Before you read:
- Michelle Yeoh, 60, says she’s having ‘the best times’ of her career even past her supposed ‘prime years’
- ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ directors speak on Michelle Yeoh playing protagonist role meant for Jackie Chan
- Michelle Yeoh almost turned down ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’
International superstar Michelle Yeoh opened up about her feelings after being cast in the 2022 sleeper hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
During an emotional interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” the 60-year-old Malaysian actor revealed that the role came as a surprise at the time.
“The older you get, they see you by your age rather than see you by your capability,” Yeoh told CBS correspondent Seth Doane.
She went on to share how joyful it was to receive validation from filmmakers Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert by entrusting her with such a challenging role.
“They thought, ‘She could do this. If anybody can, in our industry, who can fight, who can be funny, who can be dramatic and sincere and all those kinds of things, we believe Michelle will be able to do it,’” she recalled.
Asked by Doane why this affected her so deeply, the actor responded, “It’s like when someone gives you the opportunity to show what you’re capable of.”
Yeoh noted that while she has had a “spectacular career,” she did not want it to “slow down or end” after reaching a certain age.
Kwan and Scheinert, known as the directing duo “the Daniels,” originally had martial arts actor Jackie Chan in mind for the film’s lead role.
The part was rewritten for Yeoh as Chan was unavailable at the time.
“Swapping the characters made it more personal, which gave us a wealth of experience to imbue into the story,” Kwan told The Hollywood Reporter. “Suddenly it became a lot easier to write and imagine.”
During Elle’s annual Women in Hollywood event in October, Yeoh celebrated being among the many who were well beyond her so-called “prime years” but still having “the best times” of their careers.
“As women, we are told to take all the work we can when we are young because when we don’t look quite as good, or move quite as gracefully, the best years of our careers are behind us,” she said. “If that is true, how can a night like tonight be possible?”