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Sun, Dec 13, 2009
The New Paper
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Michelle goes ape over apes
by Sylvia Toh Paik Choo

MALAYSIAN actress Michelle Yeoh walks her talk.

Still turning heads at age 47, the former Miss Ipoh told the local media: "I try to do something adventurous, have an adventure, once a year."

It has been a diverse year. Korean hunks, orang utans, Louis Vuitton, in no particular preference.

She was speaking to The New paper at the launch of the Louis Vuitton duplex boutique in Ngee Ann City.

Not for Datuk Michelle the task of cutting a store ribbon alone.

She's a beauty with brains, give the girl a bigger role.

LV did just that.

It got her to collaborate on the design of the store itself, inspired by the intimate and sensuous universe of women.

Drop in for a shop, and you could well imagine this must be what her refined apartment back home is like.

"Well, the flowers and candles and books and photographs part," she said.

And Frenchman Jean Todt (her main man, some media describe as husband) on the sofa?

Have you picked out something for him for Christmas?

She was surprised at the question, but was quick to recover.

She replied: "Oh, we don’t save presents for Christmas. We are giving each other things all the time."

Todt – former Ferrari CEO and newly-appointed president of the FIA, the motor sports world’s governing body – did not accompany her this time. "He's in Geneva, yes, busy with the FIA."

The last time she went off on her own, she did go ape over certain males of the species.

She then regaled the media with her hands-on experiences with the endangered orang utans in Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre on Borneo island.

Michelle aped the actions of the orang utans she met, fed, cradled and played with for the National Geographic Channel documentary Among The Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh.

"There was a baby, Toby, the naughty one. He'd throw his arms up in the air, and then fall, play dead.

"When I first met Toby, he was quiet, except for one long arm which inched towards my shoelaces, and he untied them! And then the mama approached, and she looked intimidating. I looked around and saw this 10-ft drop. Okay, I can do that, I’ll jump."

On a serious note, she said they were being rehabilitated to return to the wild and if we don’t do our bit for them, there would be much to pay for in the future.

Michelle's own immediate future is locked in the arms of Korean heart-throb Jung Woo Sung.

Their onscreen love story unfolds in Jianyu Jianghu.

"There's no word for it in English," she said.

"It's like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I haven't done a martial arts movie since that, so it's all good."

A female assassin falls in love with a man whose father was killed by her gang. Unaware that he is also a trained wuxia artist, their love blossoms.

And then tensions arise as the past comes back to haunt them.Rain Of Swords In The Martial Arts World (we Googled for the translation) is shooting in China and is a Chinese New Year release.

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