Right now, Michelle Yeoh is in Star Trek: Discovery (2017-) plus she was the ruling mother in Crazy Rich Asians (2018). But she’s best known as the queen of martial arts, having turned her ballet training from London’s Royal Academy into fighting skills for Hong Kong action films. Many of those movies are historical, so they qualify as frock flicks. Yeoh has also had success in several Hollywood historical films. And she’s still going, with a dozen films listed in-production on IMDB.com including voice work and the Avatar sequels. I’d love to see her in more frock flicks though, because, as she says of her work:
“I gravitate towards roles where women find strength in very difficult, uncompromising situations but maintain clarity in mind, discipline at heart, and a certain strength in spirit.”
And that’s fascinating to watch onscreen.
Fok Ming-Ming in Dynamite Fighters aka Zhong hua zhan shi (1987)
Lady Ko in Butterfly and Sword aka Xin liu xing hu die jian (1993)
Yeoh places her roles in historical context, saying:
“If you read a lot of Chinese literature, there has always been very strong women figures — warriors, swordswomen — who defended honor and loyalty with the men. So, it’s not new to our culture — it’s always been very much a part of it. It’s good that now the Western audience would have a different image of the Chinese women.”
Siu Lin in Tai-Chi Master aka Tai gik Cheung Sam Fung (1993)
Yim Wing Chun in Wing Chun (1994)
Soong Ai-ling / Madam Kung in The Soong Sisters (1997)
Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Mameha in Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Michelle Yeoh said of this film:
“Learning how to walk in a kimono was an art form in itself — if you didn’t learn to do it properly it was like dragging a dead cat across the floor! We had to walk with a piece of paper between your knees and a tea tray balanced on your head.”
Mrs. Wang in The Children of Huang Shi (2008)
Dr. Yu in True Legend aka Su Qi-er (2010)
Zeng Jing in Reign of Assassins aka Jian yu (2010)
Lotus in Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes (2015) & Marco Polo (2016)
Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)
What’s your favorite frock flick featuring Michelle Yeoh?
Probably Wing Chun. But if you want a gut-grabbing movie, see producer/star Michelle Yeoh’s “Far North,” which creeps up on you and drive Sean Bean naked into the wintry blast.
I have 2 favourites Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha. Where did you stream The Soo Sisters? Wanted to see that since forever.
MICHELLE YEOH!!! She’s amazing.
Several points –
1) Michelle Yeoh rules.
2) Her storyline with Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger was the heart and soul of that great movie. She”s an innkeeper. She’s a venerated, retired warrior. She has a great, former romance. She can still kick ass!
3) She always seems to get beautiful costumes
4) She fucking stole the movie in Crazy Rich Asians as the mighty Eleanor Young. I wanted a whole movie just about her.
Yes! She will always be Auntie Eleanor to me. :)
Michelle Yeoh is one of those actresses where I will see a movie just because she’s in it.
I just cannot get over those terrible hairstyles in Memoirs. Having actual geiko and maiko hairstyles would not have made it ‘inaccessible’ to western audiences.
Michelle Yeoh is fantastic, though, and I’ll watch her in pretty much anything.
Yeah, and that dance sequence with the snow! Even I could tell how wrong that was.
Michelle Yeoh is one of the most beautiful women on planet earth!! I either didn’t know or forgot about her ballet training, but that makes total sense. Gotta vote for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, of course!
The first Crouching Tiger, for sure.
Another vote for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon! I remember being totally taken aback the first time fighters took to the air. ‘Just go with it,’ I was told. So I did.