were not in any rush to be married.[42] They ended their relationship in February 2019.[43]

Q has five tattoos: a cross on her right forearm; Tibetan script and a little triangle on her left forearm; a Zulu proverb on her side—"umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu", which means "a person's character is made by the collective"; and one of a phoenix on her left hip, which she has had to conceal for most of her roles except Nikita.[44] She suffered temporary hearing loss in her right ear after her eardrum was damaged during an explosive stunt in 2010.[45]

She owned a house in Pound Ridge, New York[46][47] but sold it to Zoe Kravitz in 2021.[48]

Animal rights activism

Q is outspoken on the subject of animal rights and has taken part in PETA Asia's campaigns promoting vegetarianism.[49] A vegetarian for many years, she has said that giving up meat was one of the most rewarding decisions she has ever made. "I feel better, I have more energy, on and off the set, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I'm doing something to help stop animal suffering." In 2008, she was named PETA Asia-Pacific's Person of the Year,[50] and PETA listed her as one of the Best-Dressed Celebrities of 2008. She has since taken the step to cut all animal products from her diet by becoming a vegan.[51] PETA named her one of their three Sexiest Vegans of 2017.[52] She is currently an ambassador for Animals Asia Foundation.[53]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Model from Hell Anna Chinese: 鬼名模
Gen-Y Cops Jane Quigley Chinese: 特警新人類2
2001 Manhattan Midnight Susan / Hope
Rush Hour 2 Girl in car
2002 Naked Weapon Charlene Ching Chinese: 赤裸特工
2003 The Trouble-Makers Miss Clary Chinese: 一屋兩火
2004 Magic Kitchen May Chinese: 魔幻厨房
Around the World in 80 Days Female agent
Rice Rhapsody Gigi Chinese: 海南雞飯
2005 Taped Maggie Short film
Dragon Squad Yuet Chinese: 猛龍
2006 Mission: Impossible III Zhen Lei
2007 The Counting House Jade
Live Free or Die Hard Mai Linh
Balls of Fury Maggie Wong
2008 Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon Cao Ying Chinese: 三國之見龍卸甲
Deception Tina
New York, I Love You Janice Taylor Segment: "Yvan Attal"
2009 The Warrior and the Wolf Harran woman Chinese: 狼灾记
2010 Operation: Endgame High Priestess
The King of Fighters Mai Shiranui
2011 Priest Priestess
2014 Divergent Tori Wu
Unity Narrator Documentary
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Tori Wu
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant
2017 The Crash Hilary
Slumber Alice
2018 The Con Is On Irina
Modest Heroes Mom (voice) Segment: "Life Ain't Gonna Lose"
2020 Fantasy Island Gwen Olsen
The Argument Sarah
Death of Me Christine
2021 The Protégé Anna
2023 Fear the Night Tess
The Family Plan Gwen


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Mission in Trouble Yeung Lan Main role; Chinese: 雄心密令
2005 House of Harmony Harmony Television film
2010–13 Nikita Nikita Mears Lead role
2012–19 Young Justice Wonder Woman (voice) Recurring role
2014–15 Stalker Beth Davis / Michelle Webber Lead role
2016–19 Designated Survivor Hannah Wells Main role
2022 Pivoting


Main role

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
2008 Need for Speed: Undercover Chase Linh

Music videos

Year Artist Title
2000 Chris Yu "Subway"
2002 Santana featuring Michelle Branch "The Game of Love"

As producer

Year Title Notes
2005 Earthlings Co-producer
2006 Love Asia Producer
TBA Queen of Canton Executive producer

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
2007 Asian Excellence Awards Supporting Film Actress Mission: Impossible III Won
2009 Hawaii International Film Festival Maverick Award The Warrior and the Wolf Won
2010 IGN Summer Movie Awards Best TV Hero Nikita Nominated
2011 Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Action Nominated
2012 IGN Summer Movie Awards Best TV Hero Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Action Nominated
2013 TV Guide Awards Best Ensemble Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Action Nominated
2014 Young Hollywood Awards Best Cast Chemistry – Film Divergent Nominated
2021 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Fantasy Island Nominated
2022 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Actress in an Action Movie The Protégé Nominated


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