'Brought Mr. O home. Without my parents’ love and trust and support, I wouldn’t be here today,' Yeoh wrote in an Instagram post.
Michelle Yeoh, who won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" in March 2023, made an emotional return trip to her native Malaysia last week. She visited her mother, Janet Yeoh, in time for the traditional Qingming Festival and stopped by her father's grave.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, she wrote: “Brought Mr. O home. Without my parents’ love and trust and support, I wouldn’t be here today.” Yeoh’s father, Datuk Yeoh Kian Teik, died in 2014 at the age of 89. According to the New York Post, Datuk was a businessman who founded a bus company that operated services in Malaysia and Singapore. He also served as chairman of Perak State’s Malaysian Chinese Association.
Yeoh's trip home represented a promise that Yeoh made during her Oscars acceptance speech. “I have to dedicate this to my mom, all the moms in the world, because they are the superheroes. And without them, none of us will be here tonight,” she said on the stage on March 12. "She's 84, and I'm taking this home to her."
Yeoh added of Janet in the speech: "She's watching right now, in Malaysia with my family and friends. I love you guys, and I'm bringing this home to you. And also to my extended family in Hong Kong, where I started my career." Yeoh's stellar career and culminating Oscar win have been widely celebrated across Asia. Malaysia, Hong Kong and mainland China all appeared to take credit for launching her, reports Variety. She is the first Asian woman in history to win the Oscar for Best Actress.
In an interview with Deadline, the "Everything Everywhere All at Once" actress' revealed that her mother Janet has always loved movies and was certain that Yeoh should seek out a career on screen. She admitted that even now, her mom can be very theatrical.
“My mom loved the whole aspect of performing. Even now, when we throw her a birthday party, it’s like a concert. She’s doing costume changes, getting on stage and serenading everyone. She would have made a great movie star,” the "Crazy Rich Asians" actress shared, adding that her mom still treats her like a child.
After her Oscar win and a string of awards and nominations for her portrayal of Evelyn Wang in "Everything Everywhere All at Once" – Yeoh's mom's only feedback was: “Why do you have to look so old?” Yeoh laughed and said, “She still treats me like I’m six. (If she was here now, she'd ask) 'Did you comb your hair? Why don’t you put on some make-up and wear a nicer dress?' If we were back home right now, she would have laid some clothes out for me. It’s how she shows love.”
The "Memoirs of a Geisha" star also praised mothers as "the real superheroes" of the world. She said, “Mums are the real superheroes. They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders every day. So many women do that. They march steadfastly, but nobody ever gives them the superhero cape.”
Yeoh also shared a wise piece of advice that she received from her late father, Yeoh Kian Teik. She said: “At Chinese New Year, you wish each other bountiful, mega things. That’s the tradition. ‘All your dreams will come true,’ and all that. And, one year, he said to me, ‘I wish you enough.’ At the time, I didn’t understand that. ‘What do you mean, enough?’ But when I thought about it, he was saying that regardless of how you think you aren’t living up to expectations, you’re always enough. In any universe.”