BONUS: Everything Everywhere All At Once Oscars Crossover with X-Ray Vision | Crooked Media
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March 14, 2023
Keep It
BONUS: Everything Everywhere All At Once Oscars Crossover with X-Ray Vision

In This Episode

On this special BONUS episode of X-Ray Vision & Keep It, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight fight with fanny packs as they discuss the recent stunning Oscars sweep by Everything Everywhere All At Once! First up, in the Previously On (1:55), they discuss the Oscars sweep, why EEAAO appealed to them and to audiences, the Angela Bassett snub, and more. In the Airlock (11:55), a rebroadcast deep dive from Jason and Rosie from our April 2022 episode on EEAAO. Then, a rebroadcast (31:59) of Jason and Rosie’s interview with newly minted Oscar-winning directing duo The Daniels. Finally, passing off the torch to our good friends at Keep It (1:09:35) for a fantastic interview with newly-minted Oscar winner and icon Michelle Yeoh, recorded in April 2022.

 

Subscribe to Keep It on YouTube to catch full episodes, exclusive content, and other community events. Find us there at YouTube.com/@KeepItPodcast 

 

Check out X-Ray Vision: https://crooked.com/podcast-series/x-ray-vision/

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Jason Concepcion In order to support our show, we need the help of some great advertisers. And we want to make sure those advertisers are the ones that you actually care about. But we need to learn a little bit more about you to make that possible. So we are asking, humbly, for you to go to podsurvey.com/Xray and take a quick anonymous survey that will help us get to know you better. That way we can bring on advertisers you won’t want to skip. Once you’ve completed the quick survey, you can enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Terms and conditions apply. Again, that’s podsurvey.com/Xray. Podsurvey.com/Xray. Thank you for your help. Warning This podcast contains spoilers for Everything Everywhere All At Once. And. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion.

 

Rosie Knight And I’m Rosie Knight.

 

Jason Concepcion And welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Media podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. And welcome to a special bonus episode. We’re having an epic crossover with our good friends at Keep It to celebrate the Oscar run of the wonderful film, Everything Everywhere, All at Once. Sweeping category after category. We’re going to be discussing the film’s awards. We’ll be discussing our feelings about the film. We’re going to be re-airing our interview with the directing team, the Daniels that we ran in a previous episode of X-ray Vision. And then you’re going to hear our good friends from Keep It, Ira Madison and Louis Virtel interview the legend herself.

 

Rosie Knight Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh.

 

Jason Concepcion One of the greatest living human beings.

 

Rosie Knight Of all time.

 

Jason Concepcion Currently walking the earth.

 

Rosie Knight And if you want to jump around, check the show notes for timestamps, you’re probably going to need them and go and watch the movie.

 

Jason Concepcion Please watch the movie. Okay. Everything Everywhere, All at Once swept the Oscars over the weekend. They won seven Oscars.

 

Rosie Knight Pom pom pom pom.

 

Jason Concepcion Including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh.

 

Rosie Knight Best Original Screenplay.

 

Jason Concepcion Best Actor in a supporting role for the wonderful Ke Huy Quan.

 

Rosie Knight Jamie Lee Curtis in an upset.

 

Jason Concepcion Best Best Actress in a supporting role. I swear I will support. I will. I will talk about my feelings about Best Film Editing for the very handsome Paul Rogers

 

Rosie Knight One of my favorite speeches of the night. I was like, I was like this is a man.

 

Jason Concepcion For really very dashing Paul Rogers.

 

Rosie Knight This is somebody I know. I’m like, This is how I would give an Oscar speech. I would be awkward, hopefully look that good and just kind of be like, Well, I think I won this. This is cool.

 

Jason Concepcion Producer Chris also also  appreciate. When he walked on stage, I was like, Well, Paul hello Oh okay.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah I mean this is out of they won seven out of 11 nominations. They won all the majors. This is the third time ever in Oscar history that one film has won three acting awards. One of the other ones was network. I’m not actually sure what the first one was. Bad research on my part, but it is the third time ever that that happened, and I think that is very cool. I mean, there’s so many firsts there, but that’s far less important than the fact that the movie is like fucking amazing. I will never forget when we spoke to the Daniels, as you will hear on this episode, we were talking to them and we were just such huge fans of this movie. This is Everything we Love. It’s multiverse. It’s comic book action. It’s completely original. Has Michelle fucking Yeoh.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, it’s Hong Kong style action game.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s got butt plug jokes.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s an it’s a it’s a sincere and heartfelt story about an immigrant family.

 

Rosie Knight It’s about generational trauma.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s beautiful.

 

Rosie Knight It’s about queerness. It’s got James Hong, The living legend.

 

Jason Concepcion A living legend, James Hong.

 

Rosie Knight Most favorite actors and performers and people of all time. And we were just such huge fans. And at the time it was starting to make a little bit of money at the box office. It was doing well. It was going to go out of limited release and into wide release, I believe. And the Daniels were like so confused. They were just like, we thought we made another weird movie like Swiss Army Man that no one would like.

 

Jason Concepcion And the Farting Corpse.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, we were like, we were like, Well, people like it. And like, what if it becomes kind of the biggest movie in the world? And they were like, That would be terrible. Yeah, I was like, That would be really like, This is already scary. So I’m feeling for them. I think that this was this has been such an incredible awards season to follow them. This story has been brilliant to see Ke get this comeback story, to see Michelle get her flowers and also as well. I feel like their speeches were so good.

 

Jason Concepcion Oh my god, Ke’s brought me to tears.

 

Rosie Knight Oh my God. I was crying from the moment he won.

 

Jason Concepcion Weeping.

 

Rosie Knight I was crying. And it really was like there were only really intervals because Michelle got me. I loved Daniel Quan’s speech where he was talking about this kind of unbelievable journey and how crazy it was to win an Oscar. But then he immediately was like, to my son, like, You will never have to live up to this. This is not normal. Like, he’s breaking down generational trauma in this Oscar speech about the movie that’s breaking down generational trauma like it was that’s that came at this. I think it’s maybe a bit over the top now. But Parasite was always my best Oscar experience where I watched the Oscars and I felt like I couldn’t believe that this movie I loved was winning when it won. Best International Picture and Best Picture was blowing my mind. This gave me that same elation. There was so much emotion here, so much it was so moving. It was so great to see how so many people came together to celebrate this weird original movie that also brought back these kind of legends and put them in the spotlight.

 

Jason Concepcion Ke’s speech about, you know, being being a refugee and an immigrant and finding this American dream was amazing. He thank Jeff Cohen, Chunk from The Goonies, who it turns out is a is a successful entertainment lawyer and helped him seal this deal, you know, thanking his mom. I will say he is such a better human being than me in the sense that, you know, he famously you’ve been out of the business acting wise for 20 years and had worked behind the camera.

 

Rosie Knight Just casually, like working with Wong Kar-Wai.

 

Jason Concepcion But had to because.

 

Rosie Knight He had to, because there was no roles.

 

Jason Concepcion All the roles dried up. And you know, when he’s like calling out Steven Spielberg who gave him is, you know, they kept cutting to Steven, who, of course, you know, famously gave him his his break in Temple. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I if it was me, I would have been petty and be like, there’s Steven Spielberg who gave him a break and then, of course, never hired me for any of the Indy sequels. You know, it was like I, I the it was wonderful to see how generous and positive he was because I would have been.

 

Rosie Knight In a room with a Hollywood gatekeepers.

 

Jason Concepcion Here I am in this room of people who here’s the reason why I didn’t work for 20 years, because none of them hired me. And they’re all like. So it was really amazing. And these.

 

Rosie Knight He’s incredibly generous. Generous is the right word.

 

Jason Concepcion Wonderfully generous. And then, you know, what a triumph for Michelle Yeoh, who is truly one of the greatest who has ever done it.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah,  ever, ever ever.

 

Jason Concepcion A legend in a million different ways. A pioneer in Hong Kong cinema. One of our great actresses. Physicality, the ability to convey emotion, just everything.

 

Rosie Knight Also, like if you think about how there’s a whole generation of people who just knew her from her drama work in Crazy Rich Asians. Like there’s a generation of kids, even my sister, I love this stuff. She doesn’t know Michelle Yeoh from Martial Arts. She knows her from Crazy Rich Asians. You know, I saw a great interview with Samo Hong, who kind of discovered, in inverted commas, Michelle, he was like her first director. He’s a martial arts legend. Very dangerous man to work with.

 

Jason Concepcion Oh, yes.

