Michelle Yeoh

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Michelle Yeoh in 2017

Michelle Yeoh Choo-kheng (born 6 August 1962) is a Malaysian actress of Chinese descent who rose to fame in 1990s Hong Kong action films and is best known internationally for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), along with recent international English-language films and series.


  • I think all minorities are not happy to be whitewashed, or not happy that their stories are not told in a meaningful way. So that's why it's important. At the end of the day, if we don't have a beautiful, funny, amazing film, we can't make the statement. There's no movement. So, there is a lot riding on it, but we've done our part. We've put love and all the best ideas on how to make it as representational of the Asians. I hope it will make a strong impact, that Asians around the world will think, “I can tell my own stories because you guys wanna hear it. And you guys embrace it.”
  • But once I got to America, I was like, 'I'm really a minority here, I have no representation.' One of the worst things was, every time there was a role to read, it was so stereotypical. It was of the Chinese girl from Chinatown or the waitress, you know, the old cliches. I fought against that for a very long time. I had the luxury of saying no, I won't endorse these kinds of roles. But I can totally understand that there are so many actors and actresses who (have to take on those roles) to work for a living.
  • We are given this amazing opportunity to take you to the other side of the world, where even if you’re not American-born Chinese, it’s like going to your roots and really knowing how it is back home. Because it is very, very different, whereby family values are much more important than personal ambitions and personal goals. So that self-sacrificing attitude and love for family is shown in very different ways
  • Perhaps because I have lived my life in the public eye, I believe that one of the most powerful ways to combat stigma is to speak out publicly about AIDS. A lot of people don’t know the basic facts about prevention, testing, how the virus is transmitted, and why they shouldn’t be afraid of someone with HIV. If we bring the subject out into the open, I hope that people will eventually realize that HIV should not be a mark of shame.
  • The media is the quickest and most powerful way to speak out. Those of us who have the attention of the media are privileged, and we have the responsibility to put that privilege to good use! I am fortunate because I can draw public attention to HIV/AIDS and help people understand that this is a disease that can be eradicated. This work cannot stop until we have defeated the epidemic on every front around the world.

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