On the red carpet: Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊) – 2013 Asian Film Awards

The final celebrity to arrive on the 2013 Asian Film Awards red carpet was one of the biggest honorees of the evening.  Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊), glowing in a glittering Elie Saab Fall 2012 gown and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, received this year’s Excellence in Asian Cinema Award – the equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement Award at other ceremonies.

Yeoh, a native of Ipoh, Malaysia, owes her accomplished career to Hong Kong, which gave her multiple opportunities to build her brand as an action star thanks to a 1984 commercial with Jackie Chan.  Lately, Yeoh has taken on more dramatic roles, such as the portrayal of Aung San Suu Kyi in “The Lady” and an English-speaking turn in a film about cooking titled “Final Recipe,” currently in post-production.

On the red carpet, Yeoh reflected on how the safety and complexity of stunts in action films have changed over time since her first films in the 1980’s.

“It’s changed tremendously,” Yeoh told Meniscus Magazine before the ceremony.  “I remember when I came here almost 30 years ago, it was about the stunt and there was no safety, really.  It was [about the] technique that they had developed over the years.  But nowadays we have CGI.  We have a lot of things that assist that make life a lot better, especially for the stunt people.”

Video: Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊) – 7th annual Asian Film Awards red carpet

video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Onstage, four directors had the honor of presenting Yeoh her award: Sammo Hung, Mabel Cheung, Yuen Wo-ping and Corey Yuen.  After a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to determine who would hand Yeoh her trophy (Hung won the honors), Yeoh gave a speech in English.

“I’ve waited a very long time for this award,” Yeoh said at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre on Mar. 18.  “My amazing adventure in the movies began when I came here to Hong Kong in 1984.  I was very young at that time,” she added with a smile and to laughter from the audience.

“I fell in love with the city and the people, who embraced me with love and great generosity.  And it was like a dream come true, because from the very word “go,” I got to work with the very best people.”  Yeoh then unraveled a long scroll of paper representing the list of all the people she had worked with over the past three decades.

Video: Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊) – Excellence in Asian Cinema Award – 7th Asian Film Awards

video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine

After the ceremony, Yeoh changed outfits and hit the Asian Film Awards After-Party at the nearby Hopewell Centre.