Wednesday, June 29, 2022
EntertainmentCelebrityMichelle Yeoh on her lead role in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Michelle Yeoh on her lead role in Everything Everywhere All at Once

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Veteran actor Michelle Yeoh opened up about her role in the new comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once recently.
“I was doing things that I never dreamed of doing! But it was never too much.”

Until, that is, it came to shooting the kung fu fight with two half-naked male assailants and some dauntingly large sex toys. “When we were doing the butt-plug fight sequences, I was just on the ground, laughing my head off, going like: ‘Oh my God! Would I have ever thought that one day I would be doing this kind of martial arts?’”

The role is one that really showcases Yeoh’s talent. Directed by Daniels Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, it is a movie that is expansive, ambitious, comedic and bizarre all at the same time.

“It’s a movie that I saw twice just to make sure I hadn’t completely hallucinated it the first time around, and one that I will soon be seeing a third time for the same reason,” said one critic.

Yeoh plays Evelyn Wang, an aging Chinese-American woman who is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service who soon discovers that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent a powerful being from causing the destruction of the multiverse.

The film features elements of martial arts films, science fiction, fantasy, action, and animation.

“Every day, I would go in and say: ‘I have no clue what’s going on today,’” she laughs.

Yeoh received international acclaim for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). She has also appeared in many English, Mandarin and Cantonese language films. Her other works include Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Reign of Assassins (2010), Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016), and The Lady (2011), in which she portrayed Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 2018, she starred in the American romantic comedy-drama film, Crazy Rich Asians, for which she received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination as part of its ensemble. She has also co-starred in the 2018 film Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy and the 2019 film Last Christmas. Yeoh was cast as original character Ying Nan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).

Having played so many roles, this one suited the versatile actress perfectly. Although she is still has a lot of parts she does admit that leading roles don’t come often to women in their 60’s. “You get to that stage in your life and your career where you feel: ‘I’m being sort of overlooked here,’ because you are now relegated to these kinds of minor roles. The guys seem to be doing it. They’re still like superheroes in their 60s and 70s. Why does a woman not get the opportunity to be that?”

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Born to a Malaysian Chinese family Yeoh went to England to study ballet but a spinal injury prevented her from being a professional dancer. She then turned to acting and action hero roles in Hong Kong.

Speaking about her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, Yeoh said that Marvel had hundreds of millions of dollars to produce its movies but what they did was stretch their budget and find creative and collaborative ways to work together.

Originally written for Jackie Chan, the lead role was later reworked and offered to Yeoh.
There has always been a competitive element to their relationship, it seems. “Jackie actually texted me,” she says. “And he says: ‘Wow, I hear amazing things about your movie. Did you know that the boys came to see me in China?’ And I said: ‘Yes, your loss, my bro!’”

Going forward, Yeoh is set to appear in James Cameron’s Avatar sequels; a Witcher spin-off; the fantasy movie The School for Good and Evil; and an adaptation of the graphic novel American Born Chinese.

Everything Everywhere All at Once premiered on March 11, 2022, and began a limited theatrical release in the United States on March 25, 2022, before a wide release on April 8, 2022. It has grossed over $52 million worldwide. The film was acclaimed for its imagination, direction and performances and its handling of themes such as existentialism and nihilism.

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