Michelle Yeoh was initially going to play a different role in the comedy-drama “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” In a recent interview, she revealed that the showrunners intended for her part to be played by Jackie Chan, with her starring as his wife.
However, after Chan dropped out of the project, they chose to flip the script rather than look for a replacement. The actress stated that she was shocked when the showrunners approached her to take the role, as it was uncommon for the film industry to cast an older woman in a lead part.
Since its debut, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” has landed numerous awards, including two Golden Globes at the most recent edition.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Michelle Yeoh Says ‘EEAAO’ Was Written Initially To Star Jackie Chan In A Lead Role
In an interview with CNN, Yeoh opened up about how playing the lead role in the film was not the original idea that the showrunners had scripted.
The Malaysian actress said that directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert had initially approached Chan for the part while she was expected to play his wife.
“It was written for a man,” she told the publication, per Insider. “Whenever filmmakers tell the story, they also have to be mindful that it is show business. ‘I have to write something that somebody will make it into a film.’ And so, they wrote it like that way with Jackie and me as the wife.”
However, due to a “mutual” decision, the Daniel duo and Chan ended up not working together, which led to the rewriting of the script to introduce a female character as the lead.
Michelle Yeoh Was Shocked She Was Chosen For Such A Huge Role
After reading the script, Yeoh claimed that she questioned whether the Daniels were not “certifiably insane” for giving her the major role since the film industry was not used to casting older female performers in such capacities.
Her worry was earlier expressed by the directorial duo in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter when they explained they were in a bind after Chan was no longer available, even though Yeoh had always been under consideration.
Kwan said at the time, per Insider, “We were having trouble figuring out the casting for the father figure, and one of us started wondering what happens if we take Michelle’s character and flop it, and she becomes the protagonist? And the film just opened up in a completely different way.”
‘Why Can’t I Do That Too’
Ultimately, the new idea looked more alluring even to Yeoh, who shared in her interview that she liked being the one saving the day.
“It’s always the guy that gets to go on the adventure and save the world and rescue your daughter, and you think, ‘Why can’t I do that too?'” said the “Crazy Rich Asians” star. “It was so overwhelming at that point to get a script that said, ‘This is a very ordinary woman, Asian immigrant woman, who is dealing with all the problems that we all can relate to.'”
Yeoh also lauded how the movie pushed the narrative that women are “superheroes,” sharing that she shares the same idea.
‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’
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Yeoh played Evelyn Wang in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” a worn-out Chinese immigrant who runs a failing laundry with her husband. Her seemingly routine journey to an IRS audit for her company turns into a weird, multiverse-spanning adventure.
Yeoh starred alongside a slew of talented actors, including Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Tallie Medel, Jennie Slate, and Harry Shum Jr.
The movie has received critical acclaim since it debuted in the second quarter of 2022. It was nominated in six categories in the recently held Golden Globes award ceremony, ultimately clinching prizes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
More accolades are expected to come in following its nominations for ten categories in the upcoming Oscars ceremony, which will be held on March 12, 2023.