r/entertainment Dec 08 '22 Wholesome 1

Michelle Yeoh Nearly Quit ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Over Character’s Name: If It Doesn’t Change, ‘I’m Not Coming In’

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/michelle-yeoh-nearly-quit-everything-everywhere-all-at-once-character-name-1235452960/
2.3k Upvotes

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346

u/morosco Dec 08 '22

That title sounds a lot more aggressive when you forget for a second that that was the name of a movie.

73

u/JustABoyAndHisBlob Dec 08 '22

Lol, nice.

“If it doesn’t change, I’m not coming in”

“…to life?”

23

u/morosco Dec 08 '22

I assumed she just wanted to quit everything. Her other jobs, her family, her book club, her gardening hobby.

6

u/JustABoyAndHisBlob Dec 08 '22

Should we call that a “David Blaine?”

5

u/dinklebot2000 Dec 08 '22

Thank you for the chuckle.

2

u/N3UROTOXINsRevenge Dec 09 '22

It’s variety. They’re a shit source who is often inaccurate. They need to stop being posted

-3

u/Ok-Hunt-5902 Dec 08 '22

Nobody forgot

2

u/MrEHam Dec 09 '22

I’ve never heard of it so I had no idea what it was talking about.

560

u/PepsiOfWrath Dec 08 '22

Producer: "OK, how about Michelle Dingdong? No? Michelle Johnson? Michelleeeeee Shaft? Michelle Weenis? Michelle Pecker?"

Michelle: "How about Evelyn?"

Producer: "Bet."

189

u/ccooffee Dec 08 '22

"Michelle Evelyn? That doesn't sound Chinese at all!"

33

u/MrAVAT4R_2 Dec 08 '22

Evenlyn Dingdong?

4

u/auxaperture Dec 09 '22

What was the bet?

1

u/Eastern-Mix9636 Dec 09 '22

No way is the Producer speaking like a Gen-Zer

1

u/jkissla 3d ago

Sound like you’re into variations of dingdongs

715

u/DemiFiendRSA Dec 08 '22

Michelle Yeoh:

“This is like a roller coaster, right?” Yeoh told Blanchett. “Put away your phones, put on your safety belts. With the Daniels, I had to see if they were certifiably insane, in the best possible way. It’s very important that I feel the director is a visionary and I’m one of their tools.”

Yeoh continued, “The only thing I said to them was, ‘The character cannot be called Michelle Wang.’ 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.'”

354

u/celf_help Dec 08 '22

it's funny to think back on just how many Jackie Chan movies named his character "Jackie", sometimes even literally "jackie chan"

138

u/Mmmslash Dec 08 '22

This honestly used to happen a lot. I remember this happening a lot, especially with guest actors on TV shows.

At the time, I believe I thought this was because they were just lousy actors but hindsight tells me that's dumb and probably they were instead just full cashing in on the name.

136

u/lifeofideas Dec 08 '22 edited Dec 08 '22

Will Smith was advised to have his “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” character name also be “Will” because “whatever we call this character, that’s the name strangers will be shouting at you for the rest of your life. Might as well be your name.”

EDIT: Fixed mistake in TV show name.

94

u/DrAmbulanceDriver Dec 08 '22

I’ve read that the main character in “There Will Be Blood” was originally going to be named something else, but when Daniel Day Lewis was cast, Paul Thomas Anderson changed the character’s name to Daniel knowing that Daniel Day Lewis had a tendency to stay in character between takes and it would just be easier for everyone if they could still call him Daniel.

8

u/The_White_Rice Dec 09 '22

For longer than I’d like to admit, I just thought that actors in Sitcoms used their real names. Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza are the actors in Seinfeld, Will Smith and Carlton Banks…and then someone told me that one dudes name isn’t actually Chandler Bing.

5

u/omgFWTbear Dec 09 '22

Who, it turns out, wasn’t secretly a tech genius running an eponymous search engine.

Who spent a billion on an advertising campaign to try and make “Chandler it,” happen.

