Malaysia's very own Bond girl says she walks out of stereotype roles

June 2, 2016 @ 8:30PM
By Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s very own Bond girl, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh Choo Kheng said she is extremely selective on the films she decides to star in and makes a conscious decision to walk out of any movie that stereotypes women.

The US$500 billion Hollywood industry had its very own stereotyping of Asia and Asian women and most of the time it worked, said the 53-year-old versatile actress, who was chosen by “People” magazine as of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World,” in 1997.

“It has to be a girl from China Town and speak Chinese language. (So), when I first entered the American market all the roles that I was offered was a China town girl and there is also always a thought that women should be protected.

“So, if I would have done it, it would mean yes. It is okay for them to continue (stereotyping),” she said during a one-on-one interview session at the World Economic Forum on Asean 2016 here, today.

Hence, there was a cautious decision not to pick such movies, said the Ipoh-born actress, whose trademark is the ability to perform her own stunts in the movies.

During the 30-minute session entitled: “An Insight, an Idea with Michelle Yeoh,” she shared her extensive experience in the film industry.

Yeoh said she also strongly believed that women should also have the same pay as the male worker.

“I’m so glad that time has changed, it will take time and it will take us to push the boundaries,” she said.

She also said each individual needed to recognise what were his or her unique or special traits that could be used to benefit them.

“I recognise myself from my peers and that have helped to earn equal pay,” she added.

Asked if she would only choose strong women-centric roles, she quipped: “I can also take up a male role.” --Bernama

(File pix) Malaysia’s very own Bond girl, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh Choo Kheng said she is going to walk out of any movie that stereotypes women. AFP photo