After years as an action star, Michelle Yeoh nearly had her career destroyed when she fell from an overpass in 1995.
Michelle Yeoh’s Quantum Leaps
Ann Hui, a major figure in Hong Kong’s new wave movement, cast her as the lead in her first character-driven drama, “The Stunt Woman. Nearly a decade of training in martial arts would have to be channelled into the role of Ah Kam, a stuntwoman trying to get into Hollywood.
In a critical sequence, kung fu film great Sammo Hung’s character pushes Ah Kam over the side of a truck’s bed as she hesitates to do a terrifying feat for the camera. When it’s a simple stunt, adds Michelle Yeoh, “that’s when things may go horribly wrong.”
When doing a stunt, it’s important to take precautions by paying attention to your surroundings, including the protective padding below you. The first stunt attempt by Michelle Yeoh went off without a hitch.
Michelle Yeoh had to re-film the scene so that it could be filmed from a different viewpoint, and this time she was fully involved in her character’s hesitancy and confusion rather than preparing for the effect.
To protect her from injury during filming, massive airbags would have been used in the United States, but in Hong Kong, it is more common to use mattresses and cardboard.
Yeoh dove into the assembly below, landing on his head between two beds as his momentum carried his legs past his back. Her legs bumped into the back of her head as her chest heaved forward.
The Life of Michelle Yeoh
Malaysian-born Hong Kong resident Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng (born 6 August, 1962) is an actress and dancer who shot to celebrity in the early 1990s for executing her own stunts in a number of action films.
While she was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, she now makes her home in Hong Kong, where she was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1997.
In the West, she is best recognised for her appearances as Wai Lin in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies and as Mei in the Chinese action thriller Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she received a Best Actress nomination at the British Academy Film Awards. Rotten Tomatoes, a website that reviews movies, named her the best action heroine of all time in 2008.
In some of her earliest films, she went under the name Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng. The producers at D&B studios came up with this alias in the hopes that it would help them reach a wider audience in the West and beyond. At a later date, Michelle Yeoh favoured going by her given name.
Childhood and Early Years
Born Yeoh Choo-Kheng on August 6, 1962, in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, Michelle Yeoh is a Malaysian actress and model. Her mother, Janet Yeoh, and father, Yeoh Kian Teik, were Malaysian-Chinese immigrants whose families originally came from the Cantonese-speaking regions of China.
Yeoh has always been very enthusiastic about dance and ballet. At age four, she embarked on a ballet training programme. Eventually, Yeoh’s family settled in the UK, where she attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance. Even as a college student, ballet was her focus.
Yeoh was very dedicated to ballet, but a spinal injury cut her career short. In spite of this, she began to focus on other artistic endeavours, including choreography and stunts. She received her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Creative Arts and Drama.
Michelle Yeoh Early in One’s Profession
When Michelle Yeoh won the Miss Malaysia contest in 1983, she became a national celebrity. Following this, she competed as a representative of her country in Australia’s Queen of the Pacific pageant, where she ultimately emerged victorious.
After being awarded Miss Malaysia, she went on to represent Malaysia at the Miss World pageant in 1983 and was also won Miss Moomba in Melbourne. Because of these competitions, she became famous all over the world.
Yeoh made her acting debut alongside Jackie Chan in a television advertisement. It was essential in getting her noticed by D&B Films, a Hong Kong-based film production firm. Yeoh was cast in multiple films by D&B Films.
Early in her career, she starred in a slew of martial arts and action movies like “Yes Madam” (1985), “Royal Warriors” (1986), “Magnificent Warriors” (1987), and “Easy Money” (1988). (1987). Yeoh’s stardom grew as a result of her own stunt work in these high-octane movies.
After marrying D&B company founder and businessman Dickson Poon in 1987, she opted to end her professional career.
Personal & Family Life
Before divorcing in 1992, Yeoh was married to Hong Kong executive Dickson Poon from February 1988 to 1992. Following only four years of marriage, they eventually split up. During her brief marriage to Poon, Yeoh decided to leave the entertainment industry.
Later, she started dating American cardiologist Dr. Alan Heldman. In 1998, after a short but intense romance, they became engaged. Unfortunately, things between them didn’t last long.
In 2004, Yeoh began dating Jean Todt, a Frenchman. Former Ferrari CEO and sports industry leader Todt. She is currently dating Todt, and the couple announced their engagement in July of 2008.
Yeoh is a devout Buddhist and strives to live by Buddhist teachings in all aspects of her life. When she’s not filming, she volunteers for a wide range of organisations. She supports the effort to save China’s tigers from extinction by becoming a patron of the Save China’s Tiger project.