Michelle Yeoh, who is set to star in “Star Trek: Discovery” on September 24, discussed how “very inspirational” her new role is to Asian women, especially young girls.
The 55-year-old Malaysian actress is set to take on the role of captain Philippa Georgiou, the commander of the USS Shenzhou starship in the series’ latest iteration.
The “Star Trek” series has always been known for promoting diversity through its cast members.
What makes Yeoh’s role so significant is that this is the first time in the series that an Asian woman has been given such a powerful position.
“It is very empowering and it is very inspirational. In the past I didn’t used to think about it, but now I can understand how powerful a motivator it is, especially for (young girls). They’ll think, ‘If she can do this, I can do this,” Yeoh said in an interview with NY Daily News.
The “Star Trek: Discovery” cast member recalled feeling empowered every time she’s seated on the captain’s chair or what she described as a “powerful seat.”
“I understand when I’m sitting in that chair and I’m coming across as an Asian woman captain, it means so much to women of Asian descent everywhere around the world because it just tells them that we are recognized to be in a position of power,” Yeoh added.
The actress even recalled how good it feels to be in the highly-coveted position saying, “When I’m in that chair, I’m spinning around, I’m barking orders, ‘Don’t any of you come near me!’ But every time I get up to leave the bridge, everyone is scrambling to sit in that chair.”
“‘Star Trek’ has always been about hope and this show is no different. Because we all need to have hope, especially [with] the climate and the tension and the craziness when you turn on the TV,” Yeoh explained.
Despite the significance of Yeoh’s iconic portrayal, some fans felt that she wasn’t fit for the “Star Trek: Discovery” role due to her Malaysian accent in the series. However, she explained that this was done on purpose to highlight the series’ diverse culture.
Featured Image Screenshot via YouTube / Netflix