 

Rosie Knight But like, absolutely just like a genius. He gave a great quote where he basically just said everything Michelle has. She did it herself. He’s like, there’s no one else. It’s just her. She was she’s never had any formal martial arts training. She is just she was a ballerina who got an injury, who then went into acting and they were like, let’s see if we can make her an action star. Watch some of those all Hong Kong movies. Right now, The Criterion Collection has a Michelle Yeoh watch collection, and you can get a two week free trial. I’m not even being paid Criterion Collection. Give me something free. They have all Yes, Madam, Heroic Trio, like all these great movies that you can enjoy and you can see why she is such a legend. I did a post, an emotional post. I love Michelle Yeoh, and I was really happy to see other people who felt the same way. This is someone who a trailblazer who’s a legend, who has never really gotten her flowers from from Hollywood, from the people, even though, you know, she’s the first Bond girl who really wasn’t just a just loving.

 

Jason Concepcion Sexual interest.

 

Rosie Knight Like she was the first badass. You know, it’s I it’s one of those things where you’re like the Oscars. It doesn’t you don’t have to. The movie would have been amazing without the Oscars. This doesn’t add to whether or not the movie was good, but it is nice to see that recognition, especially for someone like Ke on that journey, who’s such a generous kind person who’s now going to have this incredible comeback career. And for Michelle, who should have been getting these. How did she not get nominated for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a movie that got like so many nominations. And it just blows my mind.

 

Jason Concepcion On the Jamie Lee Curtis.

 

Rosie Knight Yes.

 

Jason Concepcion I, I think there was a lot of love out there for Angela Bassett, by the way should have won for any number of yeah she’s good in everything.

 

Rosie Knight What’s Love Got To Do With It,  20 years plus ago.

 

Jason Concepcion Absolutely should have, should have won for that. I, I’m fine with Jamie Lee winning. I understand that. For one, she beat out Stephanie Hsu, who is like I’m, I am sensitive to. She should have won. I will say Jamie Lee for that. This happens in Oscars all the time where somebody wins for the history of the things that they’ve done. And I think her resumé is is really amazing. You know, Halloween remade the movie industry, redefined what a slasher could be. She’s an important part of that lineage. And I also think I haven’t read anything about this, but it seems to me it seems reasonable to me to assume that Jamie Lee signing on is probably a big reason why this movie got made.

 

Rosie Knight And I think that that transition. I read all of those ballots, the anonymous ballots, and a lot of them are absolutely horrific. You should read the EW piece to be just disgusted by the fucked up shit people are saying about Viola Davis. The most awful stuff about the Woman King and why it didn’t get nominated that good, Because then you remember who’s behind these awards. But something I did see coming up again and again was this idea that it wasn’t just that Jamie was champion of the film, but she never campaigned for herself during the Oscars. She only campaigned for everyone else in the movie, in the collection of actors and directors and stuff. So I can totally understand how she ended up there. I would love to see Angela get her Oscar. I think it’s time. I think Ramonda’s a great role. I also think that arguably Stephanie is the lead in Everything Everywherer All at Once.

 

Jason Concepcion I think she’s the lead.

 

Rosie Knight I think it’s kind of wild that she didn’t win. But you know what? I’m also like a super slasher fan, so I’m here for all. I want to see Angela get that recognition because she is also another legend, like another basically like another trailblazer who’s never really been recognized. So she should have been. I would have loved to see that happen. But I love that Jamie got to win for this role where she’s comedic and she is herself and she is weird and she’s queer and there’s all these different kind of layers to it. That, to me, was the biggest upset. So, yes. Stephanie, Time will come. Angela had time’s should have been coming, but I’m sure that we will see it. And Angela’s work still stands and is still a queen and a winner in our books anyway.

 

Jason Concepcion Up next, let’s revisit our discussion of Everything Everywhere, All at Once, and our interview with the Daniels. When we saw the film for the first time last year. And. All right. We’re stepping out of The Airlock and into the mind bending world of an IRS building to discuss the A24 sci fi action comedy masterpiece. That is Everything Everywhere, All at Once. It’s opening wide today, this Friday, April 8th. And if you like the movies and you want to have a good time at the movies, that is action packed and really heartfelt and like uplifting, too. Like not violent in a way that’s like, oh, this is like really entertaining. But I feel bad like watching 50 headshots in a row. You will not feel that way about this movie has an incredible cast. Michelle Yeoh, the absolute Legend. Ke Huy Quan as Wayman Wang back in the game again in front of the camera, Stephanie Hsu as Joy. James Hong, the egend, James Hong. Jamie Lee Curtis and more. Really fun movie will keep it. Well, this is like a spoiler conversation.

 

Rosie Knight It’s spoilery, but we’re not going to go like full recap. We’re just going toind of talk about it.

 

Jason Concepcion So I just loved I love this movie, you know, for everyone complaining that like, there are too many comic book movies, everything is a marvel movie or a DC tie in or something like that. I guess, you know, people would still criticize this movie for, you know, depending heavily on the multiverse for for its plot momentum. That said, it is just like so original in the way it deals with it and the imagery it uses. It is so funny and then like to have, you know, an all Asian cast as your you know, as your kind of like the crux of the movie, their feelings about each other, their kind of disappointments with each other. They’re miscommunications. It’s three generations of a family. It was just like felt really good to see. And then the crowd that I saw with I saw it here in L.A. it was clear that somebody somebody worked on the movie in my theater because, like, people started cheering when the credits rolled, like randomly at a random place. So, like, I love that. It was really, really, really great energy. What did you think of the movie?

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, I absolutely loved it. Like, I went to go and see it with a big group of friends after we went to this amazing black kind of flea market called Black Market Flea. So it was just like a very good day. And that I saw it in L.A., too, and it was in a huge cinema. We couldn’t go to the IMAX, but we saw and the biggest screen we could see it, and it wasn’t IMAX and people were reacting like it was a Marvel movie like it was. I couldn’t have seen it with a bat and like things were happening and people were like, Yeah, I just like screaming. And I was just like, This is so incredible because on the surface, if you describe what this movie is in a sentence, it’s like Michelle Yeoh is a kind of late middle aged woman who runs a laundromat and she’s doing her taxes. And Jamie Lee Curtis is her IRS lady and she’s evil. And it’s kind of this like, dreary middle age where she’s thinking, like, what could I have done with my life? And she’s pulled into this crazy multiversal kind of war where she has to use every version of herself to gain the skills she needs to beat this mysterious bad guy. Jobu Tupaki. And it sounds so outrageous, but like, I watched that movie and it felt like it was the most accessible thing in the world. I think it’s that balance. Like you talked about this idea of this intergenerational Asian storytelling, this cast just full of absolute legends, and it is this bonkers movie where there’s 50 versions of Michelle Yeoh, which, by the way, who didn’t want that. That’s like the Dream movie. Yeah, but it is also like this really intimate niche story about, like intergenerational misunderstandings and cycles of like familial emotional trauma. And Ke Huy Quan is just, like, so incredible.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, he’s like, I kept thinking that it’s like, actually criminal that this actor could not find work for as long as he could not find work in front of the camera. He is so engaging. He’s just like has a lightness and a charm to him. That is all the more impressive for the fact that he does some real like impressive and authentic, like martial arts stunt work that is like high, high level stuff.

 

Rosie Knight But this is like that. That’s the other thing about this movie, which is why I think so far the the screenings and the limited release have been really successful. And I hope the wide release is too, because I feel like this. People say this stuff, but this is literally a movie that has something for everyone.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, yeah.

 

Rosie Knight Feeling depressed, nihilistic, wishing the world would end. It’s for you. Feeling like you wish everyone was kind of to each other. Also for you. Feeling like you just want to see loads of cool action sequences that are completely outrageous and some of the best big screen Hollywood action that we’ve seen in years. Also for you. Want to see a inter-generational family story. Also for you. Need more queer people on your screen. Also for you. Like it, it’s got everything. And yeah, I mean, those action sequences are just the choreography is unreal. It’s like Hong Kong cinema. It makes you feel like you’re watching, you know, a Shaw Brothers movie, Late Night on the TV, but you’re getting to see it beautifully big screen in this really unbelievable sci fi context.