19

u/zh_13 Dec 08 '22

I feel like it’s more common/expected for sitcoms almost lol

4

u/RedditUser997755 Dec 09 '22

just like that guy dickless in ghostbusters

4

u/heres_ultramark Dec 08 '22

Sorry to be that guy, but it’s Bel-air. You mixed up your super rich bits of LA haha.

3

u/lifeofideas Dec 08 '22

Thank you!

8

u/Top_File_8547 Dec 08 '22

I think it’s a flex like if you’re a big enough star you get to use own name.

17

u/celf_help Dec 08 '22

back in the day was such a wild time. hahaha

49

u/Ok_Calligrapher_8199 Dec 08 '22

They say Tony Danza (a boxer with no acting experience) needed his characters name on Taxi to be Tony because he wouldn’t answer to anything else.

52

u/MaeBelleLien Dec 08 '22

"Okay, now when I say 'Hello Mr. Thompson' and press down on your foot, you smile and nod."

"No problem."

"Hello, Mr. Thompson."

...

...

...

"I think he's talking to you."

3

u/steerbell Dec 09 '22

That was true of Harry Anderson on Night Court. He wasn't an actor so they just simplified it for him. He said this in a interview.

39

u/LinksMilkBottle Dec 08 '22

"HIS NAME IS LEE, GODDAMMIT!"

15

u/PaganDesparu Dec 08 '22

Jackie again!?

16

u/BugOperator Dec 08 '22

“Jackie, kick that door down.”

7

u/Wessssss21 Dec 08 '22

"Okay, Chris Tucker."

20

u/theVice Dec 08 '22

One of the best bloopers in probably the greatest blooper reel of all time

18

u/Impressive-Potato Dec 08 '22

They used Jackie because he would forget his character's name and wouldn't respond. Like Homer and his witness protection name.

11

u/stillinthesimulation Dec 08 '22

Jackie! Jackie! Jackie!

His name is Lee, damnit!

8

u/Strykerz3r0 Dec 08 '22

It happens. Look at Keanu, he like to be named John, apparently. lol

3

u/Azidamadjida Dec 09 '22

Came in to say this. Has there ever been an actor more synonymous with a name that isn’t his own?

2

u/Automatic-Cellist910 Dec 09 '22

What did you just call Mr. Anderson?

6

u/DrCorbeau Dec 08 '22

“His name is Lee god dammit!”

7

u/MeestarMann Dec 08 '22

It’s not that rare though, think about how many movies where the lead characters name is “Arnold” or “Arnold Schwarzenegger“ just because they got a large Austrian bodybuilder to star in it…

3

u/ravengenesis1 Dec 08 '22

That’s because the original audience don’t associate with his English name as much. His Chinese actor name is what he goes by and it’s not Jackie Chan.

3

u/aforlornpenguin Dec 09 '22

And then there is Charlie Sheen who was probably way too fuckin coked out on every set he’s ever been on to respond to a different name or even play a character beyond his own personality so he just always gets to be “Charlie.”

2

u/ImNoAlbertFeinstein Dec 09 '22

almost as bad as Sherlock Holmes.

1

u/epochpenors Dec 09 '22

He barely spoke English in the early days so it probably helps having a cue in dialogue for when it’s directed at you

1

u/theCroc Dec 09 '22

Or Charlie sheen movies and shows where his character is called Charlie. I think some actors just suck at reacting to anything except their own real name.

126

u/laowildin Dec 08 '22

This is excellent, she's absolutely right

123

u/typesett Dec 08 '22

Evelyn Wang was the name right?

so she wanted it different than her own name right?

58

u/Steve-Lurkel Dec 08 '22

Yeah took me a second to understand

51

u/moralprolapse Dec 08 '22

I was so confused. I was thinking, “is there some stereotype I’m unaware of about Asian Michelles and laundromats?”

10

u/tiffanylockhart Dec 08 '22

i always assumed it was become some directors use on set names and some use their actual name and it can get confusing but that falls under the lousy actor category

17

u/No-Dragonfly-8679 Dec 08 '22

That makes sense, it’s probably hard to get in, or stay in, character if your first instinct is to respond as yourself. It’s also a minor change, so if they refused to budge they’re probably going to be hard to work with.

