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Hollywood actor Michelle Yeoh: more an activist than actor

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Photo: www.cobaltss.net

Kathmandu: She’s a global face as a Hollywood actor, action heroine, and a humanitarian. For Malaysia-born Michelle Yeoh, famous for her role in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning martial arts love story “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” every day is a gift and she looks forward to another good tomorrow.

She also acted in James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” in 1997.

Yeoh was in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, accompanying fiance Jean Todt for the Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) Asia-Pacific Sports Regional Congress when the earthquake hit on April 25 last year.

The temblor killed over 8,000 people, injuring thousands and causing widespread destruction.

The actor has made helping rebuild lives in Nepal a priority.

“Raising awareness for Nepal was and still is an important role for me. What’s happening is very real and there is so much work to be done to help rebuild the lives of the Nepalese,” the 53-year-old Malaysian actor, who believes her best performance is yet to come, told reporters in an email interview.

Yeoh and Todt have raised money for post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal.

“Yes, of course, I would always encourage Hollywood celebrities to join and support such a wonderful cause (Nepal disaster). It’s very important for us all to understand that we are interconnected and we need to hold hands together, especially when the going gets tough.”

A month after the natural disaster, the actor was in the Himalayan nation again, not as a tourist but as the brand ambassador of the ‘Live to Love’ foundation of globe-trotting Buddhist leader Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of the 1,000-year-old Drukpa Order based in India.

Quoting the spiritual leader, she said: “Without appreciation, our life is like plastic. Not only we have to remove the non-biodegradable rubbish from our external environment, we have to clear that from our mind too.”

“Every little positive step we make individually, collectively we can make a huge difference. For me, this is what ‘Live to Love’ is about,” Yeoh, who made her name as an action star in Hong Kong in 1990, added.

The actor, who stars as Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in “The Lady” directed by Luc Besson, also wants to focus on climate change.

“Global warming is a big issue now, it’s threatening humanity. All this can be changed if we begin to have a little appreciation and a little more understanding about interconnectivity between nature and us.”

About her reel or real role that is more challenging, she said: “Both are as real as ever, but in terms of challenges, the real life is, of course, more challenging and continuously full of surprises.”

“In the movies, the emotions are as real as the circumstances. The difference is that in a film, we have the script all plotted out, so you know what to expect and you are also given time to rehearse.”

In real life, though, she says, the plot unfolds day by day. “No chance to rehearse. You feel that you need to proact or react, and are kept on the toes,” she added.

Her latest film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny”, the sequel to the early successful film, has just hit the theatres.

Asked about her role in Aung San Suu Kyi’s biopic, she said: “Out of deep respect for Daw Suu (Suu Kyi) and the people of Burma, we did our utmost to stay true to her story,” although for better story-telling, “some liberties had been taken.”

The former Miss Malaysia has also been involved in the fight against AIDS for many years. (IANS)

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Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap Expresses His Thoughts on Violence Staged in Hollywood

"My idea of creating violence is to put the viewer off it, where it disturbs them," Anurag added

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Anurag Kashyap
Anurag Kashyap, flickr

Known as a master of making violence-based movies in Hindi cinema, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap expressed his thoughts on violence staged in Hollywood, saying American movies dont really explore violence.

According to Anurag Kashyap, Hollywood movies focus more on commercialisation.

“America is always middle of the ground, they always borrow from everywhere and make it more palatable and commercial but they don’t really explore violence barring some of the exploitation movies. They know how to commercialize everything, they are the Mcdonalds version of action and violence,” he said in a conversation for Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films Perfect Strokes with Anupama Chopra.

Be it movie “Gangs of Wasseypur” or web show “Sacred Games”, Anurag Kashyap never leave a chance to show violence, killings and other brutal scenes in his projects.

Anurag Kashyap delivered once again in the form of 'Mukkabaaz.'Wikimedia Commons
Hollywood doesn’t really explore violence: Anurag Kashyap.’Wikimedia Commons

Sharing his idea of violence, the 46-year-old director revealed that he does not like to see usage of violence in superhero movies as he believes mainstream films and superhero movies celebrate violence rather than showing its depth.

“I like the whole idea of taking people through that whole motion of what’s the worst fear that they might have. I get borthered by seeing celebratory violence that I see in mainstream movies or the superhero movie where the violence makes you feel like wanting to be a hero and getting into a fight.

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“My idea of creating violence is to put the viewer off it, where it disturbs them,” Anurag added.

The episode featuring Anurag will be out on Wednesday. (IANS)