 

Jason Concepcion It does something that really hits me on an emotional level, which is like and I think the best stories do that, which is take some wild, you know, sci fi, sci fi fantasy esque concept or multiverse writer, multiple realities existing side by side, but like links it to something that is like really human, which is like regret about the way your life turned out. Yeah, you know who doesn’t? Who hasn’t at a certain point in time been like, Man, if I had done this, if I’d known that I wanted all these things for myself when I was younger earlier on. But then I made a bunch of decisions that were maybe foolhardy or not particularly thought out or thinking emotionally with my heart when I should’ve been thinking with my brain. And now here I am in middle age and I’m doing a thing that I don’t want to do. Yeah, that it doesn’t fulfill me like emotionally. And I am in a relationship that maybe is not the most fulfilling and I don’t have a great relationship with my kids. And maybe I wish I had done a bunch of things different. And this movie just on top of or underneath, rather being like this kind of rollicking sci fi multiversal adventure. It’s really a story about like how people can feel boxed in by the life that they have led and how, you know, a core experience, existential experience of just being a person is wondering, Man, what if I had done things differently? Yeah, and this movie lets the characters access all these different lives that they could have led, you know, like when when Evelyn manages to access the dimension in which she is a movie star, an international.

 

Rosie Knight Which was her dream.

 

Jason Concepcion Her dream, right? She comes to this place where she’s like, Man, I guess I shouldn’t have run away with with my husband Waymond, who I loved at one point in time. But, like, maybe that wasn’t for the best. Maybe I should have chased my dream. And I could have I could have been a big international movie star like that. I want to stay there. Maybe I want to stay there. And that just felt like universal to me. That’s a universal dream, a universal fantasy that people have.

 

Rosie Knight There’s something like incredibly honest and vulnerable about it, too. It’s like admitting that there’s maybe something you want that’s more and then kind of the realizations of of what that really means. Like though, that really like, I just I mean, there’s so many good bits in that world like we were talking about this, but like Raymond in that world, when she accidentally bumps into him, it’s very much his Wong Kar wai in the mood for love kind of moment. And Ki is so brilliant and you just think like, why isn’t aren’t these roles he’s been getting anyway? But in that world, the first thing Evelyn asks is, you know, where’s Joy? Where’s my daughter? Yeah, but she doesn’t exist in that world. And it’s those little moments where it’s just like, oh, like these are the things, the pieces that come together, the the butterfly effect, you know? Yeah, very. It’s the little things that could change everything. And something else I love in the terms of that in this movie that I love in every movie, it’s one of my favorite things in any movie from any era is like the way that they show technology and they have so much fun with this kind of retro futuristic technology.

 

Jason Concepcion I love that.

 

Rosie Knight It’s so great and the visuals are fun and also like, I love the way that they literally do the chaos theory butterfly effect thing where like you’ll see the one decision and then you get to see this kind of mapped out how everything changed. And I’m just like, why? It’s like it’s a really cool visual, but it’s really deep. It’s really scary.

 

Jason Concepcion On the one hand, that kind of like retro future hardware, like the different kind of like reverse jumping hardware that Raymond in the Alpha verse wears to like and his crew wear, keep track of what’s going on. On the one hand, like I remember thinking it’s great design, but also like it must have been great because like, this is cheaper than like CG or making it cool. But the other thing I was thinking, did you ever watch The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai?

 

Rosie Knight Of course.

 

Jason Concepcion It felt like that. It felt like a super weird, like retro future take on a sci fi movie that felt like alongside all the different references, the Jackie Chan references, the Shah Brothers references, the very know Wong Kar wai references there in this movie. It also felt like it was pulling on that what I think is actually like a super weird not that good kind of bad. Sci fi from the eighties. But that is so unique in the way it looks. And that’s what reminded me of Buckaroo Banzai.

 

Rosie Knight There’s like, so many unbelievable kind of like. Draw things here. Like there’s this old South Korean movie from 2003 called Save the Green Planet, and there’s like something to that of the way his head looks. And that’s like definitely those old eighties sci fi kind of the almost like the serialized like Flash Gordon costumes that you just pull on and you have to build, you know, the Rob Liefeld many pockets, like there’s a lot of focus in those universes and like there’s something so tangible and I am a big proponent. I’m always the person who’s like, I wish this was practical, you know, on this South by Southwest episode, I was like, If I could change one thing about the MCU, I’m like, Fuck it, I’ll just make it open. I’d love to see what it would look like. But they do. They utilize practical and VFX in this movie in a way that feels very tangible and touchable and stylized, but also really slick. Like it doesn’t feel that there’s something very special about that balance in this movie that I think also comes from the nature of doing like so many in-camera stunts and so many unbelievable kind of you have to have that balance of like, what can we use, How can we use VFX here to elevate what we’re doing while still making it feel real and being able to to feel those punches. And I mean the Waymond fight scene when he utilizes his fanny pack that’s going to go down in cinema history.

 

Jason Concepcion It absolutely is going to be, you know, I always rate I always rate a movie, an action movie in part by am I going to rewatch this scene at 1 a.m. on YouTube randomly because it’s like a random Wednesday night. And I want to take a break from working. And the answer is 100%. Yes, I’m going to watch that. I’m going to watch that fanny pack scene. I’m going to watch the Evelyn fight scene with Deirdre. I’m going to there’s going to be a bunch of stuff that I watch in this. And again, I can’t stress enough like how frenetic and energetic the action scenes are. The Daniels came up through music video and like there’s a level of ADD-ness.

 

Rosie Knight It feels very much like it’s looking into our ADHD brains.

 

Jason Concepcion 100%. Like their most famous music video is the DJ Snake, Little John classic, Turn Down for What? So the action scenes are in a lot of ways like very reminiscent of like, you know, like people being thrown through floors and like so much action and comedy on the screen at the same time and incredible camera moves just really, really, really funny and original film in that way.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. And I think just shout out I believe they’re called Marshall Club. They’re a group of YouTubers who create like martial arts kind of stunt pieces in their own houses, and that’s who The Daniel’s found and brought on to kind of collaborate with them. Just unbelievable stuff. When you watch it, you sort of you can’t really believe it. It definitely is that Rewatchable fact, like afterwards I was like, yes, this is like it’s like the scene in the raid where they get halfway up the building and Eco always starts doing Silat and uses his knife and takes out like ten people in the corridor. It’s the corridor scene from Old Boy. It’s the John Wick the first time that he shows his gun fu in the house when he’s being invaded. The scenes where you’re just like, Oh, have you seen this? And you don’t necessarily have to show the whole movie, but this film is like, absolutely feminism. But also it’s like this really sweet. I mean, there’s a whole segment of this movie that is just two rocks not going to Disney meetings, but it’s it is the most powerful pop art film.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, it is like really, really heartfelt. And to your point, with the rock scene, there are art for all the people who are like, Oh man, like, Whereas I’m worried about the state of movies today with comics being so kind of warped by the success of the Marvel movies. Here is a movie that does everything you want, like a summer blockbuster to do, but also has like that indie movie heart and audacious, super weird choices that are like.

 

Rosie Knight There is so much weird stuff.

 

Jason Concepcion Like the to the rock, the rock scene where you just go, Man, I can’t believe that worked in it. And it really works. It lands so hard.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. And I think as well, like we talked a lot about the icons, but like, nobody was writing a script like this for Michelle Yeoh, you know, she said, Yeah, the script where she read it and she was like, This is the movie that can see all the different things I can be. I can be funny, I can be serious, I can be badass, I can be sad, I can, you know, and we know, like we’ve said, Kei, he hadn’t been in a major Hollywood movie for like 20 years. This was his first audition, I think that Daniel said for for 20 years. And then obviously James Hong, who’s like an icon and has over 600 credits and is just absolutely one of my favorite actors of all time. But he gets to have this really dynamic, complex, hilarious, action packed character arc again that nobody is really writing for him, like probably his biggest role in a movie like this since. It’s like big trouble in little China where you’re getting this really layered, like character piece. And it’s just that’s like miraculous to see. And that’s not even shouting out like Jamie Lee Curtis, who just plays everything so straight, like, you can’t believe the things she does in this movie and the sincerity with which she does them. Like in my dream dreams, like this movie sweeps every Oscar and every awards season next year. And Michelle Yeoh is 100% there

 

Jason Concepcion Just one of our greatest living talents.

 

Rosie Knight Like, she should be getting a best actress Oscar and Jamie Lee Curtis. I’m like, Put her up for best supporting Baby because she’s Stephanie Hsu, as well. But like, this cast is just unreal.

 

Jason Concepcion Let me ask you, what was your Michelle Yeoh entry point? What was your original thought? What was your original drug?

 

Rosie Knight You’re you’re talking to my language.

