Despite the fact that Michelle Yeoh has been on everyone’s lips since she won the Oscar for Best Actress at the 2023 Oscars, it was not always like that. The actress remembers that they only offered him racist roles after his appearance in the Bond saga.
The spy who succeeded
Michelle Yeoh began her film career in the 80s, standing out in films like ‘Supercop’ or ‘Supercop 2’. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that Hollywood acknowledged her existence by play Wai Lin in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’:
The first movie I made after coming to the US was ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ with Pierce Brosnan. At the time, James Bond had a macho reputation and his girls were only the ones with cutesy names.
Despite the fact that her role as the Chinese spy in the Bond saga opened the doors of Hollywood for her, Yeoh said in a recent interview that she spent two years without working because all the job offers that came his way were papers full of Asian stereotypes:
At that time, people in the industry couldn’t tell if she was Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or even if she spoke English. They were addressing me speaking very loudly and very slowly. I spent almost two years without working until ‘Tiger and Dragon’, simply because I did not want to fit into the stereotypical roles that they wanted to give me.
Of course, a lot has happened from roles like that of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ to that of ‘Everything at the same time everywhere’, the film that is giving her so much joy this awards season.
Curiously, his character was originally going to be played by Jackie Chan although in the end the directors leaned towards Yeoh. It’s hard to imagine another version of Evelyn Wang other than her, although in the Daniels’ multiverse anything is possible.
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