Michelle Yeoh is no stranger to the big screen, but she’s recently revealed that her Hollywood career almost got stereotyped after her breakout role in the 1997 James Bond film, “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Despite being praised for her progressive Bond girl character, Yeoh says that the Hollywood offers that followed were nothing but stereotypical roles.
The actress recently spoke to People Magazine, stating that Hollywood executives couldn’t tell the difference between her and other Asian ethnicities. They even spoke to her slowly and loudly as if she were unable to speak English! As a result, Yeoh had no choice but to turn down all the stereotypical roles that were presented to her, causing her to not work for almost two years.
Fortunately, Yeoh’s career wasn’t held back for long, as she is now a well-respected Oscar-nominated actress and recent Screen Actors Guild Award winner, thanks to her incredible performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
Interestingly, the role of her character in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was originally written for a man. The directors, the Daniels, initially considered Jackie Chan for the role, but when it was changed to a woman, Yeoh had some specific demands regarding the character’s name.
Yeoh insisted that the character not be called Michelle Wang, arguing that the character needed her voice. The name was changed to Evelyn Wang, and the film is now nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture!
After Michelle Yeoh was offered stereotypical roles following her breakthrough role in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” she didn’t work for almost two years until she landed a role in the critically acclaimed film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The film went on to become a massive success, earning Yeoh worldwide recognition and a reputation as an action star. Yeoh has since appeared in numerous Hollywood blockbusters, including the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Despite the early struggles, Yeoh’s career has proven to be unstoppable, and she’s now one of the most respected actresses in the industry. We can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!