 

Jason Concepcion To the Michelle Yeoh version. I mine is like super. It’s the obvious one, Super Cop. True story three super cop in which she plays like a police detective who then has to link up with Jackie Chan’s character to take down drug dealers in Malaysia. And it contains some of the craziest stunts. Michelle Yeoh jumps a dirt bike onto a moving train in this movie like just fucking insane. And then, you know, later on I would watch all the rest, you know? Yeah. Yes, Madam.

 

Rosie Knight I was going to say, mine is definitely Yes, Madam.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes, That’s absolute classic Hong Kong movie with Samuel Hung. It’s it’s Cynthia Rothrock Sui Arc.

 

Rosie Knight Iconic.

 

Jason Concepcion Incredible.

 

Rosie Knight It’s like it’s so bonkers to think like Michelle actually they’re really incredible Interview recently with my friend Gretchen Smale at bustle which is just so wonderful and adds a lot of really complex layers to the movie where she talks about how she retired from acting and Hong Kong cinema at the age of 28 with plans to start a family. So she’d already done all of that by the time she was 28. She’d had a whole career. Yes, madam. You know, super cop like these unbelievable iconic movies. Just. Just put. Yes, Madam into YouTube.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes, Madam.

 

Rosie Knight Watch some of the scenes with Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh. I mean, as a kid who grew up watching, like, kung fu movies, that movie was like a revelation.

 

Jason Concepcion It must be seen.

 

Rosie Knight And then she came back and she has this second wave of like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight You know.

 

Jason Concepcion I mean, said Yes, Madam was like 1985.

 

Rosie Knight 85.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight That’s what I’m saying. It’s just unbelievable stuff. And. It’s just she’s been so iconic on so many levels. And I think for a lot of us, she has been like a staple.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight Of all kinds of cinema, whether it was like Hong Kong cinema or whether it was the with whether it was Wu Shu actually coming to Hollywood for the first time with Crouching Tiger. You know, it’s it’s astonishing the impact she’s had. And I feel like this is a celebration of that, but also probably just marks like the third wave of her career while she’ll just become even more powerful.

 

Jason Concepcion Well, let’s talk with the the creators of this movie, the writer director duo known as The Daniel’s Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

 

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Jason Concepcion Welcome to the Hive Mind, where we explore a topic in more detail with the help of expert guests and today we are thrilled to have Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known collectively as the Daniels, writer- directors of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Gentlemen, love the movie. How. How did it how did this come together? How did this film come together? And I just like I kept thinking, how what is the script look like? Because this is so like the level of, like, absurdist randomness. Action is so off the charts. I was like, Man, how do you even write this down?

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah, thank you. Yeah, we by the way, thank you for having us. Very excited. Talk about the movie. Well, I’ll start there. The random acts to use as an engine for traveling to other universes. That’s is kind of one of the initial ideas. We we both grew up on Douglas Adams and his headhunters guys and Vonnegut and just that sort of absurdist sci fi that could very.

 

Daniel Scheinert Well look.

 

Daniel Kwan Like nothing. That’s great. But there’s such a irreverent quality to their sci fi that is still very much grounded in science, and there’s still something like a kernel of truth in it all. And you know, that idea came the idea of using improbable actions to build up a momentum, a probabilistic momentum, and to stuff slingshot yourself into other universes. Kind of was like a really silly initial idea that I pitched to Shiner and I was like, Is there something here? Could we do something kind of like a like, like Douglas Adams meets The Matrix?

 

Daniel Scheinert And I was like, No, no. I said, I think I thought it sounded like an exciting short film, like which we have a long list of kind of like gags, you know, that interests us. And so we would brainstorm it, but it didn’t kind of take shape until we had sat with it for a while and started kind of thinking about the multiverse and how the multiverse makes us feel and why would we make a whole movie about, you know, that sci fi premise? I really love to lean into the premise and not just brush over it like some like, that’s a pet peeve of mine. I guess sometimes.

 

Daniel Kwan It’s like a convenient device for the story, but you don’t actually get to really sit in the philosophical and existential way consequences of the premise.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah. So it was it wasn’t until we decided that we were going to go to too many universes until it was existentially terrifying and that it was going to be a Chinese-American family and that the kind of immigrant experience and also just generational divide would become like the kind of relatable companion that we’d be using the multiverse to play with that. Then we were like, Oh, there’s enough for a feature film here. You know.

 

Daniel Kwan There’s enough for three feature films.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah, yeah. And we’re like, in all, it’ll take us four years of miracles and then we’ll put it out in theaters. And somehow that happened.

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight That’s so incredible. I mean, the movie was just so wonderful. It was like immediately in my favorite movies of all time. It’s just like, I can’t wait to go and see again. I’m just everything that I love. So it’s so wonderful. But you said something that I just think is so interesting and I’d love to dig into a bit more. What is it about the multiverse that spoke to you? What is it about exploring that and that being the idea that was worth exploring? Because like you said, a lot of times it’s a buzz word. It’s it’s a conventional narrative device. But what was it about the multiverse and the idea of multiple different universes kind of existing alongside each other that made this story click?

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah. One of the fascinating things about the multiverse, or just the idea of infinity, is that it’s very interdisciplinary. You know, obviously there’s like quantum mechanics and quantum physics has its version of it, which, you know, talks about, you know, superpositions and, you know, whether or not the wavefunction collapses and, you know, parallel universes, that’s kind of I think that’s what most people think of when they.

 

Daniel Scheinert Or another way of putting it that I like to put it is like like there are a lot of scientists who believe there might actually be an infinite number of universes. That’s a pretty scary thing, you know, physics wise.

 

Daniel Kwan And then and then and then like, you know, when we were doing research for this movie, we found that one of the first known instances of the word multiverse being used in the English language actually had nothing to do with science. It was actually a philologist who was basically lamenting the fact that how confusing everything was. He was like, in a moral perspective. I know that God is the one and only moral center of the universe, right? There’s a universe. But when I look around me and I see, you know, the heathens and whatever, it’s like there is a moral multiverse that the secular world doesn’t doesn’t necessarily have one. Clean narrative. And so he used the word multiverse. And from a moral standpoint, I’m like, Oh, that’s fascinating, you know? And then linguistics has its own linguistics has modal realism, which is kind of taking the idea of like when you are swapping out any word in the sentence, how it drastically changes the reality of their symptoms. And basically, like posits like what happens if each one of those sentences is its own reality, that has its own integrity or whatever. And so we’re kind of looking at I mean, there’s so many different angles into this this this concept that no one else is tackling. You know, like for the most part, the multiverse is kind of used as a way to combine IP in interesting way, you know?

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Daniel Kwan It’s a cultural fracking, we call it. You’re digging into the past culture.

 

Daniel Scheinert We didn’t coin that. We found it online, you know, like, ooh, we like that word.

 

Daniel Kwan Cultural fracking and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like, I think.

 

Daniel Scheinert There is.

 

Daniel Kwan I love, I love the Super Smash Brothers. Super Smash Brothers is like, incredible. I remember being like, I could have Pikachu and D.K. at the same time. How incredible. But we wanted to dig in.

 

Daniel Scheinert Just like D.K. because your initials.

 

Daniel Kwan Exactly. I love it. Pickachu ismy main Pikachu with the with the wizard hat. That’s my main.

 

Daniel Scheinert I like Kirby.

 

Daniel Kwan But so for our movie, we’re like, Oh, the multiverse becomes a metaphor for the Internet and what it feels like to be alive with the Internet. It also becomes a metaphor for the way that we all have these like bubbles, and we all kind of exist in our own versions of our own movies. You know, we believe we’re the main character of our own movie. And what happens when those two movies collide and they don’t mesh. And so the whole film is characters who are living in their own stories, not realizing that they’re talking past each other. And so there’s so many different ways you can kind of use this premise to explore really real feelings and really real experiences. And, you know, I feel like our movies just barely beginning to tap into that.

 

Jason Concepcion The cast is unbelievable. Jamie Lee Curtis. Michelle Yeoh, The legend. Yeah. Which, you know, not enough can possibly be said about her James Hong, icon, absolute like Titans legend in it and then Ke Huy Quan who probably most people remember from Temple of Doom which is an Indiana Jones movie that has aged poorly and The Goonies but like men seeing him in this movie, I’m just like, why has he not been one of our top 20 most compelling actors over the last 20 years? When you like, when you went to the movie Star Universe and he’s in the suit pseudo like the mind of Wong Kar-Wai. So I’m like, What is that? I didn’t even know he had this in him to talk about that, this incredible cast that I also, one more thing I thought about a lot last night is just like how this is the best action movie ever that is primarily set in an IRS office like that franchise. Yeah. To talk to us about this cast.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah, for sure. I mean, it started with Michelle and we knew we wanted to her and we were worried that if she said no, there was no one else right like that, the movie just wouldn’t happen. And then luckily she believed in it. Turns out she was more right for the role than we even knew, you know, And she really responded to the script. And then that made it so much easier to attract exciting people, you know, and to get the movie greenlit.

