Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Michelle Yeoh does Bangkok

The international star is in the Thai capital to promote her latest film

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Michelle Yeoh is thinking of taking a role in a musical for a change from her action roles.

PHOTO: YU SEN-LUN, TAIPEI TIMES

Wearing a white, linen Armani dress and Fendi sandals, Michelle Yeoh looked poised and elegant arriving at the Bangkok International Film Festival in the second week.

She said she had been relaxing in Thailand, eating lots of tom-yam gun and mango salad and indulging in facials and a body spa.

She said she had gone shopping wearing a big hat and sunglasses to avoid being noticed, but was still recognized by the store clerks and thereby eventually got a fat discount for the dresses and accessories she bought.

Of course Yeoh was not invited here for a holiday and came, primarily, to promote her latest filmSilver Hawk (飛鷹), an action drama released earlier in Hong Kong for the Lunar New Year holiday. Co-starring Taiwanese actor Richie Jen (任賢齊), Yeoh -- as in her last film The Touch (天脈傳奇), plays an extraordinary woman from a martial arts family. She and Jen go through a series of adventures in Shanghai and Beijing. Again, Yeoh does a lot of flying and kicking in the film.

Having acted in so many action films and always as a heroine, the question is, does Yeoh get tired of her screen image and want to take on different roles.

"Of course I want to try different roles," Yeoh said. "But I also wanted to challenge my physical strength while I can still kick around."

This is the reason why, in Silver Hawk, Yeoh dared to ride a motorcycle over the Great Wall.

"You see lots of super heroes in Hollywood movies doing amazing stunts. So I guess it's about time for a woman to do such exciting things," Yeoh said, adding she did have plans to act in a musical.

Fans of Yeoh may know she studied ballet in her youth.

"After years of training, the grace and the elegance of ballet stay with you," Michelle Yeoh said, adding she hoped to work with John Woo (吳宇森) on a musical.

"I knew that he wanted to work on a musical project for a long time," she said.

Her next project, however, will be the US$30 million budget Hua Mulan (花木蘭), the well-known story about a young woman in the Han dynasty who disguises herself as a man to join the army, as an act of filial duty. The story will be written by Wang Hui-ling (王蕙玲), scriptwriter of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍).

As Yeoh describes it, this will be another strong-woman role. "I do believe that women generally are strong. But this does not mean that she has to be butch or tough on the outside. She can look feminine and soft but actually be strong on the inside, like the character of Yu Hsiu-lien in Crouching Tiger," Yeoh said. "But in the case of Hua Mu-lan, maybe she will have to look butch on the outside."

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