Michelle Yeoh Choo-kheng (born 6 August 1962) is a Malaysian actress of Chinese descent who rose to fame in 1990s Hong Kong action films and is famous internationally for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) the martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), along with recent international English-language films and series. She won the Academy Award for "Best Actress" for her role in the "Best Picture" award winner Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022).
- Don't speak about diversity and just have us there because you want to make it look like it's diverse. Meaningful representation, that's what it's all about, where the characters have real hopes and dreams and lives and it's very sincere to the culture.
- I think all minorities are not happy to be whitewashed, or not happy that their stories are not told in a meaningful way. So that's why it's important. At the end of the day, if we don't have a beautiful, funny, amazing film, we can't make the statement. There's no movement. So, there is a lot riding on it, but we've done our part. We've put love and all the best ideas on how to make it as representational of the Asians. I hope it will make a strong impact, that Asians around the world will think, “I can tell my own stories because you guys wanna hear it. And you guys embrace it.”
- I have been filming a lot away from home this year. So the minute I finish, I will dash home to be with my family and be surrounded by Christmas trees and Christmas cheer.
- Yeah. Anything. We always have a feast. You know, the Chinese, we have so many things on the table. So it’s about being together and dining and wining and laughing. Just hanging out! That’s the most important thing. Who cares about that turkey?
- But once I got to America, I was like, 'I'm really a minority here, I have no representation.' One of the worst things was, every time there was a role to read, it was so stereotypical. It was of the Chinese girl from Chinatown or the waitress, you know, the old cliches. I fought against that for a very long time. I had the luxury of saying no, I won't endorse these kinds of roles. But I can totally understand that there are so many actors and actresses who (have to take on those roles) to work for a living.
- My goal is to leverage the platform I’ve been given through my career in film, television and entertainment to raise awareness of and mobilize support for the Sustainable Development Goals – specifically, how each and every one of us can play an important role in making them a reality.
- There is a lot that consumers, for instance, can do through their purchasing power and their commitment to reuse and recycle, governments through more stringent regulations, and companies through innovative business models and a beyond-profit mentality. Everybody involved needs to work together.
- We are given this amazing opportunity to take you to the other side of the world, where even if you’re not American-born Chinese, it’s like going to your roots and really knowing how it is back home. Because it is very, very different, whereby family values are much more important than personal ambitions and personal goals. So that self-sacrificing attitude and love for family is shown in very different ways
- Perhaps because I have lived my life in the public eye, I believe that one of the most powerful ways to combat stigma is to speak out publicly about AIDS. A lot of people don’t know the basic facts about prevention, testing, how the virus is transmitted, and why they shouldn’t be afraid of someone with HIV. If we bring the subject out into the open, I hope that people will eventually realize that HIV should not be a mark of shame.
- Without leadership, it is difficult for a country to make real progress against the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. We need leadership to combat the discrimination that makes it hard for people to seek treatment if they become infected, hold a job, sustain relationships, and live active lives in their own communities.
- The media is the quickest and most powerful way to speak out. Those of us who have the attention of the media are privileged, and we have the responsibility to put that privilege to good use! I am fortunate because I can draw public attention to HIV/AIDS and help people understand that this is a disease that can be eradicated. This work cannot stop until we have defeated the epidemic on every front around the world.
Class Day address at Harvard Law School, May, 2023 edit
- As quoted in Harvard Magazine article, May 24, 2023.
- Understanding what you can do is essential, understanding what you can’t do is pretty important too.
- Internally, knowing your limits keeps you humble, motivated, and focused on a goal to point your finger toward. Externally, knowing the limits that are set to you by others gives you a place to point a different finger. And yes, I am talking about the middle one.
- I knew I had made it [as an action star] when soon after, I joined Jet Li and Jackie Chan as the three people who Hong Kong insurance refused to cover.
- Learning how to fall teaches you how to land. And learning how to land gives you the courage to jump high.
- For every winner, there doesn’t have to be a loser...In fact, most success stories are less about competition and more about collaboration.
- When you are leaping without a safety net, people become your safety net. And you become theirs.