Michelle Yeoh is cast as Burmese pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi

Mar 23, 2013
"Please use your freedom to promote ours," says Aung San Suu Kyi, the character played by Michelle Yeoh in The Lady.


"On March 24, starting at 10pm, HBO will focus on the story of one of the most inspiring women in history, Aung San Suu Kyi, icon of Burmese democracy. Airing back-to-back are the films The Lady and Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice.

"The Lady
is a film that depicts the story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. The two are separated as Aung San Suu Kyi remains in Myanmar, right in the center of the Burmese democracy movement. Despite their distance and the hostile regime, their love and devotion endures till the end.

"The Lady was filmed primarily in Thailand, not far from the Burmese border which resembles the actual landscape of Burma. There are also shots taken from Burma that include the Shwedagon Pagoda and a few shots from Rangoon taken with a hidden camera.

"The film is directed by Luc Besson who got involved in the project when Michelle Yeoh approached him with a compelling screenplay about Aung San Su Kyi. Moved by the story, he went onboard to support the project. According to Luc Besson, "I wanted to find te right balance between the portrayal of this woman's political struggle for democracy and the fiction and dream inherent to her trials."

"Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha) plays the lead role of Aung San Suu Kyi. According to director Luc Besson, "We saw just how absorbed Michelle was with the character, we knew she'd give an exceptional performance. She was possessed by the role." Joining Yeoh is English actor David Thewlis (Warhorse, The Kingdom of Heaven) who plays double roles as Aung San Suu Kyi's husband, Michael Aris, as well as his twin brother Anthony.

"The Lady is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla (From Paris With Love, The Secret) and Golden Globe ® winner and Academy Award nominee Andy Harries (Longford, The Queen). Scriptwriter Rebecca Frayn built the story for the film over a three year period, using interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi's life. She has also worked on a number of films about prominent women including Annie Leibovitz and Nora Ephron.

"Another compelling work of cinema in honor of Aung San Suu Kyi is the documentary film Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice. As part of the opposition movement for democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under fifteen years of house arrest. This documentary uses interviews covertly filmed before her release. Directed by Angus Macqueen, Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice airs immediately after The Lady on March 24, 12:10am on HBO.

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"Please use your freedom to promote ours," says Aung San Suu Kyi, the character played by Michelle Yeoh in The Lady.
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