Michelle Yeoh can finally be herself


Hi there! It’s Mark Olsen, film writer for The Times and “The Envelope” podcast co-host.

Academy Award nominee Michelle Yeoh has been a worldwide movie star for decades, known for action-packed roles in films such as “Supercop” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and as a Bond girl in “Tomorrow Never Dies.” But it’s her leading role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” that she says finally let her show what she’s capable of.

It was such a treat to interview Michelle for today’s episode of “The Envelope” podcast. I could have listened to her talk for hours just about making movies in Hong Kong early in her career. But she went deep on so many topics, including how she was treated when she arrived in Hollywood (she sounds gloriously unimpressed by the people who were “quite stunned” when they realized she could speak English) and how she’s been experiencing the sting of ageism (she is not here for it).


Michelle also opened up about what it meant to her to land the leading role of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” after being relegated to supporting roles in other projects. And she gets into how she bonded with the rest of the cast and why she was eager — but maybe a little bit worried — to meet the film’s writer-directors.

When you get a story like this [“Everything Everywhere All at Once”] and immediately you feel in your guts — whoa, it is chaotic. I mean, you have hot-dog fingers thrown at you. Then you read, oh, my God, what? They’re using dildos and, what, butt plugs? Huh? Oh, my God, where are we going with this? But then it’s all centered and grounded by the deep, emotional beating heart of family and love.

— Michelle Yeoh

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