"Yes, because it was an emotional ride in a very short time.We were living her life for 10 specific years, and had to demonstrate that in just over two hours.

Marrying the film tycoon Dickson Poon, who had first cast her in a TV commercial, Yeoh remained in Hong Kong – just at the time Suu Kyi, heading up the National League for Democracy, won the Nobel Peace Prize. ' I was very driven to find out more."Whether the film offers much insight is open to debate.

Most agree that Yeoh's performance is stellar ("a commanding screen presence," noted Variety, "[she] breathes poise and moral authority in every scene").

"There were a few times when I called Luc [Besson, who directs] and said, 'I'm dying! '" Indeed, the pressures of The Lady make her physical trials on Crouching Tiger... Not just show her as a saint, but give a unique experience of what went on."Born in Malaysia, where her father was a lawyer, the actress was well aware of Suu Kyi.

(she tore her knee ligaments) and 1996's Ah Kam (she fell 18 feet from a bridge, almost breaking her back and neck) seem like child's play. After winning Miss Malaysia in 1983, life took Yeoh to Hong Kong, where she made her big-screen debut as a judo instructor opposite Jackie Chan in 1985's Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars.

But from a director whose last portrait of a female icon was the flawed, flabby Joan of Arc (1999), this similarly stumbles in its attempts to dive beneath the serene surface of a woman whose forbearance came to represent the hopes of a nation.

Enduring years of isolation during her house arrest, separated from her Oxford academic husband Michael Aris (played by David Thewlis) and their two sons, we rarely glimpse the inner turmoil this must have caused."Their love was so powerful, it gave her strength," Yeoh argues, and certainly the film works best if seen in the framework of her marriage to "the most loving husband in the world", as Yeoh calls him.

In in a victory for original thought, there will also be a Talking Dead-esque companion show Talking Trek.

Overseas fans desperate to see the show need not worry, as episodes will air within 24 hours of their American premieres.

She is the mentor of series star Sonequa's unfortunately named character Michael Burnham, who is always referred to as Number One in tribute to the jettisoned original series unnamed first officer, who was supposedly axed as network bosses were unhappy she was played by creator Gene Roddenbury's wife.