(Kuala Lumpur) Malaysian Michelle Yeoh, the first actress of Asian descent to receive the Oscar for Best Actress, on Tuesday called for diversity in show business and urged women not to be “boxed in” “.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with very interesting, diverse and forward-thinking directors all the time, which has allowed me to fight for what I truly believe in: representation, diversity and above all the empowerment of women,” the actress said in Kuala Lumpur, during her first press conference in her home country after her Oscar triumph in April.

The Oscar she received “means so much to so many of us,” she continued, adding that she “heard the cries of joy and happiness from around the world all the way to Los Angeles.” following his victory.

Michelle Yeoh, 60, received her Oscar for her role in the wacky comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once, which has a predominantly Asian cast and won seven major awards in total.

This zany feature film has established itself as a symbol for Hollywood, often criticized in recent years for its lack of diversity.

During her press conference, she held up the statuette and kissed it in front of the photographers. Asked what advice she would give to young people around the world, she replied, “Don’t become me, be yourself […] I believe you will be better.”

She later met 2,000 fans, most of them shouting and taking photos and videos, at a fashionable mall in the Malaysian capital.

The volume increased even more when she held up her statuette to show it to the crowd.

“She is an example for me. Her tough and thoughtful attitude empowers young women like,” said Ng Xue Ying, 21, an audio-visual student.

Michelle Yeoh was born to Malaysian and Chinese parents in the city of Ipoh (north). She danced from childhood and studied ballet in England.

She started filming in the 1980s, but her career took off in Hollywood with Tomorrow Never Dies, in which she played opposite James Bond played by Pierce Brosnan.

She also starred in Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts film Tiger and Dragon (four Oscars), historical drama Memoirs of a Geisha in 2005 and romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

She said she had no interest in directing. “Directors have no life. I love my life,” she said. “You don’t have time for anything because as you’re the director, you have to know everything and be everywhere at the same time.”