Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh is Time magazine’s Icon of the Year; Blackpink is Entertainer of the Year

Michelle Yeoh (left) and Blackpink. PHOTOS: AFP, BLACKPINK/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR – Michelle Yeoh is capping off an extremely successful year by being named Time magazine’s Icon of the Year.

This year alone, Yeoh was involved in several projects, including The School For Good And Evil, Minions: The Rise Of Gru, Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank and the upcoming Avatar: The Way Of Water.

However, it is the indie film, Everything Everywhere All At Once – released in March – that is getting her all the rave reviews.

While the 60-year-old has starred in many American movies over two decades since she made the leap from Hong Kong to Hollywood in 1997, she has never been No. 1 on the call sheet until this year with Everything Everywhere All At Once.

She tells Time that it is because Asian actors have always been relegated to stereotypical or inconsequential roles.

“It shouldn’t be about my race, but it has been a battle. At least let me try,” the Ipoh-born actress said.

So when the plump role of an overworked and frustrated wife in Everything Everywhere All At Once landed on her lap, Yeoh gave it her all.

“When you get an opportunity like this, you have to pour your heart and soul into it because you don’t know when the next chance is. I think that is my biggest fear: Please don’t let this be the one and only,” Yeoh said.

Yeoh’s stellar performance in the movie is generating Oscar buzz for her.

Time wrote: “Yeoh is carrying an added weight in this year’s Academy Awards race: the understanding that victory for her would be received by Asians everywhere as victory for them too. No Asian woman has won Best Actress.”

Yeoh knows what a nomination and a win would mean, not only for her but to her legion of fans as well.

She said: “I’ve thought about it. And not just me – I feel like my full Asian community has thought about it. They come up to me and they say, ‘You’re doing it for us.’”

Time magazine named K-pop sensation Blackpink as Entertainer of the Year, the first time a girl group has been chosen.

The quartet have “managed to become the biggest girl group in the world”, the magazine wrote, and the key lies in “allowing its members to be solo stars in their own right”. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.