Friday, September 30, 2011

The original female action star – Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh is tough as nails and she can hold her own in action sequences alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li. She wasn’t a trained martial artist when she started action films. She was actually a ballerina, so she had the flexibility, strength and coordination to pick up martial arts very quickly.

I was watching some of her interviews on YouTube and she said stunts for American films are a lot easier than Hong Kong films. Back when she was starting out in film, there was no CGI - all the actors had to do the stunts for real.

She was describing how she had to jump off a building and land in to a pile of cardboard boxes (because they didn’t used airbags in Hong Kong). On top of the boxes were some mattresses to help cushion the fall. When she jumped off, she was falling a lot faster than she had anticipated. She wasn’t prepared for the landing. She landed on her head and she heard a snap. She had to go to hospital and she was in a body cast because she had damaged her spine, her neck.

She didn’t tell her parents about the dangers of the stunts she had to perform, because she didn’t want them to worry. This time she was seriously injured, and the media was about to circulate the story. She had to call her parents – she talked to them casually, then she mentioned that the media might report a story about my injury and she said that it was a publicity stunt.

Another interesting story she mentioned was about a fight scene between her and Jet Li. She said that Jet Li always treats her like a brother. Jet Li doesn’t see her as a girl, so he does not treat her like one. In fight scenes he does not go easy on her. In one scenario, he was charging at her with a huge sword, Michelle couldn’t block him in time because he was so powerful. The sword hit her nose, but luckily it didn’t break.

Michelle is one tough female!

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