 

Daniel Kwan So even with with Ke, you know, there was no there is no question that, like, there was something special about him. And he even when he read the script, he knew like right away he’s like, this role was made for me, you know, he just told us that. He told us that after we cast him, how how the moment he read it, he was like, I think I need to come back into acting and this is going to be my first role. And how exciting is that going to be? So he his audition was the first audition he had done in like a couple of decades.

 

Jason Concepcion Wow. Holy cow.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah. So he hasn’t been he he kind of retired from acting and went behind the camera, went to film school, did stunt coordination. And first he was in First A.D. for Wong Kar-Wai for a while.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion 2046.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah, yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Daniel Kwan And the funny thing about Ke, you know, because you’re just talking about how we’ve been missing out on him for so long, it is. It is just kind of tragic that this kid that Spielberg found and Spielberg and his team found out of, like, you know, thousands of other kids, they auditioned and auditioned forever and they almost gave up on the character. They almost wrote the character out of the movie. And then they find Ki like out of all these kids, and he has this special like X Factor. It’s a lame, lame way to put it. But if he has something special that that you can’t put a number on, you can’t, it can’t like, yeah, there’s no way to. Evaluate it in that in any other way, except for when you watch him, you just want to smile and we you watch him. We just want you to fall in love with him. And we knew that Waymond, the character Waymond had to be that way because anyone else delivering lines about kindness or like, you know, please stop fighting. Everyone just let us get along. You know, anyone else delivering those kind of lines, I think would have gotten a lot of eye rolls. But with with Ke Quan like he can say those lines and you believe it and and you want to live in a world where that is true. And I think there’s yeah, we’re so lucky that we got him in this movie and we’re so lucky that I think our industry has him back. You know, I’m so excited to see what you guys to do next.

 

Rosie Knight For sure. And I would love to talk like he was definitely. I love him. I mean, I love Michelle Yeoh. I love James Hong. I love Jamie Lee. So this was like a movie where everyone in it is just incredible. But Ke is someone who is so core to so many of our childhoods, but I never kind of saw. How? I never saw why this story was going in the movie. And it was it was just so powerful and wonderful. And you kind of touched on it a little bit of his his message of kindness. Could you talk a little bit about that aspect, the radical empathy and that being kind of the the mainline message and kind of understanding overarching that comes out of the movie?

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah. I mean, I think at the start, as we kind of told you, it was just like we had this first jumping idea and, and we’re like, Oh, what if we could do some stylized fight scenes? We love action movies and like to, to, to do our version of The Matrix, but with like Stephen Chow craziness, you know, was so exciting. And then as is usually the case, when we’re like making something funny, we start to feel guilty about like, But why? Why? What’s it about? Are we going to just culturally frack some more people’s time? And, and we started kind of thinking about how we’re not a violent guys and, and, and also like a kind of I’m a pacifist in fact. And so like, there’s this like subtext to action films, which is violence is a is a good answer. Yeah. And so we just we had our heads against the wall on that a lot. And and it became kind of the project of the movie, you know, to be like, can we, can we explore that and lean into it and question it? And, and so this character took shape of like the dismissible beta male who is not the alpha male action star. And unless he’s being taken over for moments by, you know, the more appropriately action version of himself, but like once we kind of unlocked that we got, it was like a real aha moment for the whole script to be like, Oh, this movie is going to celebrate that sweet person. And the fact that being kind is is a way of fighting. Like, that’s a way of changing the world that’s just as valuable, if not more so. And I mean.

 

Daniel Kwan We specifically wanted to be like, let’s make someone counting people to death. Oh.

 

Rosie Knight That sequence is so great.

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah. Yeah. And that was that was the last puzzle piece was like, Oh my God, at the end, if she just kind, kind, kind. People like that, everyone’s happy.

 

Rosie Knight Everyone’s happy.

 

Daniel Scheinert But it’s like, what if we made that just as satisfying as, like, Kill Bill or just a satisfying that’s like a head shot from from John Wick, because I think those things give us such a dopamine hit, which is why they’re so fun. And the way that they’re shot in the way that. But the the editing works. It is candy. And so we wanted to take all of our special skills that we have in our back pockets to give, to deliver that don’t wing it, but like totally, you know, show it in a completely different radical way. So yeah, we call that the empathy fight. And so it’s very silly, but it was really yeah, that became like one of the North stars for our films. If we can pull that off, I think this is gonna be a very special movie. So yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion You really did. And I’d love to ask about some of these action scenes because, I mean, to the Wushu fanny pack fight is one of most, it truly like one of the most original fight scenes I’ve seen in a while? How did all of that stuff come together and how hard was it to get it to get it on film?

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah. Yeah. We struggled with finding the right collaborators for this. We are such Hong Kong action cinema nuts like we grew up on that stuff, all the Star Brothers stuff and specifically Yuen Woo-Ping’s work, you know, he’s worked with all the greats and.

 

Daniel Scheinert This guy Jackie Chan, is like, really good.

 

Jason Concepcion Has he done anything that we’ve heard of?

 

Daniel Scheinert His stuff. Look him up. Yeah.

 

Daniel Kwan And you know, we really wanted to make a conscious effort to pull away from a lot of the modern action trends in the movies that we’re watching and go back to the basics because we love that stuff is in our bones, but be because it’s actually if done right, it can be just as it could be way cheaper to do, you know, because, you know, those Hong Kong action films didn’t have much money.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, no money.

 

Daniel Kwan No money, basically no money a lot of time. And like, you know, maybe maybe a lot of injuries. But, you know, we realized like this is something that we could do well if we found the right people. And one day we were on YouTube and we were looking up martial arts videos just for references. And we found this short film from these guys called The Martial Club. And who are these guys? Are these guys in the US? Because like, these people, these guys are amazing. Not only are they so, like technically incredible, but their camerawork is really smart and they also infuse humor in a lot of their fights, which like most I think most modern action films try to do. But it’s not really. It’s usually with quippy dialog and not with real or visual physical comedy, which is what we. Wanted to our movie to have. And so we reached out to them. They’re there bunch of friends from O.C. and they just became instantly just like the the the people that we wanted to work with because they reminded us of ourselves the way that they are just a bunch of friends shooting stuff in their in their living room and putting them online.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Daniel Kwan And that was the that was exactly the energy we needed for our film for for this movie. Yeah.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah. So ended up being a huge priority for us. But like a successful collaboration between us having strong opinions and kind of being like, let’s make each fight different and, and writing the writing in a way that each one could be, could be an ode to a different kind of style of filmmaking that we love. And then the martial club bringing their, like, encyclopedic knowledge of all country movies ever made.

 

Daniel Kwan It’s worth noting that none of them have at least the two brothers, the two main choreographers, never took any lessons, and.

 

Rosie Knight Oh my God.

 

Daniel Scheinert A friend who’s like he’s like more formally trained. But but Andy and Brian are just like, they just know what has been in movies. They just watch movies.

 

Daniel Kwan They study the old Hong Kong movies, and that’s everything they know. It’s brilliant.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah. So they so then they helped us pre-viz it all. And then we had our stunt coordinator, Tim Mullick, who we’ve worked for what make it so we successfully hurt nobody. Yeah. I love the hair. Yeah. And so we were able to just kind of like, move really fast. Michele was very surprised that we were able to shoot it all in the time we had and not do. It’s called spray paint with some people because spraying it down where you just like, get three cameras now, do the fight that you guys rehearsed. We’ll figure it out in post. Move on. You know, we we tried really hard not to do that.

 

Daniel Kwan We had the opportunity to sit down with Quentin Tarantino, like years ago, like six, seven years ago at the Sundance Institute, at the Sundance Lab. He was one of our advisors. And we took the opportunity, just like, to pick his brain to be like, Well, what was it like shooting and kill Bill’s like fight sequences? Because those are some of like my favorite American action scenes I’ve ever seen. And, you know, he said something that, you know, kind of feels obvious now, but like at the time was really interesting. He was talking about how Hollywood usually springs it down or they kind of kind of try to cover it conventionally as if it was like a dialog scene when really shooting it. Like it’s like it’s a dance sequence, like it’s own it’s its own version of a narrative, of a visual narrative. And so he learned from lWoo-Ping, who was a consulting choreographer on Kill Bill that every single shot was perfectly catered to the move, that they were about to shoot the next shot. So it’s like this punch to the face. Let’s get the perfect shot for that, for that punch to the face. And then if the shot of him falling down has to kind of turn around 180 and break the one line and also force the entire crew to relight that, we’re going to do that. So we shoot everything in order sequentially. Just finding the best shot for each moment, which is incredibly time consuming. But also it’s why those fight scenes were so beautifully done and so clear. You know, there’s a narrative clarity to them and.

 

Daniel Scheinert So our, our AD and cinematographer were like, no way we can do that.

 

Rosie Knight Sounds nice, but no.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah, I mean, but we tried to like take that ethos to heart and find some compromise somewhere in there and not and Yeah. And try to really study that style.

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah. And you can tell in our movie, I think the fight scenes are I’m very proud of them because it feel so different and you know after when when we go to see it in the theaters after every fight scene things like applause breaks, which is like, come on, that’s a how amazing is that?

 

Rosie Knight So yeah, that’s that’s what it’s like when in my theater, people were reacting to it just it was it was wonderful to be a part of cheering. You know, during the fight scenes, especially the fanny pack fight scene, that was like a big a big statement piece.

 

Jason Concepcion The butt plug prop work was incredible.

 

Rosie Knight That was like being in the theater when, like, Captain America picked up Thor’s hammer. Like everyone just lost their shit.

 

Daniel Scheinert You got a good comparison.

 

Daniel Kwan Exactly like that. That was when we were trying to go for right now, it’s.

 

Rosie Knight Everyone was just like, Oh my God. That was really great. So, like, this kind of this I love this juxtaposition between you guys bringing this grassroots collaborative filmmaking, which is what you do. And then this being like the first A24 movie with like an IMAX release and that kind of juxtaposition. But you also did that with the VFX, right? Because like I was reading your thread about how you didn’t go to like a big post house and you just hired your friend. So could you talk a little bit about that? Because the VFX in this movie, in the way this movie looks, is just astonishing. So could you talk about making that decision and and why it was the right one? Because it obvious it’s obvious to us. But why was it right? You guys.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah. I mean, the the script we wrote, people read it and they were like, this is going to be like a $80 million movie, right? No, it’s not.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, we promise.

 

Daniel Scheinert And then we did in the rewriting process, try to, like, really lean into the the tricks we were used to and the tools we were used to playing with. And and so coming from music videos like we are, we have very basic VFX knowledge ourselves and we lean on that really heavily so that we could do a lot of our own visual effects and our shorts and music videos. And so like the vast majority of the movie is done practically, or we’re just using visual effects for very little to make things safe or production friendly where it’s like, Oh, we can remove that light or that wire, but we’re not like, there’s no like characters that are computer generated, you know.

 

Daniel Kwan Or sometimes some practical effects, you know, people, people I think people have like this nostalgic hard on for practical effects, but in practicality, it’s actually a pain in the ass, you know? Yeah, just like the set up time is such a pain.

 

Daniel Scheinert And then every time you break it, you have to reset. It takes like half an hour.

 

Daniel Kwan And it’s never quite perfect. And so what we do is we take the imperfect take, you know, maybe we’ll get two takes if we’re lucky. And then there’s just one, just one thing, and then we just like, spruce it up and post because we know how to sew, like we get the best of both worlds. So it doesn’t feel fully CGI because I think audiences are aware of it when when it’s fully so.

 

Daniel Scheinert We put tons of dust on them when they hit each other because that’s how Kung Fu movies feel and look.

 

Rosie Knight Yes.

 

Daniel Scheinert And then we added more dust in post because some of the hits weren’t as dusty as we wanted. But but we were always kind of mixing the two. But to kind of get to the end of the the headline, we had like seven friends do over 500 visual effects, like and there was no post house and we didn’t even think when we started that we were going to be able to do all of it with our small team. But they kind of stepped their game up and we weren’t sure they’d be able to do all the bagel or all the finale stuff. And some our friends were like, I want to learn some new stuff. And so they they did.

 

Daniel Kwan And so our friends have be watching YouTube tutorials for this day movie that we didn’t actually know was going to be playing in IMAX like that. That was, you know.

 

Jason Concepcion Effects.

 

Daniel Kwan But I think it was something that we, you know, honed in during our music video times. We did a music video for Tenacious D a long time ago. And we you know, we had no time and very small budget. So we just brought in our friends who were other directors, and we all got in my bedroom and we lined up all of our computers and we just kind of felt like a lamb party, you know, Everyone was just we’re just passing after effects projects back and forth. And, you know, it was some of it was really frustrating because it was all new to us. But then, you know, the final shot of that of that Tenacious D video is this really epic shot of of the band floating in, you know, this cosmic tapestry that’s really beautiful. And what that final shot was, was basically, you know, Ben Brewer, one of the other directors, created certain elements and then Zack Stoltz would create certain elements and Jefferson was create certain elements. And then it all got funneled to me and I would kind of create the final, you know, just because I’m so particular, just to save time on like all the back and forth of the notes, I would, I would do the final pass and tie it all together. And I was like, Wow, maybe we should just do this for this movie. And so for a lot of the bagel shots, it was this very collaborative exploration where they would keep sending the elements or I’d ask for certain things, and then I’d try to stick it together into like something that felt stupid and cosmic and beautiful. And then I would pass it over to Ethan, who has like a really good eye for, like, very old school techniques. Like he, you know, he, he was the kid in school because we all went to Emerson College. Yeah, he was the kid in school. Who?

 

Jason Concepcion The first place I dropped acid.

 

Daniel Kwan Nice.

 

Rosie Knight Connected.

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah, but he was doing, like, optical printing, like, practically with with like 60 millimeter back in college when everyone else was already moved on to digital or whatever. So, like, it was a really fun, weird, organic thing and we were really proud of it. Like, all of all of it feels unique to this movie. It doesn’t feel like we’re trying to compete with the big blockbusters. It has its own style and its own handmade ethos to it.

 

Daniel Scheinert And during COVID, we were all just like, uh, we’re going where everyone is working more hours than we expected. But we were just giving money to our friends, so it’s pretty cool. Way too.

 

Rosie Knight That’s amazing. Yeah, the dream.

 

Daniel Scheinert And we weren’t going that far over budget. I was like, I guess we’ll just send some money to our friends. It was never like a valuable job for, you know, all of them to be like, Great, Let’s just let’s just chug away.

 

Daniel Kwan And especially because all of these directors weren’t booking jobs because there was nothing in there being a really beautiful, like, weird, perfect project for all of us.

 

Jason Concepcion And you mentioned the four year journey to get this on the screen and the the numerous miracles that were necessary to make it happen. Was there ever a moment where you’re like, Fuck, we’re just not going to make we’re not going to make this movie?

 

Daniel Scheinert A couple of the lowest lows.

 

Daniel Kwan And I think the I mean, the biggest one was like, we haven’t talked we haven’t spoken too much about this. But, you know, when we set out to make this movie, Asian American films hadn’t been like a proven, like viable business like model, I guess, for lack of a better word. So we actually had a hard time figure out the casting of it all. And at one point, you know, we had Awkwafina attached and that was going to give us our green light because, you know, she is one of the few Asian-American actresses or actors in our whole industry that could probably greenlight something. And when some scheduling conflicts came up, like the whole thing almost fell apart, which was really it was really scary, but also just really frustrating. It’s kind of it’s like.

 

Daniel Scheinert Because we also like there’s a there are a lot of talented people out there who have like.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Daniel Scheinert Make a good movie guys.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Daniel Kwan And so that was probably my lowest low. Just just realizing how as independent filmmakers, how tied we are to the value, the imaginary value of right of these actors. And it’s none of them. It’s their fault. It’s just the way that the machine works and the way that the agents kind of talk to each other and and try to, you know, like we were always in like a this bad position as in independent filmmakers where we have very little leverage, you know. And it’s very it’s so that that is a very disempowering experience to try to Yeah. Get your money funded. We’re right now we’re executive producing another movie and we’re in that problem right now. And you know, even as executive producers, we don’t know what to do. Sometimes it’s like this the whole the whole conundrum of casting A-list actors for small indie movies is it’s it’s like it’s a really great model because then, you know, these movies get to be seen by people. But then it’s also very frustrating because it’s so fragile. The whole thing can just fall apart any moment. And I mourn all the movies that basically died close to the finish line, you know, because of casting problems, which I know so many of my friends have had, have gone through that problem process. Yeah. Do you have a low point?

 

Daniel Scheinert No, it’s fun.

 

Daniel Scheinert The whole thing was fun.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, it’s just a blast.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Start to finish.

 

Daniel Scheinert Yeah, we finished it last summer. And so we’ve been waiting until theaters were open because we, like everyone, really believed it was worth seeing in theaters. But, you know, so the last few surges of COVID were pretty demoralizing. It was like this never. It’s never coming out. It’s never. I don’t know.

 

Rosie Knight And what is it like after kind of those that that journey, you know, the highs and the lows and everything? What’s it like for the movie to come out and to? It hasn’t even gone wide yet, but what’s it been like to come out and see this story that I’m sure many people told you was like not universal enough or was to be sure and to have like every single person who see it go, Oh my God, this is so relatable. I love this movie. Like, what has it been like to get to see it on screen and see all the work that you and your friends put in and see this story be received by so many different kinds of people as something that really means something to them?

 

Daniel Scheinert Confusing. Yeah, I still don’t believe it. I genuinely don’t like I still, like will like someone to be like, Oh, it’s got this scar on, right? It’s made of like, I haven’t internalized that. I don’t think I believe. Yeah, I don’t think I believe you.

 

Daniel Kwan Because so much of our work is built off of the premise of like, no one’s going to let’s make this like, like that’s, that’s such a driving force behind our processes.

 

Daniel Scheinert It’s like the things we want to see out there that aren’t getting made are the things that interest us. But then we know we’re we’re biting off something unlikely or that might be niche, but that’ll mean something to the people like us.

 

Daniel Kwan And so we thought this would reach a, you know, a bigger audience than society man, obviously. But even still, like, we knew that this movie would be too much for people like we made this movie specifically knowing that we would push some people away because we were just, you know, it’s such a loud long. Overstuffed wilds, chaotic thing, which is very intentional. And, you know, every decision we made, we’re like, okay, if we keep the book plugs in, what percentage of our audience do you lose and how much do you know?

 

Daniel Scheinert But also, how much stronger are the themes? Yeah, Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight Hot dog fingers. What was the percentages on that one is.

 

Daniel Kwan Exactly as like. And we’re like, okay, but if we keep the hot dog fingers and how beautiful and romantic can we make that? How cathartic can that be? So again, we can just win a couple more people. And so the whole thing is a very calculated affair.

 

Daniel Scheinert But our math was off. Yeah. This is too much.

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah, I don’t believe it. I do hope that with the wide release, things start to like, you know, even a little bit more.

 

Daniel Scheinert This will be a funny soundbite after the movie flops. Exactly.

 

Daniel Kwan Exactly.

 

Daniel Scheinert Dot com bubble of a movie.

 

Rosie Knight It will be a funnier soundbite when it becomes like the biggest movie of all time. And then you two are just like crying, like, why do people like it?.

 

Daniel Kwan It’s that, it’s like the imposter syndrome in me is this is fully on fire right now. I’m like, this is it’s a horrible feeling. But also it’s so on the grand scale, it’s a horrible, horrible feeling. Oh, wow. On an individual level, Yeah. No, I’m fine. I’m fine. But on the individual level, when we get a chance to talk to people after Q&A or have people dm us these very personal stories, it is just the most fulfilling, beautiful experience. Like the fact that we can work so hard on something that is very personal and very like specific to us, and to have so many different kinds of people from different walks of life just see themselves in their ends. Like, you know, we’ve been doing screenings and curing AIDS almost every feels like almost every night for the past three weeks.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Daniel Kwan And, you know, I would say at least half of them, if not more, someone will come up to us and start crying on one of our shoulders. And it’s just this this very strange thing where we have created a space for people to fully express themselves. You know, now that you know, because the movie kind of just destroys logic, destroys any conventions and just really just leaves you in this place of like possibility or at least us. That’s our intention. And some people take that as an invitation to fully express themselves to us. And and it’s it is just it is humbling and it’s a humbling reminder of the fact that, like, our films matter. And I think a lot of people have forgotten that, you know, I even have forgotten that. Like, I don’t I don’t until, like, you know, three weeks ago when the movie came out and I was starting to lose faith in the idea that movies can change people’s lives, you know, I’ve forgotten that. I’ve forgotten that that’s what happened to me. Like, I forgot that movies changed my life and that’s why my dad became a filmmaker. And so to have this response remind me of the power of what we’re doing is like really humbling. And also just putting it puts a fire under my ass because like, I’m realizing shit, The next thing I do, like, I can’t I can’t go easy. This is this is so important. It’s too important for me to to get lazy. In fact, there’s so much more work to be done in the world. And, you know, if this is the only tool I have to save the world, I’m going to use it, you know? And how thrilling, how exciting. And so, like, you know, when our next movie comes out and it saves the world, right? You can see.

 

Rosie Knight This will be a great soundbite.

 

Daniel Kwan Exactly. Exactly.

 

Jason Concepcion Bigger butt plugs.

 

Daniel Scheinert Slash when Dan starts a cult.

 

Daniel Kwan When he starts a cult, exactly.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah the bagel cult. It’s happening.

 

Daniel Kwan But part of part of the the credit will go to all the wonderful people who have reached out to us and reminded us of the fact that stories matter.

 

Daniel Scheinert Or the blame.

 

Daniel Kwan Exactly. Or the blame. Yeah. When when that when the movie backfires and does the opposite, somehow it does the opposite ends of the world. That’s actually what our next movie should be.

 

Daniel Scheinert Just a suicide cult of a movie.

 

Daniel Kwan No, it’s about two directors trying to make a movie to save the world, and accidentally they.

 

Daniel Scheinert End the world.

 

Daniel Kwan End the world.

 

Rosie Knight That sounds good.

 

Daniel Kwan Yeah, you guys are good, but some sort of cast creatively, I guess.

 

Jason Concepcion Well. Congratulations on really just a really super mind melty, heartfelt movie that it was a blast to watch. Congratulations on doing out. Congratulations on the accolades. You all deserve it. Here’s hoping it’s the biggest hit in the world very soon. And we just we loved it. So thanks for taking the tim and making it.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, we love it. Thank you so much for coming.

 

Daniel Kwan And thank you so much.

 

Daniel Scheinert Nice to meet you all.

 

Daniel Kwan Also, it’s such a great conversation. Thank you, guys.

 

Jason Concepcion Thank you.

 

Rosie Knight Thank you so much for taking the time.

 

Daniel Scheinert Bye y’all.

 

Jason Concepcion Bye. Up next,  Ira and Louis interview, the iconic the legendary Michelle Yeoh.

 

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Ira Madison III And we’re back for an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison, The third.

 

Louis Virtel And Louis Virtel.

 

Ira Madison III This week’s episode is about vibes. Okay. And if there is any movie out right now that more encapsulates vibes than anything, it is Everything Everywhere, All at Once.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, yes. And we are very lucky to have the legendary, and to say delightful is a complete understatement. I was sitting in this interview just overjoyed with her. Michelle Yeoh is with us.

 

Ira Madison III The Bond Girl.

 

Louis Virtel I was going to say, you know, Bond Woman, I feel like she rarely comes up in like a list of, like, the best Bond girls ever. And it’s like, I mean, who is more formidable than Michelle Yeoh?

 

Ira Madison III I know. I feel like because she was part of that era that took the Bond girl to like, Bond Woman. You know, that was when we started to have the conversation. Should we be calling them Bond girls?

 

Louis Virtel As long as you call them. That’s my Ru Paul. Anyway.

 

Ira Madison III We’re not cutting that joke, Louis. I want people to hear it. I want Danielle Perez to hear it and say.

 

Louis Virtel Okay good.

 

Ira Madison III You know what? He’s not as good as me.

 

Louis Virtel But Michelle Yeoh is clearly better than like, what other about, like, Maud Adams? Barbara Bach. Come on. Michelle Yeoh is top tier anyway.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, Michelle Yeoh, Halle Berry. I always.

 

Louis Virtel Eva Green.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I always forget that Grace Jones, I guess, wasn’t a Bond girl. She was like a villain.

