Woman’s Day (Australia)
MICHELLE YEOH ‘IT MEANS THE WORLD’
At 60 years of age, the Oscar nominee is finally getting the recognition she deserves
Congratulations on your success this awards season. How does it feel to get this level of recognition?
It’s incredible. To get that kind of validation for doing something you love is really quite overwhelming. It means the world.
You already have a Golden Globe and SAG Award, and now you are many people’s favourite for best actress at the Academy Awards...
Right now I’m just trying to take it all in. I’m just so glad for everyone who worked on this film that it has got the recognition that it deserves. More than anything, I’m really excited that maybe little girls or little boys will say, “Hey look, I see someone like me up there!” This is something that we have been fighting for, equal opportunities. It’s about equality, not just inclusion, so I am hoping I have made a little contribution to that.
Did you always think that
Everything Everywhere All At Once would become the global hit that it is now?
I don’t think you can ever predict things like this. Of course, whenever you make a film, you want it to be the very best it can be, to tell a good story and for everyone to see it and enjoy it, but the truth is you never know.
What is going through your mind when you are sitting as a nominee at a big awards show, waiting for the winner to be announced?
Honestly, of course you want them to call your name [laughs]. And then when they do, it’s relief and joy followed by the panic of having to get up there and say something. That’s what it is like for me, anyway. My manager gave me some good advice at the Golden Globes about seizing the moment and talking from the heart instead of worrying about getting it right.
What do you hope the legacy of Everything Everywhere All At Once will be as a film?
I hope and believe that the younger generation especially, having seen this film, might communicate better with their parents. We have been through such a hard time these past few years, and I think this wacky, wild and wonderful film kind of sums up the new norm. This film is really a story about family – the happy times and the tears of frustration and anger. But more than anything it's about love, family and kindness, and how we all need to look after each other, no matter how complicated life gets. As the film says, “You have to try.”
At what point did you realise that this film was going to change your life?
I knew it was special from the very beginning, I just didn’t know how special! As soon as I read the script, I knew I had to do it. I was overwhelmed with the story and the incredible ideas. It’s given me an opportunity to do so many things that I have been training to do for the last 40 years of my career.
How has this new level of
‘Guys can still play the hero in their 60s, why shouldn’t I?’
success made you think about your career as a whole?
I’ve had a spectacular career. I’ve been lucky and this is incredible but you never just want it to end or slow down because you have gotten to a certain level or a certain age. Guys can still play the hero in their 50s, 60s and older, so why shouldn’t I? I’m excited for whatever comes next.
Many are surprised to discover you are 60!
I look after myself. I work out and when I’m not working out, I’m working. But there’s no secret to it. I think when you are happy inside, it shows. Everything Everywhere says how we should be taking better care of ourselves and taking the time to be happy and that’s what I am always trying to do.
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE Binge
THE 95TH ACADEMY AWARDS airs live Monday, 11am, Seven