YANGON (Reuters) - Authorities in Myanmar have deported Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh who plans to play pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in an upcoming film, an immigration official said Tuesday.
Yeoh, a Malaysian known for playing Chinese spy Wai Lin alongside Pierce Brosnan in the 1997 James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” among other roles, was detained on arrival at Yangon’s international airport on June 22 and sent out of the country on the next flight.
“She was deported on the same day because she is on a blacklist,” the official told Reuters, requesting anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to the media.
Yeoh, 48, has been in Thailand, Britain and France filming scenes for the film “The Lady,” as Suu Kyi is known in Myanmar. The film is due to be released in October.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and figurehead of Myanmar’s fight against military dictatorship, met Yeoh to discuss the film at her lakeside home in Yangon last December, three weeks after her release from a seven year stint of house arrest.
“The Lady” is a love story about Suu Kyi and her late British husband Michael Aris, and details their long separation while Suu Kyi was detained in 1989.
Aris was denied visas to visit Suu Kyi and was he was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. She refused to leave Myanmar to visit him, fearing the ruling junta would block her return. Aris died in 1999.
A dancer and actress known for performing her own stunts in action movies, Yeoh was nominated for a BAFTA award for best actress for her role in Ang Lee’s 2000 box office hit “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” which won four Oscars.
Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Daniel Magnowski