The absurdist comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once has already been named by many as one of the best films of 2022 so far. Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, it featured an excellent Michelle Yeoh in the lead role but the filmmakers initially wanted Jackie Chan to star in their film as the lead.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Yeoh spoke about how rare such an opportunity was for a female actor: “You get to that stage in your life and your career where you feel: ‘I’m being sort of overlooked here,’ because you are now relegated to these kinds of [minor] roles. The guys seem to be doing it. They’re still like superheroes in their 60s and 70s. Why does a woman not get the opportunity to be that?”
The research behind Everything Everywhere All at Once started back in 2010 while the screenplay had been in the works since 2016. However, the directors had to rethink details about the project and rewrite the part for Yeoh when Jackie Chan turned down the opportunity to star as the lead in their new film.
Yeoh also spoke about how Jackie Chan texted her to congratulate Yeoh on the success of Everything Everywhere All at Once since it has received widespread acclaim from fans and critics. “Jackie actually texted me,” Yeoh revealed. “And he says: ‘Wow, I hear amazing things about your movie. Did you know that the boys came to see me in China? And I said: “Yes, your loss my bro!”
Reflecting on the trajectory of her career and her status as one of the greatest action stars in the history of cinema, Yeoh said: “I’ve been in the business now for thirty-something years, right? And it feels like I needed all that experience to be able to come to this point and say: “All right, I’m going to show you what I made of.'”