KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Michelle Yeoh is hoping her recent triumph as Asia’s first Oscar-winning actress can help her to support filmmaking talent in her native Malaysia, where she returned on Tuesday to greet fans for the first time since her Academy Award.
Yeoh, 60, won the Oscar for her portrayal of Chinese American laundromat owner Evelyn Wang in the science-fiction kung fu comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once”.
“I know there are amazing filmmakers from this part of our world and we just have to, first of all, we have to create opportunities for them. We have to create platforms that will showcase their talent,” Yeoh told a news conference before a fan event.
“So I do want to work very closely with the heads of studios here, people who can make the change, people who can push the path forward.”
Dressed in loose jeans and a white blouse, Yeoh posed for pictures smiling with her Oscar statuette in front of a sign that said “pride of Malaysia”.
She later navigated through a throng of fans eager to capture her return on their smartphones as security personnel propped up barricades and cleared the way.
Yeoh made her Hollywood breakthrough as the first ethnic Chinese Bond girl in 1997’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” opposite Pierce Brosnan.
She has also starred in “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, the 2005 period drama “Memoirs of a Geisha” and the 2018 romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians”.
It was Yeoh’s first Oscar nomination and she was widely tipped as the favourite.
“I heard the roar of joy, happiness all across the world to Los Angeles,” she told fans, recalling when the winner was revealed.
“I thank all of you for having been on that journey with me because I felt your support, I felt your strength, because it was a difficult journey.”
(Reporting by Ibrahim Harris; Writing by Zahra Matarani and Martin Petty; Editing by Sharon Singleton)