Michelle Yeoh Recalls Her Mom Chaperoning Her Date and Accidentally Holding Her Date's Hand
Michelle Yeoh recalled the hilarious time her mom accidentally held her date's hand.
On Friday's episode of BBC One's The Graham Norton Show, the Oscar nominee revealed that her mother not only used to join her daughter on her dates, but she even unintentionally got close with one of them!
"At what age were you when she insisted on coming on a date with you," host Graham Norton asked the 60-year-old actress.
"Now, you have to remember moms are very protective, right, for all the right reasons," Yeoh began. "She always went on a date. Always, until I went to England to study."
When Yeoh was 17, she shared that "One time I was sitting like this [arms crossed,] and I suddenly realized, 'Why are there two hands on my leg?'"
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"It was his hand on my mom's hand," she said, breaking out into laughter.
Acting out the situation with fellow guest and Oscar nominee Austin Butler, Yeoh continued: "He was holding the hand he thought was mine, and then I looked at it like, 'Excuse me guys.'"
The Everything, Everywhere, All at Once star also shared the story of how she ultimately has her mom to thank for winning Miss Malaysia in 1983.
When she went home for the holidays after graduating from the Royal Academy of Dance, the Malaysian-born actress said her mother "suddenly looped into this whole thing about" how she should audition for more projects at age 21 since there won't be as many the older she gets.
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"I'm thinking, 'What on Earth is she on about?'" Yeoh recalled, adding that her mother even roped her brother into encouraging Yeoh to pursue being onstage.
"The next thing I knew was ... she had entered me for Miss Malaysia," Yeoh revealed. "She actually signed the form, so technically, I'm not legit."
She continued: "I did it to shut her up because she wouldn't stop about it, so we had a deal. If I do this, you are never going to do something like this again."
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Yeoh made Oscar history as the second Asian woman to be nominated for Best Actress. The first was Merle Oberon, a biracial actress of South Asian origin nominated in 1936, who obscured her birthplace and biracial identity during her life.
The actress spoke with PEOPLE in April 2022 about what her role as Evelyn Wang in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once means to her and the new opportunities for Asian actors in film and television.
"What [is special about] this moment in my career is having so many people who look like me, especially the younger generation [of Asian actors], come up to me and say, 'Finally, I can see myself doing all these kinds of things because you are doing it,'" she told PEOPLE. "We have to stand up for ourselves and be courageous enough to have a voice. We deserve a voice. I think at this point in my career, that is what I'm really enjoying: the fact that we are getting more opportunities and the opportunities we deserve."
The 95th Academy Awards will air live ABC on March 12.