Filming in Oxford is almost complete on an Anglo-French big screen version of the remarkable life of Aung San Suu Kyi with Michelle Yeoh as the Burmese opposition leader and David Thewlis as her university academic husband.
The Luc Besson-directed movie which will be called The Lady, the name by which she is known by a Burmese population banned from saying her real name. Aung San Suu Kyi was released from her latest period of house arrest by Burma's generals in November.
Yeoh said: "The first thing we did is hug and I thought you are really skinny, man. One of the first things she said was 'why doesn't the BBC world service have more music?'
"You feel a real sense of calm when you're with her. She's a very striking figure. She is so proud of her culture and the best way to show it is with dignity and elegance. She has a glow and an aura about her."
Yeoh, who made her name in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was instrumental in getting Besson on board to direct, helping to set up a meeting with the producer Andy Harries – who made The Queen – and the French director at Cannes.
Besson said Aung San Suu Kyi was "more of a heroine than Joan of Arc" and he hoped the film would get her ongoing fight better known.
About the film
The film on the Burmese opposition leader will be directed by Luc Besson and is called The Lady.
The film will chart her remarkable journey from housewife bringing up her children in Oxford to taking on the power of Burma's generals by becoming opposition leader.
It will build up to that awful choice she had to make between country and family.
The film is a co-production between Besson's Europacorp and Andy Harries's Left Bank Pictures.