Michelle Yeoh at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica

Michelle Yeoh On How Role In 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Proved Her Range

Home / Entertainment / Michelle Yeoh On How Role In 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Proved Her Range

By Afouda Bamidele on April 12, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT

Michelle Yeoh is a multidimensional star!

The Malaysian actress, who gained worldwide recognition for her phenomenal performances in martial arts-heavy films, has finally landed the role of her dreams.

Fresh off the release of the multiverse-themed movie, "Everything Everywhere All at Once," the 59-year-old icon recently opened up about the role's importance to her career. 

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Michelle Yeoh Gets Teary-eyed About Receiving Recognition For Her Acting Range

As a versatile actress, Yeoh has played numerous characters, from showing off her athleticism in Hong Kong movies like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to becoming a domineering mother in "Crazy Rich Asians."

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Winners at the EE British Academy Film Awards London
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However, none of the Hollywood legend's previous roles truly recognized the Malaysia native's acting range until her role as Evelyn in "Everything Everywhere All at Once."

During a recent interview with GQ, the "Tomorrow Never Dies" star discussed some of her most iconic roles, getting emotional as she detailed how the 2022 movie felt tailor-made for her.

Unlike her previous roles, the SciFi film allowed Yeoh to demonstrate her diverse acting skills holistically as her character Evelyn was a mixture of several people in one body.

This role differed from anything the veteran actress has played before but she immediately felt a deep connection to the story.

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While holding back her tears, the 59-year-old recalled reading the script and thinking she had finally found the golden opportunity of a lifetime. In her words,

This is something I've been waiting for a long time. That's going to give me the opportunity to show my fans, my family, my audience, what I'm capable of. To be funny, to be real, to be sad.

The "Supercop" star added, "Finally, somebody understood that I can do all these things," referring to the movie's directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schienert, collectively as 'The Daniels.'

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Surprisingly, the "Reign of Assassins" actress did not jump on the role without meeting the directors in person because she needed to know The Daniels were passionate about the project.

The action queen explained that she would never leave her loved ones for months at a time because of a project that lacked the resolve to succeed.

Fortunately, the directors were just as passionate as the martial artist to bring Evelyn to life in a multidimensional masterpiece.

Regarding how Yeoh portrayed the character, the "Yes Madam" star explained that she always avoided injecting her personality into the roles. Instead, she viewed characters as real people with their own paths.

The Screen Actors Guild Award nominee explained that she saw Evelyn's traits in the people around her, including herself. 

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"For me, this whole journey was about Evelyn, the character who understood she will never give up. That also reflects on me as a person because I refuse to give up," Yeoh shared.

As for the Daniels' vision of Evelyn's interdimensional journey, the veteran described it as a "psychedelic, crazy, insane, and contemporary" gem.

"We are jumping from one universe to the other one. The chaos at that moment of filming is also what the character was going through," she revealed.

The actress admitted that she felt Evelyn's struggle as a "hard-working immigrant, who's trying so hard to be keeping her family together" and prove her worth in the face of adversity. 

The "Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings" Star Nearly Stopped Acting

While the success of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is undeniable, it almost didn't happen as Yeoh wanted to give up on the industry long ago.

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Last month, The Blast reported that the superstar actress nearly bowed out of what became a successful Hollywood career following a severe injury.

While filming the 1996 movie, "The Stunt Woman," Yeoh suffered trauma to her neck and torso, resulting in the affected areas being wrapped in braces.

The severity of these injuries made "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" actress question her acting career as several friends begged the veteran to prioritize her health.

Before she could commit to resigning from Hollywood, the iconic filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, reignited the 59-year-old's passion for the art during his visit to Hong Kong.

With her newfound fervor, the "Star Trek: Discovery" star broke into Hollywood, landing a role in the 1997 James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies."

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This led to more iconic roles for the martial artist, most recently being the A24 production, "Everything Everywhere All at Once," which hit theaters on March 25.

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