Asian kung fu queen diversifies into film production
Mon Jul 29, 1:07 PM ET
By Carrie Lee
HONG KONG (Reuters) -
Asian martial arts star
Michelle Yeoh, heroine of Oscar-winning "Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon," is making her debut as a producer in her new
film "The Touch."
"It is my first attempt. I'm a total rookie," Yeoh told
reporters Monday. "It's been very exciting. I think the most
important thing is that it's been a great learning experience."
Yeoh is the lead actress and a co-producer of the US$20
million English-language action movie, directed by "Crouching
Tiger" cinematographer Peter Pau who won Best Cinematography at
last year's Oscars (
web sites) for the martial arts epic.
Ben Chaplin, "The Touch" debuts in China, Hong
Kong, Singapore and Malaysia on August 1 as part of its global
Yeoh, who is already planning to produce another film, said
an actress had limited impact on a movie.
"Basically you can explore your character. You can't really
influence the entire film to the max. But as a producer, you
can start from an idea and take and run with it from there and
make it a reality," the Malaysian-born actress said.
"What I've really found challenging and particularly
stimulating is the marketing of a film. How do we come up with
this poster...how to create that awareness, being in everyone's
face and getting everyone excited about it," she added.
"The Touch," an adventure set in contemporary China,
surrounds a religious relic that was hidden at a mysterious
place by the monks of Dunhuang, an historic city in Gansu
province in northwestern China, more than 700 years ago.
Yin (Yeoh) and her lover Eric (Chaplin), together with
Yin's brother and his girl friend, embark on a hazardous
journey to rediscover the relic.
The adventure takes them from Qingdao in eastern China to
the deserts of Dunhuang and then to the Potala Palace in Tibet.
The movie is expected to be released also in Thailand and
Taiwan later this month, and in the United States and major
European countries around Easter next year.
Yeoh, who played James Bond's girl in "Tomorrow Never
Dies," shot to greater fame after "Crouching Tiger" won four
Academy Awards (
web sites) in 2001.
Yeoh, 39, is planning more martial arts epics.
"We have about five scripts that are being done right now.
The one that's closest to my heart is Hua Mulan," said Yeoh.
Hua Mulan was a pious daughter in ancient China who
pretended to be a man to serve in the army so that her father
could be exempted from military service.
"I will play Mulan and I will also be a producer of it,"
"Mulan is going to have all the elements -- the love, the
drama, the country," she said.