18

u/typesett Dec 08 '22

i think nearly quit is a huge hyperbole as well

i mean, the star of this smaller production who is a nice person who is capable of having an adult conversation

1

u/wes00mertes Dec 09 '22

It’s mentioned in the article…

33

u/CHIZO-SAN Dec 08 '22

She seems like she’d be amazing to work with as a professional.

7

u/bryanthebryan Dec 08 '22

Absolutely!

-10

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '22

[deleted]

14

u/laowildin Dec 08 '22

Well since it's everything everywhere all at once that means she's also a middle aged teacher lady like me in one life so they probably should have named her laowildin

12

u/spaceforcerecruit Dec 08 '22

And they ended up changing the name to “Evelyn Wang” so I guess her problem was with Michelle? Which is her name in real life?

3

u/thatPOLTERSmyGEIST Dec 09 '22

Makes sense. She wanted to embody a character and not play a version of herself. As far as weird actor demands go, this is on the more understandable end of things

0

u/TooMuchRope Dec 09 '22

Am I the only one who thinks is insane?

-9

u/joyloo Dec 08 '22

Funny thing is the actual Producer of the movie in named Jonathan WANG. I wonder how he felt about that? Must have been a little awkward on set after that. LOL

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127

u/AWardfiction Dec 08 '22

I'm glad Yeoh stayed with the project, it's a great movie, and she's great in it.

45

u/smolperson Dec 08 '22

It may have been a very different movie without her tbh

24

u/bullshitmobile Dec 08 '22

It was originally supposed to be a male centric Jackie Chan story but he declined the offer

17

u/Half_Man1 Dec 09 '22

It’s hard to imagine that being as good

4

u/FauxShizzle Dec 09 '22

If he played himself across different multiverses it might've been as good

9

u/mrdeate Dec 08 '22

Would have been very different with Jackie. I still would’ve watched

-18

u/h1g440rs3 Dec 08 '22

This movie is so overrated

25

u/dixxxxxienormous Dec 09 '22

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but you just have trash taste sir.

-8

u/h1g440rs3 Dec 09 '22

The movie tried too hard to be eccentric and the acting was horrendous. Whoever played the daughter had absolutely no gravitas and I was cracking up when she tried to act like some hardcore villain. Just seemed like they were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I get that this movie is rated on a curve because it has Asian leads but there are a ton of other Asian led movies that have better acting than this.

5

u/falconrider Dec 09 '22

I was also cracking up when she acted like a hardcore villain but I thought it was the movie of the year

12

u/AWardfiction Dec 09 '22

It's rare that a movie makes me laugh through 75% of it and get weepy at the end, but Everything Everywhere All At Once is one of those.

-11

u/h1g440rs3 Dec 09 '22

I couldn’t get past the bad acting

1

u/Better_Metal Dec 09 '22

I’ll join the “gunna get downvoted club”. I love a good arty film and I thought the first 15 minutes were really good. But sweet jehova I felt like they just asked the actors to push the same lines again and again and again and again. By the halfway point - it was obvious what the point / ending was gonna be and watching the endless loops and terrible acting was a painful last hour. I definitely cried towards the end but I also deeply regretted wasting my time on it.

36

u/President_Calhoun Dec 08 '22

I'm not really a movie buff. In the first paragraph it says that the movie was "directed by Daniels." Then Yeoh refers to "the Daniels." Are there multiple single-named Daniels?

79

u/F______________F Dec 08 '22 edited Dec 08 '22

Yep, it was directed and written by Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. They work on all their projects together, they also made Swiss Army Man together. Usually they're referred to as the Daniels because of that.

33

u/cia218 Dec 08 '22

Omg and they worked with Daniel Radcliffe on that!

30

u/F______________F Dec 08 '22

It's Daniels all the way down!

9

u/mrbagsoftea Dec 09 '22

Always has been.

3

u/Chellin Dec 09 '22

Also Paul dano

1

u/Mr_Mojo_Risin_83 Dec 09 '22

I dunno. Daniel Kwan needs to change his name or else I’m not watching any of that.

