You may know Michelle Yeoh from 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies or 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Or, if you’ve used TikTok more than Facebook and aren’t afraid of low rise jeans, you may be familiar with her starring role in 2022’s Everything Everywhere All At Once. No matter what comes to mind when you think of the Malaysian actress, we can bet you’ll be impressed with this list of Michelle Yeoh facts.
And with our ability to sing the ABCs backwards in five seconds. But this isn’t about us.
Of course, all of that only scratches the surface of Yeoh’s background, on and off screen. We can’t forget about her performances in Shang-Chi or Crazy Rich Asians, and so many other iconic films. And the fact that she does her own stunts and can sing. Which, for some die-hard karaoke goers is all in the same.
9 Interesting Michelle Yeoh Facts That Make Her Even Cooler
1. She was a ballerina.
We might never have seen her acting talents if a spinal injury hadn’t knocked her out of ballet. Not that we’re happy about someone getting hurt…but like, silver lining?
Yeoh started ballet lessons at four years old and eventually made it to London’s Royal Academy of Dance. But after a back injury, she took her final bow on the ballet stage, and transitioned into the actress we know and love her as today. Okay, with a lot of work and dedication in between. Real life isn’t actually like a movie montage.
2. She’s a stunt woman.
With such an extensive dance background, it makes sense that Yeoh has some impressive physical skills. From motorcycle riding in 1992’s Supercop to action-packed scenes in Tomorrow Never Dies, she’s performed many of her own on-screen stunts. Howerever…
3. She has no formal martial arts training.
After watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, she could have fooled us! Okay sure, that’s what “acting” is. But despite her killer execution of her kung fu and stunts, Yeoh has no formal martial arts training. Apparently, a ballet background can be pretty handy.
And to think our parents pulled us out of classes…when we would scream and cry about going to them every time.
4. She speaks three languages.
While you struggled your way through two semesters of Spanish, Yeoh is fluent in English, Malay, and Cantonese. Okay fine, we struggled too.
5. She’s won a bunch of awards.
Let’s go through all of the awards that Michelle Yeoh has won. Do you have, say…five hours? Yeah, probably not. But the point is, she has been nominated for and won a ton of awards, including a lifetime award at 2013’s ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards, and multiple Best Actress awards for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
We can only hope she has a second closet for all those statues and plaques. But she can definitely borrow ours if she wants!
6. She started her own production company.
In 2000, Yeoh launched her own production company, Mythical Films. And in 2002, it released The Touch, which Yeoh produced and starred in. We love a woman who can do it all. What’s next, Yeoh for President?
7. She joined the ranks of the Bond girls in 1997.
Yeoh joined the ranks of Bond girl fame in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies opposite Pierce Brosnan. She was no damsel, though. Her Bond girl could hold her own as an assassin in her own right on equal footing with Bond. His gadgets didn’t dazzle her.
8. She was named the greatest heroine of all time.
In a 2008 Rotten Tomatoes ranking, Yeoh was ranked as the #1 greatest heroine of all time. “What can you say about a woman who’s starred in over 20 action films, performed most of her own stunts, kept pace with James Bond, and held her own alongside legends like Jet Li and Jackie Chan?” We say…checks out!
Sometimes we don’t have a lot to say, but that’s fine.
9. She can sing.
She can act, she can dance, and she can sing! Yeoh showed off her vocal skills in Butterfly and Sword and Everything Everywhere at Once, and will take things to a new level in Wicked. She’s set to play Madame Morrible in Jon M. Chu’s two-part “Wicked” movies, which are to be released in 2024. Don’t mind us while we think about this every single day until it comes out.