Michelle Yeoh Says She Wants — but Doesn’t Need — an Oscar Win: ‘My Arms Are Out Open’
December 7, 2022
“It’s not about needing it,” Michelle Yeoh told TIME of potentially winning an Oscar, explaining, “It’s love from other people”
Michelle Yeoh is embracing the love she is feeling at this time in her career.
The 60-year-old actress — who is considered a Best Actress frontrunner at the upcoming Academy Awards for her performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once — spoke with TIME about her prospects and desires for the honor. She was named the magazine’s Icon of the Year.
Of the potential golden statuette, Yeoh said she definitely wants it but that her desire for the recognition is “not about needing it.” Instead, “It’s that feeling that you don’t have to explain: it’s love from other people,” she added in her interview, published Tuesday.
“My arms are out open,” Yeoh said.
The Malaysian actress said she has “thought about” the fact that no Asian woman has ever won Best Actress at the Oscars, adding, “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,’ ” Yeoh told TIME.
She also mentioned her “peers” in Hollywood who happen to be White women, including other awards contenders this year, Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren, saying, “I envy all the different opportunities [they] get to showcase [their] talent again and again.”
“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,” Yeoh explained of her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I think that is my biggest fear: Please don’t let this be the one and only.”
In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Yeoh stars as Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant swept up in a wild adventure, where she’s dropped into other universes on a mission to save her world.
The film became A24’s first to cross $100 million at the global box office and surpassed other top money-makers from the production company like Uncut Gems (2019), which made $50 million domestically, and 2018’s Hereditary, which made over $80 million worldwide.
Yeoh has thus far taken home best-actress accolades from the Saturn Awards and Hollywood Critics Association for her role in the movie, and was nominated for outstanding lead performance at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. She is also up for best lead performance at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, which will be held on March 4.