Michelle Yeoh interview

Bond girl Michelle Yeoh plays an evil wizard in latest flick The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

A former Miss Malaysia, Michelle Yeoh has played a Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies and a kick-ass warrior in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Now she plays an evil wizard in action-adventure sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

What made you choose to work on the new Mummy film?

I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a great fight with Jet Li. On screen. On screen! We’ve always been on the same side in movies, and always fought against the rest of the world. This time we have the biggest confrontation, a spectacular sword-fight with Jet. On the call sheet, it was listed, as ‘the fight Asia has been waiting for’.

You started out doing martial arts movies, but lately you’ve been in all different sorts of films, from Memoirs of a Geisha to Sunshine. Was that a conscious decision?

I don’t know. I guess I have been choosing these roles or these kind of roles have been choosing me. I think it works both ways. I have been presented with roles with demand not just a physical ability but mental disciplines as well. Memoirs of a Geisha was not so much about physical exertion…it was much more graceful and contained than that.

You’re engaged to former Ferrari Formula 1 CEO Jean Todt. Is it better to date the boss, rather than a driver?

I don’t think I’d be able to stand it. For example, I was a big fan of Michael [Schumacher], and I miss seeing him on the track, and now every-time I see Fillipe [Massa] and Kimi [Raikkonnen], and they take a bad corner, it’s scary. They’re driving those tracks at such speed, and your concentration must be so intense…I can’t imagine being like that, on the go for two hours. In film, you can always do another take. For them, there is no room for mistakes.

You don’t have children. Did you ever feel like having them?

It feels like I do have my own kids, because I have five godchildren. So in my mind I do have kids. I have people who love me and people that I love and a man that I love. So in that sense, I feel that I’m pretty well rounded.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opens on 6 August.

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