Yeoh, a front-runner for a Best Actress Oscar nomination for the movie, revealed that her character's original name in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's sci-fi epic almost prevented her from starring in the sleeper hit.
"The only thing I said to them was, 'The character cannot be called Michelle Wang,'" she said during her conversation with fellow Oscars hopeful Cate Blanchett in a new story for Variety. "They're like, 'But why? It's so you.' I'm like, 'No, I'm not an Asian immigrant mother who's running a laundromat. She needs her own voice.' That was the only thing. I'm like, 'If you don't change the name, I'm not coming in.'"
Allyson Riggs/A24 Michelle Yeoh in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'
The character's name was changed to Evelyn Wang for the final film, in which Yeoh portrays a laundromat owner who travels through space and time while struggling to reconnect with her family and keep her business afloat. A representative for distributor A24 confirmed to EW that Yeoh requested the change.
In addition to Yeoh, supporting actor Ke Huy Quan has been hailed as a standout on the awards trail, scoring accolades from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review — key Oscars precursor prizes — in recent weeks.
Everything Everywhere received critical praise upon its release and went on to become A24's highest-grossing film to date, pulling in $103 million at the global box office.
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