updated 8 May 2012, 16:25
user id password
Tue, Oct 05, 2010
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Michelle Yeoh is still kicking up a storm at 48
by Kwok Kar Peng

TEN years after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, action star Michelle Yeoh is back in another martial arts flick, Reign Of Assassins.

And the 48-year-old Malaysian actress shows no signs of slowing down her gongfu moves.

She's fit as a fiddle and did 95 per cent of the action scenes in the movie.

Yeoh was in town on Friday and met the Singaporean and Malaysian media with the movie's producer, John Woo, and director Su Chao-pin.

The actress told The New Paper in fluent English that one reason she continues to do her own stunts is vanity.

"It's very magical to do things that I usually don't have the power to do.

"At the end of the day, when I watch what's been put together, I go, 'Wow, look how wonderful I am!' I'm very happy and it's very fulfilling," she said with a laugh.

In the movie, she plays Zeng Jing, who undergoes facial surgery to create a new identity to escape from her assassin past.

She falls in love with a humble man Jiang Ah-Sheng, played by Korean actor Jung Woo Sung, but her past catches up with her and threatens to destroy her.

The movie opens here on Oct 7 and also stars Shawn Yue, Barbie Hsu, WangXueqi and Kelly Lin.

Woo's daughter, Angeles, has a small role in the movie as an assassin.

Yeoh looked beautiful at Friday's press conference in a ruffled tube dress, and peppered her interview with humour and animated gestures.

She joked about how Woo fretted on the set when his daughter was put on a wire harness to film her action scenes.

"This daddy walked up and down the set, lurking around and asking, 'Are you sure (the equipment) is safe? How many times have you tried it?'"

Woo was so antsy that his daughter had to ask him to go home, Yeoh teased.

The actress added that the action scenes were both difficult and easy for her.

Explained the former beauty queen: "It was very challenging because every time I step onto the set, action director Stephen Tung will tell his team of 20-year-old stunt people: 'You know, Michelle can do these (stunts).'"

Yeoh said that performing action scenes have become easier for her because of the experience she has accumulated.

But playing Zeng Jing was tough for the movie veteran as she had to portray someone who's starting a new life and seeing the world afresh.

That the character falls in love for the first time was especially tough, the actress laughed.

She conceded, though, that the romantic scenes between her and Jung were easy to film.

Jung, 37, has starred in movies like Musa, A Moment To Remember and Daisy.

"It's so wonderful. Can you imagine, I was standing there staring at a 6-foot-2 (1.9m-tall) superstar. Aww..." Yeoh chirped, pretending to swoon.

"How difficult is that?"

She also called the Korean actor "the most gorgeous looking, the tallest and one of the best actors" she has worked with in a long time.

Before filming began, the two found time to break the ice by asking each other very personal questions.

She said she grilled him about his love life. He, in turn, asked her what attracts her to a man.

Unfortunately, we'll never know what Yeoh, who is engaged to Mr Jean Todt, the president of Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA), shared with Jung.

She didn't reply to this reporter's question on whether marriage was on the cards for her. She would only say that she prefers men to chat her up first and that she would never do the proposing.

Drawing reference to her latest movie, where Jiang Ah-Sheng turns out to be a totally different man from what Zeng Jing believes, we asked if she worries the same would happen to her.

Yeoh replied: "When you fall in love with someone, you can't sit there and wonder what if.

"If you have so many what-ifs, that person is probably not the right one for you. Give that person a chance."


This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.