Malaysian Superstar Michelle Yeoh Is TIME Icon of the Year For 2022

TIME magazine has named top Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as the Icon of the Year 2022, cementing the actor’s stature as a superstar in the world of entertainment.

The Icon of the Year is a special category in the magazine’s annual Person of the Year issue. In May, Yeoh was included among TIME magazine’s list of most influential people of 2022.

The announcement follows the magazine’s recognition of K-pop group Blackpink as the Entertainer Of The Year 2022.

“Blackpink has managed to succeed by demanding our attention everywhere we have attention to give: not just in our headphones, but also in fashion and on screen,” the magazine noted in its report.

What TIME magazine said about Michelle Yeoh

‘Everyone here wants to meet her’

Michelle Yeoh Everything Everywhere All At Once
Image credit: Allyson Riggs/IMDb

The TIME Icon of the Year 2022 recognition comes as the Malaysian actor, who is 60 years old, has been basking in the worldwide appreciation from critics and fans for her performance as Evelyn Wang in the smash hit Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022).

Underlining the film’s success, TIME notes that as Los Angeles gears up for the Academy Awards season, “Everyone here wants to meet her, to shake her hand, to be remembered by her.”

“This is the moment Yeoh has long been waiting for: a big, starring role, the kind that could make her a household name,” the magazine says.

The report says that despite her outstanding body of work, primarily in action films, “until Everything Everywhere All at Once…she had never been No. 1 on a Hollywood call sheet.”

“It shouldn’t be about my race, but it has been a battle. At least let me try,” Yeoh told TIME magazine about Asian actors rarely getting top billing and given mostly stereotypical roles in Hollywood.


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Commenting on her possibility of winning an Academy Award and becoming the first Asian woman to win in Best Actress category, Yeoh told TIME, “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.’”

Michelle Yeoh’s illustrious career

Working in the industry since the mid-1980s, Yeoh, who is a former Miss Malaysia, is one of Asia’s greatest stars and is particularly famous for her action-oriented roles.

Among her string of hits in Hong Kong cinema are Yes, Madam (1985), Police Story 3: Super Cop (1992) and Tai Chi Master (1993).

Her established profile in Asia got her the part of Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) — a film that marked her Hollywood debut.

Eventually, Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) cemented Yeoh’s status as one of the greatest actors of all time.

Yeoh has been enjoying a steady level of success internationally in the last few years starting with Crazy Rich Asians (2018). She has also appeared in a pivotal role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).

Her future projects include Netflix series The Witcher: Blood Origin (2022), Kenneth Branagh’ A Haunting in Venice (2023), and the next three instalments of Avatar after Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).

Watch 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Here

(Main image: IMDb; Featured image: © 2011 – Indomina Releasing/IMDb)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur