Introducing, Dr. Michelle Yeoh.
On Saturday, the “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the American Film Institute in a ceremony at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre.
Michelle Yeoh Is Very Excited By Andrew Garfield’s ‘Everything Everywhere’ Hot Dog Fingers
The film’s co-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert were on hand to present the honorary degree to Yeoh.
“I think we underestimated just how risky the script was for her,” Scheinert said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’d find ourselves on set and and see Michelle putting her wiggly hot dog fingers covered with condiments into Jamie Lee Curtis’ mouth — if you haven’t seen our movie, that happens in our movie — and we were like, ‘That’s brave.’”
Kwan added, “We’ve seen her, obviously, like do a motorcycle jump onto a moving train and that’s really cool.”
“I think what she did in our movie is braver,” Scheinert joked.
Accepting the degree, Yeoh poked fun at the expectations placed on her by her mother.
“You have made my mother the happiest mother in the world today,” she said. “I think now she actually thinks I’m an adult with a real job. I had to keep telling her, ‘I’m not a real doctor, I don’t write prescriptions, mom.’ But she can go around telling everyone, ‘My daughter is a doctor.’”
Michelle Yeoh Says ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Script ‘Blew Her Mind’
She also spoke about her early career, and transitioning from being a ballet dancer to a martial artist and actress, which included a lot of training in how to fall, before learning how to fight.
“I was convinced I was being pranked. I was like, ‘When do I get to do the real stuff: the jumping kick, the roundhouse kick?’” Yeoh recalled. “And they said to me, ‘How are you going to go up if you don’t know how to come down?’ That lesson sticks with me to this day. I had to learn how to fall.”
She continued, “After I learned how to fall, I could learn how to fly. What I want to share with you today is that our slips and stumbles are the secrets to our flight. Every person who has ever stepped on the stage has had their fair share of crashes. Trust me, that’s part of the deal. Success without failure is called luck.”