Thursday, June 20News For London

Twelve facts and unusual things that you never knew about Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh wins ‘Best Actress’ at Golden Globe Awards 2023 — Image credit: Lifestyle Asia

Michelle Yeoh has crowned Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Motion Picture during the 2023 Golden Globes for her starring role in the sci-fi comedy ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, directed by the “Daniels” (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), which has become one of 2022’s greatest success stories. It is a quirky, non-franchise picture with an entirely unique narrative about a Chinese immigrant woman who operates a laundromat with her husband, has a strained relationship with her kid, and gets drawn into a fanciful conspiracy to destroy the universe. This is not your average Oscar fare. Here is the official trailer of the ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ film:

Everything Everywhere All At Once Official Trailer — Video credit: A24

Michelle Yeoh plays the main character in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, for which she won her first Golden Globe Award. Michelle Yeoh also has made Academy Awards history as the first Asian actor to be nominated for ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ for her performance as Evelyn Quan Wang.

Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn Quan Wang in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ film — Image credit: Heroes Wiki

Here are the twelve facts and unusual things that you never knew about Michelle Yeoh:

  1. Many people think Michelle Yeoh is an Asian-American actress, but she is actually a Malaysian actress. Michelle Yeoh was born in 1962 in Malaysia. Her parents are Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, a lawyer and a politician. Despite growing up in a Malaysian Chinese family, she was raised speaking English at home. 
  1. At 15, Michelle Yeoh moved with her parents from Malaysia to London, where she studied at an all-girl sporting school. In 1982, Michelle Yeoh earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Arts and a minor in drama
  1. Michelle Yeoh was married to Dickson Poon, a Hong Kong entrepreneur, from 1988 to 1992. In 1998, she was engaged to Dr Alan Heldman, an American cardiologist. Since 2004, she has been with Jean Todt, the current president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The two lived together in Geneva, Switzerland. 
Michelle Yeoh, Jean Todt, and Felipe Massa at an event for Driven (2001) — Image credit: IMDb
  1. Michelle Yeoh has taken on another role, in partnership with UNDP, to raise awareness and mobilize support for the Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2016 to end poverty in all its forms by the year 2030. The Malaysian-born film star was appointed UNDP Goodwill Ambassador on 15 March 2016. After experiencing the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, Michelle Yeoh visited the country as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador on the disaster’s first anniversary. 
  1. At the age of four, Michelle Yeoh began practising ballet. She later attended the UK’s Royal Academy of Dance in London, majoring in ballet, but she later abandoned dance after suffering from a spinal injury
  1. When Michelle Yeoh was 17, her boyfriend held her mom’s hand under the table when they had lunch/dinner together. Michelle Yeoh said: “One time I was sitting like this, and I suddenly realized, why are there two hands on my leg? So it was his hand on my mom’s. He was holding the hand he thought was mine. And then I looked at him like, excuse me, guys, what’s going on?”.
  1. Michelle Yeoh’s mother is very formidable. When Michelle Yeoh got home for the holidays and was about to plan on going back to England, then her mom suddenly looped into this whole thing about she should be on stage more because it is something you should do when you’re 21, and you cannot do this thing anymore because you’re not 21 anymore. Michelle Yeoh said: “And I’m thinking, what on earth is she on about? The next thing I knew was my brother. She looped my brother into doing. Yeah, you should try it out. I’m like, what are you guys?”. Basically, Michelle Yeoh’s mother and brother signed her up for Miss Malaysia World Contest without her consent; her mother even signed the form herself. Then, she made a deal with her mom that she would not do anything like this anymore. Michelle Yeoh also said that at that time, she made sure that she won Miss Malaysia so that she could shut her mom off because her mom would not stop about it. 
Michelle Yeoh won the Miss Malaysia World Contest — Image credit: The Graham Norton Show
  1. At 20, Michelle Yeoh won the Miss Malaysia World Contest. And she later won the Miss International Tourism Quest Pageant in Australia. This led her to her acting career, where she first appeared in a TV commercial with Jackie Chan catching the attention of the Hong Kong film production company DNB Films. 
1984 Guy Laroche commercial with Michelle Yeoh and Jackie Chan — Video credit: yeohinfo
  1. Michelle Yeoh is known for performing her own stunts in most of her films. As of 2023, Michelle Yeoh’s net worth is estimated at around $40 million (£33.2 million). She earned $500,000 (£415,000) for her role in Crazy Rich Asians. Her salary for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once has not been made public, but we can only assume that it is much more. 
  1. Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh are old friends; he was Yeoh’s first co-star in a 1984 commercial for a Hong Kong watch brand. There has always been a competitive element to their relationship, it seems. During the promotion of ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, Jackie Chan texted Michelle Yeoh, saying: “Wow, I hear amazing things about your movie. Did you know that the boys came to see me in China?”. Michelle Yeoh responded: “Yes, your loss, my bro!”. This is Jackie Chan’s loss because Michelle Yeoh says her character was originally going to be ‘the wife’ in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ before Jackie Chan turned down the film.
  1. Recently, Michelle Yeoh shared her emotions before the Critics’ Circle film awards in London, saying that she would be half happy if she did not win because she does not have to go up the stage. She stated that it was “terrifying” because it was her first time attending something big like this. Even being nominated is “terrifying”.
  1. Michelle Yeoh has a printed t-shirt of Jamie Lee Curtis, who had an amusing reaction when Michelle Yeoh won the Golden Globe for her role in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ with the words printed at the bottom of the picture stating ‘FRIENDS SUPPORTING FRIENDS’.
Michelle Yeoh posted a picture of her showing a printed t-shirt of Jamie Lee Curtis on her Instagram account — Screenshot credit: Mellina Shahrom