HONG KONG: Actor Michelle Yeoh said on Friday playing the role of Aung San Suu Kyi in the The Lady directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson was an opportunity of a lifetime, as the film about the Myanmar democracy leader made its debut in Hong Kong.
But the Hong Kong-based, Malaysian-born star refused to be drawn on the film’s likely reception in Myanmar.
“When I first heard that someone wants to make a movie about Aung San Suu Kyi, instinctively I knew as an actor that this is a role of a lifetime,” the former Bond girl told reporters ahead of the film’s premiere. “Of course I was pressured, of course you feel a great sense of responsibility because of who she is and what she represents,” Yeoh said.
“But I think what is important for me is my commitment not just to myself but to the profession that I love. This was truly an opportunity of a lifetime.”
“She is such a revered person, she is such as good human being (who) would be very inspirational for me not just as an actor but for my audience as well.”
The 48-year-old star of films including Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon said the pressure of playing a Nobel Peace Prize winning icon of democratic struggle was a weight on her shoulders. Pirate copies of The Lady have flooded the streets of Yangon as vendors push the boundaries of new-found freedoms under a new government.
Meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi has postponed a major political rally in the central city of Mandalay because the venue offered by the authorities is too small, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party said.
The United States on Thursday urged Myanmar to address what it called worsened ethnic violence and to accept international monitors to ensure the fairness of closely watched upcoming by-elections.
A US official reiterated that President Barack Obama’s administration wanted better ties with the country formerly known as Burma and praised recent moves by the government including the release of hundreds of political prisoners.
“Yet at the same time violence in the Kachin state has worsened with reports of serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law,” said Michael Posner, the assistant secretary of state for human rights.