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Best Actress Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh on why her win means the world

At 60, she is finally getting the recognition she deserves!

Congratulations on your success this awards season. How does it feel to be recognised after four decades in the industry?

It’s incredible. To get that kind of validation for doing something you love is really quite overwhelming. It means the world.

You already have a Golden Globe and SAG Award, and now you’re a favourite for Best Actress at the Oscars…

Right now, I’m just trying to take it all in. I’m just so glad for everyone who worked on this film, which has got the recognition that it deserves. More than anything, I’m really excited that maybe little girls or boys will say, “Hey, I see someone like me up there!” This is something that we have been fighting for – equal opportunities. It’s about equality, not just inclusion, so I am hoping I have made a little contribution to that.

Everything Everywhere has made her a household name

Did you think Everything Everywhere All At Once would become a global hit?

I don’t think you can ever predict things like this. Of course, whenever you make a film, you want it to be the very best it can be, to tell a good story, and for everyone to see it and enjoy it, but the truth is, you never know.

What is going through your mind when you’re waiting for the winner of your category to be announced at a big awards show?

Honestly, of course you want them to call your name! And then when they do, it’s relief and joy, followed by the panic of having to get up there and say something. That’s what it is like for me, anyway. My manager gave me some good advice at the Golden Globes about seizing the moment and talking from the heart instead of worrying about getting it right.

At what point did you realise that this film was going to change your life?

I knew it was special from the very beginning – I just didn’t know how special! As soon as I read the script, I knew I had to do it. I was overwhelmed with the story and the incredible ideas. It’s given

me an opportunity to do so many things that I have been training to do for the past 40 years of my career.

Adding to her tropgy haul at the SAG awards

What do you hope the legacy of Everything Everywhere All At Once will be as a film?

I hope and believe that the younger generation especially, having seen this film, might communicate better with their parents. We have been through such a hard time these past few years and I think this wacky, wild and wonderful film kind of sums up the new norm. This film is really a story about family – the happy times, and the tears of frustration and anger. But more than anything, it’s about love, family and kindness, and how we all need to look after each other, no matter how complicated life gets. As the film says, you have to try.

How has this new level of success made you think about your career?

I’ve had a spectacular career. I’ve been lucky and this is incredible, but you never just want it to end or slow down because you have gotten to a certain level or a certain age. Guys can still play the hero in their fifties, sixties and older, so why shouldn’t I? I’m excited for whatever comes next.

The actress stole the show in 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians

What’s your secret to looking so sensational at 60?

I look after myself. I work out and when I’m not working out, I’m working. But there’s no secret to it. I think when you are happy inside, it shows. Everything Everywhere says how we should be taking better care of ourselves and taking the time to be happy, and that’s what I am always trying to do.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is now streaming on Neon.

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