YANGON: Hollywood celebrity Michelle Yeoh has been spending time with Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to study for a possible film role as the Nobel Peace laureate.
Yeoh chatted with Suu Kyi in an airport waiting lounge Tuesday as the pro-democracy leader bid farewell to her youngest son, Kim Aris, 33, who lives in England and was allowed to visit his mother for the first time in a decade after her recent release from house arrest.
The former Bond girl had spent the day with Suu Kyi on Monday as part of research for an apparent upcoming film about the democracy icon, said Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win. Details of the film were not immediately known.
Yeoh — who starred in the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” and in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — “observed Daw Suu and they had dinner together Monday night,” the lawyer said. Daw is a term of respect.
The actress, the 65-year-old Nobel laureate and her son sat together in a waiting room of the Yangon International Airport before Yeoh and Suu Kyi’s son boarded flights.
Suu Kyi was released Nov. 13 after more than seven years under house arrest. Her release came a week after Myanmar’s first election in 20 years in which neither she nor her party could participate. Suu Kyi was first arrested in 1989 when Kim Aris was 11 and his older brother, Alexander, was 16. The military junta kept her locked away for 15 of the past 21 years.
Aris arrived in Myanmar on Nov. 23 after waiting several weeks in Thailand, where he was granted a visa for the first time in years.
During his two-week stay, Aris bought a little brown puppy for his mother to keep her company when he leaves. Asked at the time if the dog was his new pet, he replied that it was “May May’s pet,” using the Burmese word for mother or mom.
Aris mostly kept a low profile except when he marked World AIDS Day on Dec. 2 at the headquarters of Suu Kyi’s political group, where he played guitar and entertained HIV/AIDS patients.
He visited the famed Shwedagon Pagoda a day after his arrival and also the popular Bogyoke Aung San Market with his mother on Nov. 30, drawing huge crowds who came to greet them. Thw well-wishers shook hands with Suu Kyi and showered her with gifts ranging from jewelry to longyis, the traditional Burmese sarong.
Aris last visited his mother in Dec. 2000 when they spent Christmas together.