Hong Kong star Donnie Yen says he’s proud of Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh’s achievements in Hollywood, and congratulates the Malaysian for her Best Actress win at this year’s Golden Globes.
The two of them have starred together in three Hong Kong films namely Butterfly And Sword (1993), Wing Chun (1994) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny (2016).
Yen further states that recognition of Asian talents in the United States is long overdue.
“I think we are just as talented as everybody else, you know. And it should be about the talent, not your skin colour or your culture,” he told the Malaysian journalists during a press meet in Kuala Lumpur when he came down to promote his latest film, Sakra.
While Yen is glad to see Asian artistes are currently being accepted as part of the cast in international shows, he also points out that the margin of opportunities available for Asians is still very small compared to what’s being offered to talents from the West.
Yen – who made a name for himself in Hollywood with major films like xXx: Return Of Xander Cage as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and will next be seen starring in the highly anticipated John Wick: Chapter 4 – believes that Asian stars must continue to “strive and fight for it” if they want to level the playing field.
“You have to fight for it. You can’t just say ‘Oh, I’m in a movie. I’m involved.’ You’ve got to fight for your place.
"Meaning that you have to be daring to play the role, and play the role well – show the world that you can play a role that normally the colour of your skin wouldn’t allow you to play that role.
“You have to prove them wrong. You have to continue to be a pioneer, and have that fighter mentality as well as the spirit.”