The flustered, disheveled, curmudgeonly heroine of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would seem to bear little resemblance to the practiced martial artist from “Supercop” who can knock out two bad guys at once with a single airborne split-kick. But Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan wrote the part of Evelyn exclusively for her — in the earliest version of the script, the lead character was even named Michelle.
As Evelyn, Michelle Yeoh draws from previously unknown emotional and comedic reserves, bringing the full force of her physicality to the portrayal of a middle-aged woman whose ordinariness makes her the focus of a grand, multiversal showdown. “The work she does,” Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays a supporting role in the film, told our writer over the phone, “it shows her incredible facility as an actor, the delicacy of her work as an actor, and her absolute beastly work as a physical martial artist.”
It’s also the first time audiences saw Yeoh play someone whose movements are uncertain, someone with abundant gray hairs, someone whose body struggles to do what she asks of it — and the first time she’s been called upon to loosen the elegance and poise that has defined her career so far and let her own electric, slightly neurotic personality slip through.
won the Oscar at Sunday night’s ceremony for her role in “Everything, Everywhere All at Once,” becoming the first Asian star to win best actress in the 95-year history of the Academy Awards.
Photograph by @djeneba.aduayom