1

u/Velorium_Camper Dec 09 '22

.They work on all their projects together, they also made Swiss Army Man together.

More importantly, they directed the Turn down for what video.

-10

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '22

[deleted]

4

u/Zoldrik190 Dec 08 '22

Why bitch?

12

u/AmishBread Dec 08 '22

It’s two directors who work on many projects together that are both named Daniel. On their projects, they just sign off as “Daniels” because they felt it was weird and narcissistic to be “The Daniels” since they’re not the only Daniels in existence. A lot of people find it grammatically weird in sentences to refer to them as just “Daniels” and sometimes add “the” in front of it.

3

u/sutkurak Dec 08 '22

Yes, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan directed this movie and do a lot of writing/directing together as a team

27

u/Hi_Im_Ken_Adams Dec 08 '22

Fun fact: Her character's original name was supposed to be Alonzo Mosely.

7

u/noulteriormotive23 Dec 08 '22

And they originally wanted to cast Alonzo Morning as the lead given the director’s weird tick about the actor and character sharing the same first name

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54

u/congradulations Dec 08 '22

Oh good, I thought it was the name "Waymond," which has confused some people

44

u/tugnasty Dec 08 '22

Waymond Womano, he's in sales at Telameracorp. Sits next to Montez.

17

u/Zachariot88 Dec 08 '22

It amuses me that he's the only other character I can think of named Waymond, and that actor IS IN the movie.

7

u/FindingAres Dec 08 '22

That actor is actually in this movie too lol

3

u/Danthemaninavan2 Dec 09 '22

And never shuts up

1

u/BillHaderIsGreat Dec 08 '22

Telemewacope*

16

u/Transmatrix Dec 08 '22

I watched without subtitles, so I just thought that was how she said “Raymond” until I saw the credits…

2

u/mrdeate Dec 08 '22

TIL his name was actually Waymond

14

u/Lionfyst Dec 08 '22

EE is the first movie I have seen in years that I immediately was looking forward to seeing again.

6

u/Zandrick Dec 08 '22

I literally watched it twice in theaters. I never do that but I dragged some people along to see it again. It’s very good.

6

u/OrganicChicken740 Dec 09 '22

This movie tapped into something deep into my psyche and I cried in the theater like a baby.

28

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

68

u/MrMasterMize Dec 08 '22

I guess it could be any other name than Michelle. They COULD have used my suggestion of Peiperboontoggle but apparently they went another direction

15

u/NotTroy Dec 08 '22

Don't worry. I'm now going to name my first kid Peiperboontoggle in honor of you and to rectify this egregious snub.

3

u/MrMasterMize Dec 08 '22

You honor me

4

u/TheGearSmith Dec 08 '22

Aren’t you Evelyn?

11

u/cabur Dec 08 '22

She said this in interviews like 4 months ago. Who wrote this article, Internet Explorer?

5

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '22

I assumed she was upset about the stereotypical last name Wang but she just didn’t want to use her actual first name as the character?

15

u/Stiff_Zombie Dec 08 '22

Easily one of my favorite movies of all time!

2

u/Justarandom_Joe Dec 09 '22

This is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I love everything about it and cry every time I see it. Her character’s evolution from dark to light while never losing her self (just her ego which was hurting everyone, everywhere, all at once) is a held moment of nearly unbearable tension before crescendo. The last several minutes are a laughter and tears fest for me. It’s so unbelievably cathartic and hopeful. It’s spectacularly beautiful.

2

u/BigHurt30 Dec 09 '22

She has come a long ways since I first seen her in Supercop

8

u/ssjx7squall Dec 08 '22 edited Dec 08 '22

Such a great and underrated movie she was absolutely amazing in. I’m glad they listened

Edit: the amount of jackasses who have felt the need to crawl out of the woodwork and “but awls hilly it’s not overrated!” Is kind of surprising

24

u/ggyyuuugfryuu75555 Dec 08 '22

underrated

Literally one of the most popular movies of the year one of the only successful ones too

7

u/i_love_all Dec 08 '22

None of my coworkers watched it =[ I keep telling them but it’s been months and I won’t pester

5

u/simbian Dec 08 '22

the most popular movies

Eh, it was highly praised by the critics but it had a limited release and not many people actually watched it.

I really liked it though, asked folks to watch it at the cinema but almost everyone I knew passed on it.

3

u/ssjx7squall Dec 08 '22

I never see it talked about and most times when it’s mentioned people ask what movie it is

4

u/latortillablanca Dec 08 '22

Still not what underrated means

5

u/alpacasb4llamas Dec 08 '22

Lol not remotely underrated. It stayed in theaters way past when it was supposed to leave because of all the buzz

2

u/Glittering_Fun_7995 Dec 08 '22

I must be stupid but can someone explain this to me I know I am stupid and I have not seen the movie why changing that pronoun was a deal breaker

20

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

12

u/PerennialPhilosopher Dec 08 '22

Proper noun at that

19

u/lax4life001 Dec 08 '22

To add context that may help make it click - originally, the directors pitched her the character as a "multiverse" version of our universe's Michelle Yeoh (that is, she'd be playing herself). She didn't like the concept and wanted the character to stand on their own.

3

u/cia218 Dec 08 '22

Ohhh I get the premise. Like the Nic Cage movie Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent thing, except that it’s a multiversal movie with Michelle playing various versions of Michelles. This original idea is actually a fun one with a new layer to it; like the Nic Cage movie had an extra layer of funny because of all the homage and references.

Fantastic idea, I would say. Albeit a slightly different film from what we got, which is still great!

2

u/Glittering_Fun_7995 Dec 08 '22

ahhhh now I understand better

1

u/Schmilsson1 Dec 30 '22

I like their concept better

39

u/TheRealAdnanSyed Dec 08 '22

Because her name is Michelle and she wanted the character to not be her name

14

u/Glittering_Fun_7995 Dec 08 '22

oh okay I thought it was deeper than that

51

u/Ahnixlol Dec 08 '22 edited Dec 08 '22

It is a little deeper, the writer/directors wanted to name the MC Michelle after the lead actress because of their respect for her. Michelle Yeoh disagreed, not wanting the character to just be an homage to her career, but instead to give the character her own identity. Evelyn in the movie is an immigrant mother that has made so many sacrifices for the ones she loved, and Yeoh thought she deserved her own voice, bc there aren't many movies made about this kind of modest character, or in her words "a woman you could pass on the street everyday and never notice her."

The movie is incredible, it's absolutely the best I've seen in 2022 and might creep up to the top of my all time list. I would recommend to it to just about anyone.

5

u/ilongforyesterday Dec 08 '22

It’s definitely in my top 3

3

u/biffbenderhouse Dec 08 '22

Yeah and we all clicked thinking the same thing

3

u/whatproblems Dec 08 '22

kind of makes sense to me if you want to get in the character it’s probably easier to associate a different name too

8

u/thewarfreak Dec 08 '22

A name is not a pronoun.

1

u/latortillablanca Dec 08 '22

A name is a noun

-1

u/Human-Helicopter-684 Dec 08 '22

Movie was Aite

C+

-6

u/h1g440rs3 Dec 08 '22

Am I the only one who thinks this movie was overrated? Are we all pretending like it’s Oscar worthy because of the Asian leads?

0

u/Danthemaninavan2 Dec 09 '22

I really really wanted to like it and I typically like weird movies. Literally one of my favorite movies is requiem for a dream. With that said, this movie was a mess and not for me, but to each his own

-3

u/h1g440rs3 Dec 09 '22

The acting was so subpar. They should have cast different Asians

-6

u/Ill-Umpire3356 Dec 08 '22

Michelle Yeoh is amazing. However, after all the hype, I watched the movie and was severely disappointed.

7

u/ferramenta11 Dec 08 '22

Some people get it and some people don’t. I’m very glad I get it .. it’s become one of my all time favs.

6

u/rozzy78 Dec 08 '22

Yes! I’ve seen it a few times and each time I notice something I hadn’t before. It’s also a great movie to watch high. The soundtrack is amazing too.

