|Born||Marie Lan Matiko
September 12, 1971
Marie Matiko (born September 12, 1971, in California) is an American actress.
Marie Matiko is of Chinese, Japanese and Filipino descent, born in Los Angeles County and grew up in Huntington Beach, California.
She endured a stern cultural upbringing, which ultimately fostered discipline and an inherent passion for the arts as a child, where she could freely express herself. "When I was in grade school, I wanted to become a concert pianist", Matiko said, who began playing piano at just four years of age. "I had always been taught to stifle my emotions, so if something upset me, I would go to my piano and play an angry concerto." In high school, she auditioned for the Young Americans where she was taught singing, dancing and performing in a conservatory setting.
She was an Environmental Engineering major at UCLA. While still in college, she auditioned for the first national tour of Miss Saigon,and suddenly her career path took a sharp detour. She traded an ROTC scholarship for the role of "Gigi/Mimi" when she was picked by producer Cameron Macintosh at her first professional audition for the First National tour of Miss Saigon. Thus, Matiko set out to travel the country. While on the road, she continued taking academic classes at community colleges, in addition to acting, singing and dancing courses. From the Berklee College of Music in Boston to the Cleveland Institute of Music, she sought out the best instructions in virtually every city. While on the road in Boston, within hour of watching THE JOY LUCK CLUB with fellow cast member Minae Noji (General Hospital), Matiko decided she wanted to be a film actress. After leaving Miss Saigon, Matiko returned to Los Angeles where she embarked on a rigorous regimen of acting lessons. "I feel I’ve been training like an Olympic athlete.", Matiko said.
In 2008, Matiko finished her degree from UCLA during the Hollywood Writer's Strike.
Film and television
She has starred opposite leading men Craig T. Nelson, Tom Sizemore, Wesley Snipes, Mark Wahlberg, Patrick Warburton and Chow Yun-fat. For her performance in The Art of War, she garnered the nomination for Best Actress in a Feature Film at the 2001 AX Awards (the Asian-American Film and TV awards). Matiko was one of the AX Awards Top 20 Newcomers in 2006.
In New Line Cinema's The Corruptor, produced by Oliver Stone, Marie Lan Matiko debuted on film as the love interest of Chow Yun-Fat. Challenging acting work from the start, she won the role of May, a heroine-addict and indentured servant trapped by NY Chinatown’s Triads. Under the direction of James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Wahlberg share textured scene work alongside Matiko.
In the November 2007 release of Warner Brothers’ Dennis the Menace Christmas, Matiko plays alongside Robert Wagner and Louise Fletcher as Mrs. Walsh-Mellman, Dennis’s grade school teacher. Marie Matiko also voices the group therapist of Dennis's frustrated parents.
Additional film and television credits include Universal’s Mystery Men, TBS’s Counterstrike, CBS’s The District and Michael Mann’s Robbery Homicide Division. Marie Matiko voiced Gong Li’s parts in Michael Mann’s Miami Vice and voiced opposite Lucy Liu and Patrick Warburton in the Carsey-WernerpProduction, UPN’s Game Over in television's first full-length CGI cartoon. She was also in Forbidden Warrior, where Matiko plays Seki, the forbidden warrior. Matiko was also on the popular TV series Xena playing the roles of Pao Ssu and K'ao Hsin, the twin daughters of Xena's spiritual mentor, Lao Ma. Her characters are on several collectible XENA: THE WARRIOR PRINCESS trading cards. Concerning her time on Xena, she stated:
|“||It was pure, pure fun!" she declares. 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 paycheck. Nobody was there just for their next gig. At the end of the first week [of shooting], I slept for two days straight. I went to bed, woke up three hours later, woke up six hours later, was up for half an hour, [then] went back to bed. I didn't wake up until three o`clock Sunday afternoon! I didn't know how to dance, I had never acted before, and I just knew how to sing. I had never been on an audition before... I didn't know what it was to be rejected, so I had no fear of it. I got cast [as one of] 12 girls out of maybe 3000 other girls... I was a total newbie, and all these other people had been dancing since they were five years old... By sheer survival, I had to learn everything... So I would go to dance classes in the morning [and] acting classes during the day.||”|
- The Corruptor
- Mystery Men
- The Art of War as Julia Fang 
- Gang of Roses as Zang Li 
- Forbidden Warrior as Seki
- Date Movie as Betty Lan Orchid
- The Civilization of Maxwell Bright as Mai Ling
- Diggers Keiko
- Dennis the Menace Christmas Mrs. Walsh-Mellman
- Miss Saigon as Gigi/Mimi
- Marie Matiko speaks five languages and has a reputation as a philanthropist.
- In her fun time, she enjoys extreme sports, skateboarding, snowboarding, scuba, music, and environmental science.
- Matiko founded and ran the non-profit Vivace Conservatory, with co-founder Ariel Felix. VIVACE, is a successful non-profit performing arts school located in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. The purpose of the organization is to nurture pride, self-discipline and passion in disadvantaged inner-city youth and minorities for the arts. in regards to Vivace, she stated:
|“||I created a school where all my kids are mostly Asian Americans. And I just created a place where kids can be creative and be artistically free and celebrate who they are. And my other staff members are people from "Miss Saigon," the Broadway show, and also my partners from the TV show "Chicago Hope." So I also feel like we are good role models for them to actually see it, I think it is a really good thing.||”|
- Matiko was the celebrity spokesperson for the California Asian American Democratic Caucus.
- Matiko also sits on the board of advisors for the San Diego Asian American Film Festival, has been invited to present at UCI, UCLA, NY, SIFF and SD[disambiguation needed] film festivals, the National Association of Asian Professionals, along with a number of universities in Asia.
- Marie Matiko at the Internet Movie Database
- Marie Matiko's official site
- Rotten Tomatoes
- Yahoo! movies