Legendary Malaysian actor Michelle Yeoh became emotional while describing her role in the psychedelic martial arts movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
Yeoh, 59, broke down some of her most iconic roles during an interview with GQ, including those in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the “Supercop” franchise, “Crazy Rich Asians” and the 2022 sci-fi film directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as the “Daniels.”
“When I read the script, I thought, ‘This is something,’” the Malaysian actor told GQ while fighting back tears. “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. Finally, somebody understood that I can do all these things.”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” follows the story of Evelyn Wang, a struggling laundromat owner who can tap into the memories and skills of other Evelyns from different universes to help her fight a “great evil” that is spreading in the multiverse.
Before taking up the role, Yeoh said she set up a meeting with the Daniels to see their passion for the project.
“Because I’m not going to leave my family, people I love, for three or four months at a time on lip service, on doing something even you don’t believe in,” Yeoh explained. “How are you going to convince me to be a part of that?”
While talking about how she portrayed her character, Yeoh said she did not want to inject her own personality into her role and instead viewed her character as “a real person who needs to have real emotions, a path.”
“What I saw in Evelyn was a very hard-working immigrant who is trying so hard to be keeping her family together, to be a success in her father’s eyes, to prove that she’s a good daughter,” she added. “And I see Evelyn in so many people around me. I felt that I need to tell their story, but in a very [unusual] way.”
Yeoh went on to describe the Daniels’ presentation of Evelyn’s journey as something “psychedelic, crazy, insane [and] contemporary.”
“Every day when I go on to set I was like, OK, sometimes I have no idea,” she shared. “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. Evelyn was confused, was fractured. She was trying to come to terms with what was happening with her.”
Yeoh was featured on Twitter Movies this week to promote “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” She was filmed reacting to recent tweets about her, including one from Daniel Kwan about being tickled by her and co-star Jamie Lee Curtis.