Michelle Yeoh is as busy as ever, starring in the Avatar sequel and Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, which may earn her an Oscar nomination.
Tan Sri Dr Michelle Yeoh has had a long and illustrious career in the movie business - over 30 years - but now that Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is garnering awards buzz and roles in Avatar: The Way of Water, A Haunting in Venice, and Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, she is at the pinnacle of the industry. Michelle has gotten some of the best reviews of her career for her latest role in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s sci-fi adventure, Everything Everywhere All at Once, with many predicting she will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
And, of course almost everyone is excited about the upcoming sequel to sci-fi epic Avatar titled Avatar: The Way of Water, where she plays scientist Dr Karina Mogue alongside Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver and Edie Falco. Last August, Michelle made headlines when she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute, a non-profit organisation dedicated to filmmaking and its various disciplines.
And, most recently, the Ipoh-born of Hokkien descent, received the first ever Share Her Journey Groundbreaker award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Michelle’s first on-screen appearance was in a Guy Laroche wristwatch commercial with Datuk Jackie Chan in 1984. A year later, she got her acting career started by starring in action movies with Hong Kong-based D&B Films, a company co-founded by her ex-husband businessman Dickson Poon.
The former Miss Malaysia/World 1983 rose to fame in the 1990s after appearing in several Hong Kong kung fu films, including Yes Madam! and Police Story 3: Supercop. Despite having no formal martial arts training, she does her own daring and risky stunts. Once, she jumped from a speeding van onto a convertible, bounced off the windshield, and came dangerously close to losing her life as she fell to the ground.
It is her passion for acting that she’s willing to take such great risks. In real life, Michelle is the United Nations Development Programme (“UNDP”) goodwill ambassador for greater road safety worldwide. Michelle has been UNDP’s goodwill ambassador since 2016. Her job as goodwill ambassador ranges from shining a spotlight on the work UNDP does all over the world to help achieve equality for the most vulnerable and address the effects of climate change, participating in awareness raising initiatives and events, mobilising support through digital platforms, as well as speaking at high-level meetings and events at the UN headquarters in New York.
On the acting front, Michelle gained global stardom when she proved to be a mighty match for Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond franchise, Tomorrow Never Dies. However, it was her warrior character in Ang Lee’s multiple Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that made an indelible mark on her career. What’s noteworthy is that her acting strength is not limited to flying kicks and daredevil stunts. Michelle is a versatile actress having starred in movies of various genres like the titillating tear-jerker Memoirs of a Geisha, the biopic The Lady, where she played Aung San Suu Kyi and the hit rom-com Crazy Rich Asians, which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
The petite actress, who turned 60 on 6 August, keeps herself busy by spending time with her fiance Jean Todt, former president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which oversees the Formula One World Championship, working and travelling between her homes in Ipoh, Paris and Geneva. In a recent interview with Town & Country magazine, she said that her guiding principle is to do what you want to do with passion. “Our life is a gift, and hopefully when it’s time to go I will say, ‘I lived it to the fullest’,” she was quoted as saying.
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