Michelle Yim's fountain of youth

  • TV
  • Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013

Hong Kong actress Michelle Yim, 58, attributes her svelte figure to strict diet.

HONG Kong TVB actress Michelle Yim, 58, was the talk of the town back in August when she posted online photographs of herself lounging by the pool in a one-piece swimsuit.

Netizens heaped praise on her svelte figure, calling her “stunning” and “a hot lady”. One netizen wrote: “I am 20 years old but she, at 58, has a much hotter body than I do.”

Asked about it at an interview recently, the actress chuckles shyly. She says she never expected the photos to draw “such a huge response”.

“It had been rainy for days in Hong Kong, and finally there was that one day that was sunny. I was in a good mood and had the rare chance to take some time off from work, so I went to the pool to relax,” she recalls.

“All I wanted to do was to post the pictures and share my happy feelings with everyone. I never thought so many people would have such a strong reaction to them, but they were good reactions, so I’m really grateful for all the feedback.”

The photo Yim uploaded online which got everyone talking!

She says she has no exercise regimen because “work is busy enough and keeps us moving”. But she is a big advocate of healthy eating.

“I’m strict about what I eat. I choose to eat only the best quality food and I cut down on cholesterol and fat. I’ll stick to tofu, green vegetables and fish,” she says. “We’re given control of our own bodies, so we must do what we can to take care of them.”

She adds, however, that she does stray from her strict diet plan occasionally. “You can’t stay away from fat and cholesterol completely. I also have greedy cravings sometimes.”

Dressed in a bright pink-and-white outfit with big glamorous hair and few wrinkles, Yim easily looks a decade younger.

Her role as empress dowager Cixi in the period drama The Confidant earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the TVB Anniversary Awards late last year, but Tavia Yeung beat her to the award with her role as a Peking opera singer in Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles.

At the mention of the Cixi role, Yim is excited and starts gushing. “I really loved this role because I put in a lot of effort. It was a role with which, even though I didn’t move around a lot, I had to think about my facial expressions, body language and tone of voice to show command.”

The character stirred some talk among viewers because the notoriously ruthless empress dowager of history books was, for once, pictured in a more sympathetic light.

Yim defends the depiction, saying: “Many viewers kept asking, ‘Was she really so kind? Why justify her actions?’ But I feel that she was misunderstood in history. She was one of those types of people who had to do whatever she could to protect herself in a pre-emptive manner. So it’s not like she was out to get people.”

She is reportedly still single after her long-time boyfriend, former soccer player and actor Wan Chi Keung, died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 53.

Ask what she hopes to achieve at this point in her life, and she says she hopes to use her time to “help others”.

“I want to do more charity work, whether it’s through shows or writing books, to help underprivileged kids. I just want to try to bring some happiness to others.”

Yim, who was crowned Best Actress at the TVB Anniversary Awards in 2008 for her role as a conniving second wife in Moonlight Resonance (2008), says she wants to be more adventurous in her choice of roles. “I’ve done all sorts of roles already, so I’d like to play a character who has mental problems.”

“I got to know people with mental problems through some of my charity work and I know that these illnesses are not their fault. I want to be able to portray that positively in a show so that viewers can learn to look at these people without prejudice.” – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

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