Hollywood star Michelle Yeoh says she grew up on Hindi cinema in Malaysia, would love to work with Aamir Khan, who she’s met before.
Back in 1997, she became known as the Bond girl after playing Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Later, she went on to act in Oscar-winning films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005). But not many know that Michelle Yeoh’s initial interest in movies came through Bollywood.
“I grew up in Malaysia, and Bollywood is really big there. As a result, I’ve grown up watching a lot of Hindi movies,” says Michelle with a smile."In fact, I know a lot of Indian stars. We (in the family) were big cinema buffs, so Bollywood movies were always watched."
Interestingly, Bollywood-style fight sequences also left an indelible mark on Michelle.
“When I started my career, during the action sequences, I would usually utter Dhishum Dhishum and it was a lot of fun,” she laughs, adding that she is really impressed by Aamir Khan’s movies.
“I like Aamir’s work. Some time back, we had met in London. Given a chance, I would love to work with him. It would be fun,” she says.
“I’ve worked with director Asif Kapadia (Far North, 2007). He is very talented and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
Ask Michelle what she likes most about Bollywood and she says “It’s very big and expansive. I especially love the historicals made there. Plus, of course, singing and dancing around trees is awesome. I absolutely love it.”
In fact, Michelle insists she would love to be a part of Bollywood films if someone “brings me an excellent script and an equally good director.”
She adds, “I have done many films across the globe and would love to be a part of Bollywood, but the script must have a strong character for me.”
At the moment though, the actor’s focus is on her latest film, The Lady, based on Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pro-democracy leader.
“This project is very close to all our hearts. We need to spread the message of the film everywhere. I remember Aung San Suu Kyi telling us, Use Your Freedom To Promote Ours,” says Michelle.
And lastly, ask Michelle which Indian girl she thinks would make a good Bond girl, and she laughs, “India is a great talent pool of actors. I see Freida Pinto making it big in Hollywood and I am sure many others can also make it.”
Michelle Yeoh, Malaysian-Chinese actor, is best known for her roles in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, the multiple Academy Award winning martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Actress, and Memoirs of A Geisha.
Besides being ranked by film critic website, Rotten Tomatoes, as the greatest action heroine of all time, in 2009, she was the only Asian actress listed by People magazine as one of the 35 All-Time Screen Beauties.
She was also chosen by them as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.