Eugenia Yuan

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Eugenia Yuan
Chinese: 原麗淇(Yuan Lai-Kai)
Born (1976-01-22) January 22, 1976 (age 46)
Other namesLai-Kai Yuan, Lai-Kei Yuan, Eugenia Lai-Kai Yuan
Known forMember of U.S. National Rhythmic Gymnastics team.

Eugenia Yuan is an American actress and former rhythmic gymnast who has won a Hong Kong Film Award.

Early life[edit]

On January 22, 1976, Yuan was born in Inglewood, Los Angeles county, California.[1][2] Yuan's mother is Cheng Pei-pei, an actress who is known for being a Shaw Brothers Studio alumnus and the role of Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.[1] Yuan grew up in San Marino, California.[3][2]



Yuan began her career as a rhythmic gymnast for the U.S. Olympic Team and was ranked #4 in the world. Yuan was a member of the team for about seven years with the U.S. National Rhythmic Gymnastics team.[2]


Yuan made her screen debut co-starring with her mother in the martial arts picture Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger (2002).

Yuan co-starred in the dark, low-budget feature Charlotte Sometimes which garnered an honor at the Independent Spirit Awards and was publicly championed by Roger Ebert and featured in his Overlooked Film Festival.

Yuan returned to Hong Kong to star in Three where she was named "Best Newcomer" in the Hong Kong Film Awards (Hong Kong's equivalent of the Academy Awards). Soon after, Hollywood director Doug Liman hand-picked her for the title role of the cult hit mockumentary Mail Order Wife which brought her to national attention when she was named as a "Rising Star/Screen Acting Discovery" at the premiere of the film in the Hamptons International Film Festival.

She was later nominated at Hong Kong's Golden Horse Awards for her starring role in The Eye 2 and had roles in the John Dahl film The Great Raid and the Oscar-winning Memoirs of a Geisha. The jewelry retailer Me & Ro created a special edition hair ornament inspired by Yuan's character in the movie.

Yuan continues to travel back and forth between Los Angeles, New York City and Hong Kong to take studio, Chinese-language and American independent roles alike including the 2007 Gotham Awards winning film Choking Man. She also co-stars with Tony Leung Ka Fai in the Kenneth Bi film, The Drummer, and Erica Leerhsen in Slaughter. Most recently she has appeared in the Australian television drama Secret City.


Year Title Role Notes
2019–20 Hawaii Five-0 Daiyu Mei
2019 Into the Badlands Kannin
2017 She Has a Name Mamma [4]
2016 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny Blind Enchantress
2016 Secret City Weng TV series - 12 episodes
2015 The Man with the Iron Fists 2 Ah Ni
2015 Jasmine
2014 Revenge of the Green Dragons Snakehead Mama [5]
2013 Pupil (Short)
2013 #1 Serial Killer
2012 What About Us? (Short)
2012 Strangers
2011 Shanghai Hotel
2011 I Don't Know How She Does It Jack's Receptionist
2010 Fog
2007 The Drummer Kuan's wife
2006 Choking Man Amy
2006 Locked (1992)
2005 Memoirs of a Geisha Korin [6]
2005 The Great Raid Cora
2004 Mail Order Wife Lichi [7]
2004 My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure Irina
2004 The Eye 2 Yuen Chi-kei
2002 3 Extremes II Hal'er, Uu's wife
2002 Charlotte Sometimes Lori
2002 Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger Xiao Xia [8]
1982 Dragon Strike Voice


  1. ^ a b Chan, Yuan-Kwan (May 1, 2006). "Eugenia Yuan Interview - 2006 Tribeca Film Festival". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Tseng, Ada (February 28, 2005). "Eugenia Yuan: Queen of Quirk". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Ripton, Ray (April 17, 1986). "U.S. on Move in Rhythmic Gymnastics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "She Has a Name (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  5. ^ Oleszczyk, Michał (October 21, 2014). "No Safety Net: Eugenia Yuan On Revenge of the Green Dragons". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Memoir of a Geisha". IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Mail Order Wife (2004)". IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger". 2002. Retrieved October 19, 2020.

External links[edit]