The year 2017 has seen several Malaysians breaking into Hollywood. There’s model, host and actor Henry Golding getting not one but two leading roles in the films Crazy Rich Asians and A Simple Favor, and musician-actor Pete Teo featuring in the Scarlett Johansson-led movie, Ghost In The Shell.
The one who paved the way for all these actors is the tough, butt-kicing Bond girl Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh … and she continues to make us proud on the international stage.
In March, the 55-year-old Hollywood actress was cast to play Eleanor Young in Crazy Rich Asians, the big-screen adaptation of a best-selling novel. Yeoh plays the matriarch of a wealthy family who is not keen on her only son (Golding) marrying a university professor.
The highly-anticipated film with an all-Asian cast that includes Constance Wu, Fiona Xie, Malaysia-born Australian Ronnie Cheng and Ken Jeong is set to for release in August 2018.
She’s a guardian of the galaxy!
In the same month, Yeoh was conferred the Commander of the Legion of Honour, the highest honour for a non-French citizen. It was presented to her by Francois Hollande, the former president of France, in a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
When Marvel movie Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 premiered in April, many fans caught Yeoh’s cameo appearance as Aleta Ogord, an alien with cosmic powers. Yeoh is set to reprise the role in an upcoming Marvel movie.
Soaring with Star Trek: Discovery
Her adventures in space continued with the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery. On the TV show, Yeoh plays Philippa Georgiou, the captain of USS Shenzhou.
In an interview with StarTrek.com, Yeoh described her character as a war veteran: “She has seen the horrors of war because it comes out in the dialogue as well. But she is a very compassionate person. As I look into her, she, by heart, is an explorer. She loved the universe. She loved the ability and the possibility of seeing new stars, new novae being born. She’s always awed by that. That’s what I love about this character.”
Yeoh is also proud of how Star Trek: Discovery featured a female lead played by Sonequa Martin-Green.
The actress also proved that she could carry the role of a fearless woman in the real world.
Yeoh spoke out against the sexual misconduct of Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in a statement issued to The Associated Press.
“Any man who treats women with such disrespect and contempt should be (prosecuted) to the full extent of the law. I knew he was a bully and not always honourable. I wasn’t exposed to this side of him. Otherwise he would have experienced the full effect of years of my martial arts training,” she said.
Whatever 2018 brings, rest assure that Yeoh will continue to make us proud.