Michelle Yeoh says her mother used to accompany her on dates


File photo of Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh and her mum, Datin Janet Yeoh. Photo: Filepic

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has her mother, Datin Janet Yeoh, to thank for kick-starting her career in the entertainment industry.

In a hilarious interview with British talk show host Graham Norton on The Graham Norton Show, Michelle Yeoh revealed that it was her mother who pushed her to take part in the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant in 1983.

Yeoh told Norton she was back in Malaysia from England around that time when her mother "suddenly looped into this whole thing about" how she should go for more auditions now that's she 21 as she won't get the same opportunity the older she gets.

Yeoh remembered being perplexed at what her mother said.

"I'm thinking, 'What on Earth is she on about?'," the Ipoh-born actress said on the show which was aired on Feb 3.

"The next thing I knew was ... she had entered me for Miss Malaysia ... she actually signed the form, so technically, I'm not legit," Yeoh said, drawing laughter from the audience and guests on the show including Elvis star, Austin Butler.

Norton interjected: “But you’d think, ‘Oh, terrible thing to do’, but – you won!”

Yeoh said: “I did it to shut her up. 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 60-year-old also revealed that her mother used to follow her on dates when she was younger.

“Now, you have to remember mums are very protective, right, for all the right reasons. She always went on a date. Always, until I went to England to study,” Yeoh said.

The Crazy Rich Asians star then went on to tell a story of an awkward date she had at age 17, that had everyone at the studio in stitches.

"One time I was sitting like this [with arms crossed] and I suddenly realised, 'Why are there two hands on my leg?'

"It was his hand on my mum's hand!"

At this point, Yeoh held on to Butler's hand to re-eneact the scene.

"He was holding the hand he thought was mine, and then I looked at it like, 'Excuse me guys.'," she said.

Yeoh, who was crowned Miss Malaysia in 1983, parlayed her victory into a successful movie career in Hong Kong before moving on to Hollywood in 1997 after appearing in the James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies.

She made history in January this year when she became the first Malaysian to win a Golden Globes for Best Actress In A Musical Or Comedy Motion Picture for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once.

She's currently up for an Oscar in the Best Actress category. If Yeoh wins the Oscar, she will, again, be the first Malaysian to walk away with the most coveted acting honour in Hollywood.

Additionally, she will also be the first actress of Asian descent to win in the Best Actress category in the Academy's 95-year history.

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