Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann details first meeting with Michelle Yeoh on set of US series


Yeo Yann Yann, 45, will star alongside Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Daniel Wu in the upcoming Disney series, 'American Born Chinese' Photos: Muhamad Shahril Rosli/The Star

After bagging two Golden Horse awards and making a name for herself in Asia, Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann is ready to reach new heights by breaking into the Hollywood scene with the upcoming Disney+ series, American Born Chinese.

Speaking to StarLifestyle, the 45-year-old revealed that she was thrilled to venture into the American market.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity because America has a very complete system in terms of production.

“They have a long history when it comes to television and films, and I’m just honoured to be involved in such a huge project,” she explained.

American Born Chinese features some of the biggest names in Asian showbiz including Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Daniel Wu.

During our interview, Yeo spilled some details about her first meeting with Yeoh, Malaysia’s first Golden Globe award winner.

“She’s a very sweet and an incredible person. I went wild when I found out I was going to be working with Michelle.

“I remember the first time I met her and I was totally starstruck. My mind literally went blank that day.

“Even until now, I’m still trying to process that it actually happened,” she said.

This isn’t Yeo’s first venture into Hollywood. In June 2021, it was announced that she would be joining Tom Hardy and Forest Whitaker in the upcoming Netflix thriller, Havoc.

Speaking about her experience working in the United States, the actress shared: “The work culture there is quite different compared to Asia. When I was in the US, I could rest more. There’s a better work-life balance too.

“But what I love most about both America and Asia is the amount of passion all these filmmakers, actors and crew members have towards their craft.

“Even though the work culture is different, at the end of the day, everyone is still able to deliver.”

Although Yeo had no issues adjusting to the American lifestyle, she said that it took her awhile to get accustomed to the difference in time zones.

Yeo Yann Yann won a Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress in 2019 for her stellar performance in the Singaporean film, 'Wet Season'.Yeo Yann Yann won a Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress in 2019 for her stellar performance in the Singaporean film, 'Wet Season'.

“I had a really hard time with jet lag after landing in the US because there’s a 16-hour difference between the time there and in Malaysia and Singapore. It took me about 20 days to get used to it,” she explained.

Yeo stressed that jet lag will not stop her from taking on projects from all across the globe.

“I want to take on more projects from all around the world not just in the US or the UK.

“I believe that every place has their own unique projects to offer, and it would be amazing to explore each one if I get the chance,” she added.

Yeo is back in Malaysia to promote her new Chinese New Year movie, The King Of Musang King.

Directed by Singaporean filmmaker Jack Neo, this flick revolves around Liu Mei Lian (Yeo), a mother who works hard to raise her three children while simultaneously running a durian plantation left behind by her late father.

After developing feelings for a “durian expert” named Wang Mao Shan (Neo), things get complicated when Mei Lian’s husband, Wang Jin Shui (Mark Lee), returns to the family 20 years later.

Add on conflict between Mei Lian and her children, the family will have to learn to leave behind past grudges if they want their durian business to succeed.

The King Of Musang King opens at cinemas nationwide today.

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