“The older you get, they see you by your age”
Life at 60 is pretty good for Michelle Yeoh, who is turning heads with her starring role in Oscars Everything everywhere at once. (“Your loss, bro,” she shot back when former co-star Jackie Chan texted to say he’d first been offered the plum role, originally intended for a man.)
But in a new interview with Seth Doane for CBS Sunday morningthe Malaysian actress admitted she was surprised to be cast “at this point in my career.”
“The older you get, the more they see you based on your age than your ability,” explained the martial arts-trained star.
Yeoh choked as she recalled the “joyful” endorsement from the film’s writers and directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (a.k.a. “the Daniels”), who entrusted her with a role that was not only physically demanding, but also required the ability to navigate both comic and dramatic moments.
the Crouching tiger, hidden dragon The actress got emotional while speaking with Doane about how meaningful it is “when someone gives you an opportunity to show what you’re capable of.”
This endorsement was unexpected for Yeoh, who fears her “spectacular career” will grind to a halt with every birthday.
“You don’t want it to just slow down or end because you hit a certain age,” she said. “And you start getting scripts where the guy, the hero, is still in his 50’s, 60’s…some even more. And you can go on the adventure with your daughter. And then you say, ‘No, c’Mon guys, give me a chance.’ Because I feel like I can still do it all.”
Yeoh also advocated retiring from the film business after marrying producer Dickson Poon in 1988 with intentions to pursue motherhood. But when she learned she “couldn’t have children,” the Tomorrow never dies Star left the marriage, explaining, “I knew this was a family that needed kids.” Still, making that decision was “devastating.”
“It’s life,” she said to Doane. “Now I have godchildren – beautiful godchildren. They are like my extended family.”
She has also found love with French racing driver Jean Todt, her romantic partner since 2004.
And while Yeoh’s days are a whirlwind of red carpets and award shows these days, they all start out the same: with stretches in bed and a kind of meditation excuse for the body, which she’s about to use in another daring stunt.
“Please forgive me. I’m sorry. Thanks. I love you,” Yeoh tells herself in a demonstration of her morning routine on camera. “This body takes away a lot of bumps and bruises, so that’s my way of saying thank you.”
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