Michelle Yeoh is a woman of many talents. While the movie-going public might know her as a Bond girl, the villainous mom from Crazy Rich Asians, or for her history-making Oscar-nominated performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once, before all that, the veteran actress bore a different title: Miss World candidate!
READ: Michelle Yeoh Represented Malaysia in Miss World 1983
Years before her name found its way to film credits, the Malaysian thespian dabbled in beauty pageants at the age of 20 in 1983, when she was crowned Miss World Malaysia. But in an interview on the British series The Grahan Norton Show, the actress revealed that it was her mother who actually signed her up for the pageant!
In the show, Michelle recounted how her mom “looped” her into the topic, after arriving home in Malaysia from her school in the United Kingdom.
“I’m thinking, “What on earth is she on about?” Next thing I knew, my brother–she looped my brother into doing [the same], he was like, 'Yeah, yeah, you should try that,'” Michelle said. “She had entered me for Miss Malaysia. She actually signed the form, so technically, I’m not legit.”
Despite pageantry not being in her plans, Michelle ended up bagging the coveted title. “I did it to shut [my mother] up,” she recounted. “Because she wouldn’t stop about it, so we had a deal. If I do this, you will never do something like this again.”
The future acclaimed actress eventually represented Malaysia during the 1983 Miss World held in London. While she didn’t make it to a Top 15 finish, Michelle continued to make her mom proud in Australia, where she won Miss International Tourism Quest. After that, she caught the eye of producers and ended up filming a TV commercial with none other than Jackie Chan. The rest, as they say, is film history!
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