TIME Magazine has named Michelle Yeoh as its 2022 Icon of the Year, highlighting her 40-year acting career that includes this year’s Everything Everywhere All At Once.
After starring as Evelyn Quan Wang, the universe-jumping proprietor of a failing laundromat in Everything Everywhere All At Once, Yeoh’s hard work totally paid off and is now soaking in the recognition.
However, it definitely wasn’t easy getting there.
In her interview with TIME, Yeoh talked about the “battle” that she had to face in Hollywood as parts that were offered to her were stereotypes of Asians or harmful tropes of Asian women.
“It shouldn’t be about my race, but it has been a battle,” Yeoh said. “At least let me try.”
Her acting abilities went beyond what white audiences expected of Asian artists until this past year when Hollywood started to regard her as a top-billed actor after the success of Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Yeoh claimed in a teary GQ interview that went viral on social media earlier this year that playing Evelyn was “something I had been waiting for for a long time” and that it would allow her to demonstrate to viewers “what I am capable of.”
Now, Yeoh is eyeing an Oscar nomination for her performance in the well-received surreal action-drama. “Give it to me,” said Yeoh. “It’s not about needing it – it’s that feeling that you don’t have to explain: It’s love from other people. My arms are out open.”
The 17th season of Variety’s Actors on Actors will also star Michelle Yeoh. An episode will feature Yeoh paired with Cate Blanchett, giving the two the opportunity to have a private one-on-one conversation about their work and craft. This will give viewers an inside look at the acting process and what it takes to become a skilled actor.