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Oscar-nominted Michelle Yeoh was told to retire before 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Feb 08, 2023 8:51 pm Updated Feb 08, 2023 8:55 pm

Over the past year, the name Michelle Yeoh has been synonymous with the globally famous film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Before that, some folks wanted the actress out of her job for good.

In the latest episode of the Los Angeles Times podcast, The Envelope, Yeoh talked about how the number of opportunities the industry provides to aging artists tends to decrease over time. 

She began, "As you get older, the roles get smaller. It seems like the numbers go up and these things go narrow and then you start getting relegated to the side more and more. So when Everything Everywhere came, all at once it was very emotional because this means that you are the one who's leading this whole process, who's telling the story."

She said that, in fact, people were telling her to retire from acting before she agreed to star in the hit fantasy adventure movie. The 60-year-old, however, shut them down in true Michelle Yeoh fashion.

She continued, "You know, as you get older, people start saying, 'Oh yeah, you should retire. You should do this. You should –' No, guys. Do not tell me what to do. I should be in control of what I am capable of, right?"

Yeoh's performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once endowed her with a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Musical/Comedy Motion Picture. The icon also made history as the first Asian actress to be nominated Best Actress at the Academy Awards.

Meanwhile, Variety reported that the film has become a worldwide box office hit with $100 million in earnings and ranked as the A24's biggest grosser in history.

In Los Angeles Times' podcast, Yeoh expressed how grateful she is for the recognition she has been getting for her work in the film.

"The first thing is you feel like, ‘Finally, thank you. You guys see me, you guys really see, and you’re giving me the opportunity to show that I’m capable of doing all this,'” she said.

Yeoh noted that this wouldn't have happened if, first and foremost, she wasn't provided with the opportunity.

“As an actor, you need the opportunity. You need the role that will help you showcase what you are capable to do.”