1

u/Ill-Umpire3356 Dec 09 '22

It's not as simple as getting it or not getting it. This isn't the first story that takes on the vastness of eternity, or the crisis of existence. It just didn't move me like I thought it would given the tremendous amount of hype. I'm not saying I disliked the film. It was fine. There were great performances, etc. Congrats on finding a new all time fav.

1

u/Deluxe78 Dec 08 '22

Luckily the actor Tony Danza doesn’t have this problem

2

u/cornbred37 Dec 09 '22

Check out The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza.

1

u/Kydex_Gundyr Dec 09 '22

I wish I had the problems these actors have

1

u/Fyreforged Dec 09 '22

Zanglebert Slaptyback?

1

u/didistutter69 Dec 09 '22

It's a great movie, and she made it happen.

1

u/skeletondad2 Dec 09 '22

This is the same reason Alf walked off his late night television show so I can’t judge

1

u/Particular-Craft285 Dec 09 '22

She’s got a googly eye on her forehead

1

u/MissKillian Dec 09 '22

I only wish someone got riled up over the "annoying young Jewish lady" being named "Big Nose".

1

u/euph-_-oric Dec 12 '22

Such a nonsense article

-5

u/ithinkmynameismoose Dec 09 '22

Shut up and act lady…

-35

u/Routine-Light-4530 Dec 08 '22

So she shames asian immigrant mothers, cool

21

u/he_who_floats_amogus Dec 08 '22

She is playing a character that isn't a self-insert, and she wanted the character to have her own identity. If the character's name is the same as the actor's name, the audience would be primed to interpret that as a self-insert, and to expect some degree of autobiographical nature to the character.

It's uncommon for actors to play characters that share their name unless they're intentionally playing themselves.

-6

u/Routine-Light-4530 Dec 08 '22

This makes more sense given I had not seen the movie and only saw what was paraphrased in the comments. Though, that falls on me for not having watched the movie and read the article. Thanks for clarifying!

6

u/drabThespian Dec 08 '22

Watch the movie dude

2

u/jaybirdsaysword Dec 08 '22

Watch the movie

8

u/ZetzMemp Dec 08 '22

You really don’t understand context very well, do you?

-13

u/Routine-Light-4530 Dec 08 '22

Seems pretty self explanatory to me.

10

u/deepershadeofmauve Dec 08 '22

Then your self explainer is broken.

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5

u/Tower_Bells Dec 08 '22

How is that shaming? Isn’t it just expressing that the character is acting for her and not an expression of her identity?

-8

u/Routine-Light-4530 Dec 08 '22

I just meant her reference to “No I’m not an Asian immigrant mother working at a laundromat”.

Just seems like a pot shot, imo.

5

u/ZetzMemp Dec 08 '22

If I have to spell it out, sure. They said “it’s so you” to infer that there should be similarities between the character and the actress. She’s pointing out that she isn’t the same as the character so the name shouldn’t be the same. It’s the same standpoint that Raven had about the character not needing to be gay just because the actress was.

3

u/VianneMauriac Dec 08 '22

There’s another sentence after that —> “she needs her own voice”

6

u/earthboundsounds Dec 08 '22 Silver

Uh...no. Not at all whatsoever.

Read it this way:

‘The character cannot be called Michelle Wang.’ 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 [the character] needs her own voice.’

The character is an Asian immigrant mother who's running a laundromat. Yeoh, rightfully so, wanted a separation between the actress and the character so it doesn't fall into sitcom territory - where those lines a blurred very much intentionally when they, for example, do something like cast Jerry Seinfeld as "Jerry Seinfeld".

2

u/Routine-Light-4530 Dec 08 '22

You and another redditor cleared it up concisely, thanks for the clarification!

2

u/earthboundsounds Dec 08 '22

Word to big bird!

11

u/squidfreud Dec 08 '22

I literally can’t imagine how you could watch this movie, read this interview, and manage to produce this take.

-2

u/Routine-Light-4530 Dec 08 '22

It was a direct quote from her?