In an interview with the magazine published Tuesday, the actress, 60, opened up about career obstacles she says she faced as an Asian actress in the entertainment industry.
“It shouldn’t be about my race, but it has been a battle,” she said. “At least let me try.”
These challenges, she said, have made the success of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" more meaningful.
The film, which came out in March, stars Yeoh as a laundromat owner who gets a crash course on alternate realities and has to learn from the lives of her other selves in order to stop a nihilistic villain. The action-packed genre mashup has garnered 95% positive reviews on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.
Yeoh says the buzz around her performance has had her thinking about the possibility that she could become the first Asian woman to win best actress at the Oscars.
“I’ve thought about it,” she said. “And not just me — I feel like my full Asian community has thought about it. They come up to me and they say, ‘You’re doing it for us.’ "
Though critics have predicted Yeoh to be a best actress frontrunner at next year's ceremony, the actress says that, though she definitely wants to win, she doesn't need to.
“It’s not about needing it,” she said. “It’s that feeling that you don’t have to explain: it’s love from other people. My arms are out open."
Yeoh also opened up about her fears that, despite her success, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" might be her last chance to show the depth of her talent.
“I do look at all my peers — Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren — and go, Oh God, I envy all the different opportunities you get to showcase your talent again and again,” she said. “When you get an opportunity like this, you have to pour your heart and soul into it, because you don’t know when the next chance is ... I think that is my biggest fear: Please don’t let this be the one and only.”
Contributing: Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michelle Yeoh named Time's Icon of the Year, reveals Oscars ambitions