Michelle Yeoh

  1. Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix, 1998.   The Wachowski siblings (then brothers Larry and Andy, now sisters Lana and Lilly) hunted their heroine, Trinity, through Yeoh, Gillian Anderson, Sandra Bullock, Janet Jackson.
  2. Lisa Lui, Charlie’s Angels, 1999.     Tele-tycoon Aaron Spelling decided to put Aaron’s angels on the big screen  (to help generate a new series on the small). His first  new  trio: MTV discovery Jenny McCarthy, ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and 007’s Hong Kong martial arts superstar. Then, Drew Barrymore showed him how to do it. with the  third  of her numerous (canny) productions.. Just look at the 25 girls she shuffled to find the right  angel Alex Munday: Aaliyah (“too young”), Asia Argento, Halle Berry, Lara Flynn Boyle, Helena Bonham Carter, Penélope Cruz, Kristin Davis, Jodie Foster, Angie Harmon (stuck on Law & Order),  Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nia Long, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffani Thiessen, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler,  Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Wright, Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones… And two singers: Lauryn Hill and another Spice Girl: Victoria Beckham.
  3. Natasha Henstridge, Ghosts of Mars, 2001.    Or how  auteur John Carpenter lost his public.   He aimed for a “mindless and silly” thriller, a la Commandoand Rambo, and the fans thought  it was straight horror . “It’s called Ghosts Of Mars for Christ’s sake, why would people take this movie seriously?”  He had gone through some choice choices for his leading lady.  From the fiirst signed (but ijnjured) Courtney Love and Famke Janssen  to Franka Potenta and Michelle Yeoh. He didn’t make another film for nine years and when  he did, his wife , Cindy King called The Ward his chick flick, The line-up (choice again) included  Mika Boorem, Lyndsy Fonseca, Mamie Gummer, Amber Heard, Laura-Leigh and  Danielle Panabaker.   
  4. Collin Chou, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, 2003.     After what happened on the original’s casting, Michelle rightly backed away from the grotty sequels. Which is the how and why of  the cult villain from Bodyguard From Beijing (aka The Protector) becoming Keanu Reeves’ forgettable sidekick.
  5. Kelly Lin, Boarding Gate, France-Luxembourg, 2006.     The Olivier Assayas film is stolen by Asia Argento. One critic said she couldn’t act her way through a  paper handkerchief but  she was A Star. Probably why Yeoh (and Tony Leung Ka Fai) passed on the subplot couple.
  6. Charlize Theron, Prometheus, 2011.    Among the season’s usual testees chasing Ridley Scott’s (is it?/it isn’t/oh yes, it is) Alien prequel – Yeohand Angelina Joli were short listed for the icy Meredith Vickers. 


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  6