Michelle Yeoh recalls being mocked as a 'banana'

PHOTO: AFP

Malaysian-born actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh (pic) revealed that she was mocked for not being a "pure Chinese", Sinchew Daily reported.

She said this in an interview with entertainment programme BUILD Series, where she appeared alongside fellow cast members Awkwafina, Ken Jeong and fellow Malaysian Henry Golding to promote the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.

"When I first went to Hong Kong, they didn't see me as a pure Chinese because I grew up in Malaysia. I don't know how to write Chinese and didn't speak Chinese very well," she said.

She recalled an incident where she went to a restaurant in Chinatown in England and asked for an English menu.

"I didn't know how to use chopsticks, too. With my limited Cantonese, I could hear people saying that I was neither human nor the foreign devil (a term used to mock Chinese who do not speak or act Chinese).

"To them I was a 'banana', I looked Chinese but didn't act like one," she said.

Stars of Crazy Rich Asians shine bright at Singapore premiere

  • Actor Henry Golding (R) and his wife Liv Lo (L) arrive at the film premiere of "Crazy Rich Asians" at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore on August 21, 2018.
  • Hundreds turned up at the Capitol Theatre on Tuesday night (Aug 21) to greet the stars of the film Crazy Rich Asians at the Singapore premiere of the surprise Hollywood hit.
  • The main attraction was lead actor Malaysian-British actor Henry Golding, who plays Nick Young, the heir to a fortune amassed by Singapore's wealthiest family.
  • He was joined on the carpet by his wife, actress and fitness instructor Liv Lo.
  • Also present were Singapore actors Pierre Png, Tan Kheng Hua, Koh Chieng Mun, Fiona Xie, Selena Tan, Janice Koh, Amy Cheng and Constance Lau, as well as photographer Russel Wong and others.
  • Pierre Png and wife Andrea D'cruz
  • Director John M. Chu (R) and his wife Kristin Hodge
  • Fiona Xie, who plays Kitty Pong in the film.
  • Actor Chris Pang walks the emerald carpet in Singapore.
  • The film's weekend takings of over US$35 million (S$47.9 million) in the United States has far exceeded expectations for the romantic comedy, with many seeing its success as a sign that audiences are hungry for fun love stories, and will welcome films that feature non-whites in leading roles.
  • The film, based on the 2013 bestseller of the same name by novelist Kevin Kwan, opens in theatres in Singapore on Aug 22.
  • Malaysian actress Carmen Soo.
  • Singapore actress Koh Chieng Mun.
  • Constance Lau
  • Janice Koh
  • Selena Tan
  • Producer John Penotti and guests pose at the film premiere of "Crazy Rich Asians"
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