Michelle Yeoh was on a Zoom call with her family from All everywhere at the same time -including her co-stars Jamie Lee CurtisKe Huy Quan and James Hong and directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan – when she received the news that made her “explode with joy”: she was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of the cantankerous laundromat owner in the film, a science narrative journey through time, space and human experience.
“We want to hold hands, even though they’re in the US and I’m in Paris, and that’s why we started screaming,” she said by phone shortly after the nominations were announced. It is no less: All everywhere at the same time leads the list of Oscar nominations. no one has reached it. It has 11 nominations, including Best Picture.
Should he win, Yeoh – who was born in Malaysia and became a film star in Asia before making the leap to the world in films such as The tiger and the dragon (2000) and insanely millionaires (2018) – would become the first Asian woman to win an Academy Award for Lead Actress. You have already won your first Golden Globe.
To date, she has won 41 awards for her performance in Everything everywhere… and had (and maintains because some awards have not yet been awarded) 49 other nominations.
“Ninety-five years of Oscar,” he said. “Of course, I’m over the moon, but I’m feeling a little sad because I know we know that there have been amazing Asian actresses who have come before me, and I’m on their shoulders.” And she added: “I hope this shatters that damn glass ceiling to infinity, that it continues like this and that more of our faces are seen up there.”
Yeoh, 60, said the film, released in 2022, March in the US, June in Argentina and now re-released just weeks after the Oscar ceremony, has become a surprising blockbuster amid the pandemic, has resonated in part because it came “at a time when we all needed healing.”
She explained, “We’ve been through such a crazy, chaotic time in our lives, and we all needed something that would fill us with hope and ensure that we could show each other kindness and compassion and love and never give up on our family.”
Hope was most important to the actress, who earlier in the week of the Oscar nominations answered the massive call to Monterey Park, California, an Asian-American community where the Lunar New Year was celebrated.
“At a time when our community should be celebrating new beginnings, we are now in mourning,” he posted on Instagram, following the shooting and massacre.
Asked about her appointment in a moment of sadness, she said: “One thing we all always need is hope,” adding: “We must always be able to lift our heads and move forward. We all have the heart broken about what happened in Monterey Park.”
What’s the movie about
The core of the film is a strained relationship between mother and daughter, two characters struggling to navigate very different everyday realities (and very different interdimensional unrealities). Yeoh wasn’t surprised that this dynamic resonated with so many viewers, but she was moved by her healing power. Older women approached her to tell her that even though they didn’t understand the film, it helped them in their relationship with their daughters.
Yeoh recalls an onlooker telling her that her estranged daughter had reached out to her after years of not speaking. “Now we got close and have a relationship because of your movie,” Yeoh recalled the woman saying. “Sometimes when a movie like this comes along and you feel like you’ve healed people, it’s an incredible prize.”
For Yeoh, a former stuntwoman who has worked in the industry for decades, All everywhere at the same time it was a showcase of his various talents. Reflecting on her long career can be bittersweet, she said, “but then, other times, it’s like I love what I do. I have a huge passion for film acting and all that. So you don’t do it for the awards. You do because you want to give your best”.
“Of course, please give me the damn Oscar,” she said with a laugh. “It’s just a tribute to say: never give up. If you believe in yourself, never give up. It took me 40 years, but it’s here.”
Michelle Yeoh was born in Ipoh, Malaysia. She speaks English, Malay and Chinese. A dancer since the age of 4, she moved to London to study at the Royal Academy as a teenager. After a short career as a dancer, she won the Miss Malaysia pageant title and the Miss Moomba beauty pageant title in Melbourne, Australia in the early 1980s.
His first on-camera work was a 1984 commercial featuring martial arts star Jackie Chan (“Jackie is like a big brother to me,” he said). In 1985 you started making action films with D & B Films in Hong Kong. She was first billed as Michelle Khan, then as Michelle Yeoh.
Never a trained martial artist, she relied on her dance discipline and on-set instructors to prepare for martial arts action scenes.
Michelle uses a lot of dance moves in her movies and does most of her own stunts. In 1988, she married D&B Films executive Dickson Poon and she retired from acting. Though they divorced in 1992, she remains close to Poon’s second wife and godmother to their daughter.
When he returned to acting, he became very popular with Chinese audiences. He later became known to Western audiences through his role in the James Bond film. Tomorrow never dies (1997), opposite Pierce Brosnan, and in the phenomenal success The tiger and the dragon (2000). And she had the luxury of turning down a role in a sequel to matrix (1999).
“The reason I decided to wait two years after the Bond film and work with Ang Lee on a martial arts film is because I truly believe that this genre deserves more respect and dignity than was ever said at the time.” like a fairy tale; they felt they could take it easy.”
“But that shouldn’t be it. It’s so ingrained in our culture that it should have more depth. It’s never easy to find that balance, when it’s such a magical kind of film, to make you accept our flight to the skies… It was a risk, but when we made this film it was also for a Western audience.”
Translation: Patricia Sar
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.