Award-winning actor Michelle Yeoh says Jackie Chan did her a “huge favor” when he turned down the role originally written for him in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (“EEAAO”).
In an interview with CNN, Yeoh, 60, explained that co-directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, collectively known as the Daniels, originally planned for Chan, 68, to play the film’s lead, with Yeoh as his wife.
“I think whenever filmmakers tell the story, they also have to be mindful; it is show business,” she said. “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.”
Noting that the roles were reversed entirely in the film, Yeoh recalled how Chan informed her that the Daniels approached him first.
“I remember Jackie texted me and said, ‘Congratulations. You know, you realize that your boys came to see me first,’ and I’m like, ‘Thank you, bro. You did me a huge favor,’” Yeoh continued.
When asked if it was Chan or the Daniels who decided to step away, Yeoh explained that the decision was “mutual” as Chan was “very, very busy” and that the directors also decided to approach the movie “differently.”
They both have very strong women in their lives, whether it’s their mothers or the wife and the partners. So they are very inspired and they’re not afraid of strong women. I think that is the most beautiful thing about these boys, just like, they celebrate strong women.
Yeoh made history last month after she became the first actor who identifies as Asian to be nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars.
The Academy Awards nomination was also Yeoh’s first in her decades-long career in the film industry.
Co-stars Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu also received their first Academy Awards nods.