Michelle Yeoh, winner of the Best Actress award at the 95th Academy Awards for ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once,’ made a recent reveal about her role in the film. In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, the actress shared that she wasn’t the first choice for the lead role.
In her words, the film’s main character was originally a man:
“It was written for Jackie Chan. ‘Cause he texted me, and he said, ‘Hey! Congratulations on your film. Do you know your directors came to look for me first?’ I said, ‘Yes, bro. I know.’ Then, I said, ‘Your loss, bro. Thank you.'”
The Directors Changed Their Minds About Writing A Male Lead
Initially, the film’s script had Chan and Yeoh as a married couple. Later, the Daniels changed the plot to have Yeoh as the main character dealing with multiple twisted universes.
In another chat, the actress noted that Chan not taking the role was a decision both parties agreed on, as he had a ‘very busy’ work schedule and the directors wanted to focus on a female lead.
The Two’s Explanation Of The Decision
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert explained why they changed their mind about the main character’s gender in a 2022 chat with The Hollywood Reporter. Scheinert said their first thought for the action role was a male actor. Then, Kwan revealed:
“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.”
They Were Inspired By ‘Strong Women’
The two mentioned that the strong women in their lives inspired the change. Reflecting on this and the final script they wrote, Scheinert explained:
“As soon as we switched it, we were like, ‘Oh, now the husband and wife characters are more relatable. Why on earth didn’t we write it this way from the get-go?'”
The directors also claimed they could’ve canceled the project if Michelle Yeoh didn’t accept the part.
The Film Ended Up Being A Success
In the end, with Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan leading the cast, ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ achieved remarkable success.
The film grossed $143.4 million at the box office and gathered acclaim, winning seven of its eleven nominations at the 95th Academy Awards and two of its six nominations at the Golden Globes.