HER MOTHER GAVE her plenty of beauty tips, but Michelle Yeoh favors one. "I wash my face before I go to sleep," says the actress, 33. Perhaps Mom was looking toward the day when she would enter Michelle in the 1983 Miss Malaysia beauty pageant. Yeoh reluctantly participated and won the title, which led to a role in a commercial with martial arts star Jackie Chan. After that she began training in kung fu and karate, doing her own spectacular stunts (like piloting a motorbike onto a moving train in Supercop
) and establishing herself as one of Asia's top action heroes. Now Yeoh has been tapped to be the new Bond girl in the latest 007 venture, Tomorrow Never Dies.
The 5'4" powerhouse easily measures up. "She has great skin because she doesn't blast herself in the sun," says Yeoh's Hong Kong hairstylist Kim Robinson, who adds "tones of ash matte brown" to Yeoh's black hair "to make the color look less flat on-camera." To stay fit for her stuntwork, Yeoh works out regularly, and "I stretch and do my squats when I brush my teeth." But the woman who clings to speeding vans for a living knows when to downshift. "I thoroughly enjoy a good hot bath," she says. "That is my ultimate luxury."