Michelle Yeoh Reveals How People React To Her Role As A Bond Girl

By Douglas Helm | 2 months ago

michelle yeoh

Michelle Yeoh has had a long and storied career in Hollywood, but she really started to gain popularity with US audiences and especially UK audiences when she became a Bond girl in 1997. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Yeoh mentioned how warm of a welcome she received in London when she was there filming Tomorrow Never Dies. It seems like being in a Bond movie brings gets you some cred when you enter the country of the famous super-spy, as she recounts “The most fun was when I was going through immigration [in the U.K.], and I said, ‘I’m going to be in a Bond movie.’ You can see their face change! ‘You are going to be a Bond girl? Welcome to London!’

Michelle Yeoh was an especially memorable Bond girl. Her role in Tomorrow Never Dies alongside Pierce Brosnan’s Bond was much different than the more objectified roles that Bond girls had played in the older movies. Yeoh played the spy Wai Lin, performing all of her own fight scenes and generally being the badass she’s known for being today.

Michell Yeoh touched on the role of the Bond girl and how it was changing in the interview, saying “They thought Bond had to be very present in this time where the women are all stepping up, and the women are on equal terms in every way, and there were just no questions asked about that.” Since then, Bond girls have certainly become much more fleshed out characters with their own motivations, rather than just being someone for Bond to have sex with. The Daniel Craig movies have most recently carried on with the tradition of having Bond girls with depth. Actresses like Eva Green, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, and Naomie Harris have all been able to make their mark on the series. There are even talks of there being more diverse James Bond portrayals in the future, with either a woman or a black man taking on the role.

michelle yeoh
Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Though we might not be seeing Michelle Yeoh in a James Bond movie soon, she has plenty of upcoming work on the docket. Most recently, she had an important role in the Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, where she really got to put her martial arts skills to good use. She’ll also be busy working alongside James Cameron well into 2028, as she’s set to appear in not one, not two, not three, but four Avatar sequels.

As to where you can see Michelle Yeoh next, she has a big upcoming project called Everything Everywhere All at Once. The prestigious A24 will be releasing the film at the SXSW festival before it hits theaters. Yeoh plays Evelyn, a woman who exists across multiple different universes. The movie also has a score by Son Lux and a mind-boggling 49-song soundtrack that features tracks from huge artists like Andre 3000, David Byrne, Randy Newman, Mitski, Moses Sumney, and many more. The film also stars Stephanie Hsu, James Hong, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis. You can check out the former Bond girl in Everything Everywhere All at Once when it hits theatres on March 25.