 

Louis Virtel Correct. Yes. And. And she got to stare angrily and have trapezoidal facial features all over that movie.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, but getting back to Everything Everywhere, All at Once, which, by the way, I fucking loved and it’s wild that it’s from two directors who they’re collectively known as the Daniels. Daniel Quan and Daniel Scheinert, who got their start directing music videos as I feel most genre bending movies that feel like a cult movie from the moment you watch it. I feel like those directors always come from like music videos, like a Spike Jonze, you know?

 

Louis Virtel David Fincher Yeah.

 

Ira Madison III They did. DJ Snake’s Turn Down for What?

 

Louis Virtel Which if you’ve ever heard that song even once, it’s still resonating in your skull. So

 

Ira Madison III And a couple of Foster the People songs that aren’t pumped up kicks so you probably never heard them before.

 

Louis Virtel I was going to say they are not ringing a bell, so.

 

Ira Madison III But you know, their last film was their debut, Swiss Army Man, which I still have not seen.

 

Louis Virtel I have friends who are stans. It doesn’t seem like my sort of thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

 

Ira Madison III I just remember hearing Farting Corpse and I was like, You know what? It’s not for me.

 

Louis Virtel Right. Some things just aren’t for us.

 

Ira Madison III Also, weirdly, not a Daniel Radcliffe stan to the point where I need to see everything that he’s in, even though I do appreciate him, you know, as a elder statesman.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. No, I would even just say a grown up.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah.

 

Louis Virtel Like when you ask him for a quote and he’s like, Here comes someone with the head on their shoulders. Appreciate it enough if you just provide that.

 

Ira Madison III We love it. Do you want to talk about what happened at the Oscars, Daniel Radcliffe? Absolutely not.

 

Louis Virtel He’s like, I’m five two and I got to get.Out of here.

 

Ira Madison III No, but the thing about this film is that it’s one of those films that I feel like. You’re like the Matrix, you know, like when it comes out, like everyone is talking about it and everyone is sort of telling you to go and see it. I truly have not had a film, at least within the past few years, maybe thanks to the pandemic, but even right before the pandemic, where people are texting me, asking if I’ve seen it, or friends are like, Hey, do you want to go see this movie? You know, it feels like everyone has it on their radar.

 

Louis Virtel Yeah, well, I would actually compare it to, this does not seem intuitive, Hereditary in that it is putting together genres that seemingly don’t belong together. Name like in hereditary case you get like very visceral horror and then you get a family drama like Rabbit Hole or something. Whereas in this movie you get a very sensitive observed family situation, a queer story, and that’s loop together with this sort of comic book thing. This I don’t think I’m giving much away by saying a multiverse thing. And so there’s it’s one of those something for everyone type movies.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean A24 sort of does that well you know in addition in addition to.

 

Louis Virtel That’s what they.

 

Ira Madison III Do. Yeah. In addition to being an Urban Outfitters, they are also very good at sort of genre films that are multiple genres. All right. When we are back, we sit down with the icon Michelle Yeoh to discuss Everything Everywhere All at Once, and all of her other classic films. I mean, she’s been in so many. I think our guest today truly needs no introduction. She is a legend and the star of the action packed, hilarious, so much going on film that I can’t wait to talk with her about Everything Everywhere, All at Once. The Michelle Yeoh. Thank you so much for joining us today.

 

Michelle Yeoh Very happy to be here, Ira and Louis.

 

Ira Madison III I first want to say this movie is amazing and you are amazing in it. And it is so exciting to see you in a role like this. And I want to ask you, before this interview I revisited. Yes, Madam.

 

Michelle Yeoh Oh, wow.

 

Ira Madison III And what’s so interesting about that is that you immediately have this amazing screen presence. You are so funny in that film and you were just sort of like really command the screen with your skill at, like martial arts and you just sort of like really commandeer that film and I want to know. Were you always a funny person? Like I know you started out in pageants, but like, you’re you’re so you’re so funny iMadam. You’re so great at martial arts. It’s like, where did this all come from?

 

Michelle Yeoh Oh, my God. Definitely not from a pageant, right? They don’t teach you that. I’m doing the.

 

Ira Madison III The original Miss Congeniality. Okay. You are.

 

Michelle Yeoh Congeniality, Less acknowloging probably right, Like good friend. Okay. I know when I first started, there was nothing funny. I never saw myself. My producers never really saw me as funny. They were very focused on, It’s true, the movie that I was in, Yes, Madam, is one of my first action films. In fact, the first movie I was in is a action comedy movie, but the comedy and the action were all done by Sam Hong and the legendary Sam Ojo and George Lam, the amazing singer actor. And when I was watching them, I was thinking like, I can do this, you know, because this is very much is all choreography. It’s all about position and timing. It’s like dance, just like the world of ballet and dogs that I’ve been involved in for the last, blah, blah, blah all my life. So I was so grateful. Wedding the producer saw. Well, okay, you know, she’s a little bit crazy. She must be crazy. She wants to even try because that world of martial arts and is physical. I mean, if you ask the Jackie Chan and the Jet Li and the Master Woo-Ping and the Sam Pong, there was nothing funny. It looked funny. That was physical comedy. But the stunts and the action that they did was very physical and dangerous because at that time, remember, in the heydays of the amazing times of Hong Kong cinema, where that was where I started. We didn’t have CGI. We didn’t have the budgets to have cables. We have these, like, scrawny little thin wires that held the whole body weight and you all were like, whizzing around in the air. And when it snapped, you’d literally the stunt guys just fall from wherever they are. So at that point, when I actually turn around and say, I would like to try this, they looked at me like I was insane. But then, you know, she studied abroad. Maybe that just clued with me like, yeah, I had legs. Okay. So they. Yes, madam. I was surrounded by comedians like the George the Troy Hawk. They were like the high powered comedy artists. I mean, they walked onto the set and people laughed. So I was tasked with, okay, now I have to convince the audience that I belong here. I deserve to have a place next to the guys doing this martial arts. So I trained very hard. And it was it was not not a easy task because they have been they paid their dues to be where they are. They didn’t come on a silver platter for that. So to join the boys club, which it was a boys club, you know, they will tell you, because they did it in that way, in the in the mindset. We protect our women. We don’t let them get hurt. And they said, you know, Jackie says that I was like, no, bro, don’t go there. You know, because we have to learn to protect ourselves. And if you keep doing that, then we will never grow to be who we are. Right. Which is which is prevalent all the time. So that was the beginning of my days, my sort of doing martial arts. I was well protected. I was well loved, I was well taught and well protected in the sense that when you do a stunt, when you do the action sequences, you must learn to respect each other. You know, you have to have the stamina, you have to have the precision. If I say I punched you in here, I’m not going to punch you. Sure. Sheer right. And the only way to do that is if you are in training and that you are you have the capabilities and not just say like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, there is discipline, there is hard work, and there is like you, you sweat blood. That’s how it is. So but I loved it. I love the physical aspect of it. I love the challenge of it. I love to be part of the boys gang and go like, Yeah, let’s go out and have fun, man. You know, you get to do things that you would never get, I would never do in real life. I don’t believe in violence.

 

Louis Virtel I was so pleased to see this clip of you that’s going around viral. I believe you’re talking to GQ and you talk about how.

 

Michelle Yeoh oh My God.

 

Ira Madison III Oh, that’s such a beautiful interview.

 

Louis Virtel Yeah. Right after you say you love hanging  with the boys, I bring up a moment in which you cry. This is not to be cruel.

 

Michelle Yeoh Oh, my God. I’m never going to let this down.

 

Louis Virtel But something I loved about that clip was you talk about how even just reading the script, all of these kind of genres are apparent. Like there’s comedy in it, there’s tragedy, there’s martial arts, etc.. What’s crazy to me is I cannot picture this as a script. So much is going on on screen that I can’t picture that translated to the page. So how much of what you see in this movie are you surprised to see? Because I can’t picture it all just existing in the script.

 

Michelle Yeoh I’m not sure it’s all in the script.

 

Louis Virtel Wow.

 

Michelle Yeoh If you see a picture of my script, because how I work is like I tag every scene that I’m in and on the side. Normally, you know, when you have a script, I was tag it on the side. So I look at the script and I know, okay, I am in like 30 of the whatever pages or whatever, I’m in 50 or something like this. So that’s my process. And it was an action movie. It has like, okay, this is a dramatic scene. It will be tagged in yellow. It is an action scene. It will be tagged in red by the time I finished tagging my script. I first started off with, you know, the big stickers and I found, okay, I’m not going to have enough space for this because in one page there are ten multi universe process going on. So I went on to the big the really itty bitty skinny ones. And by the time I finished one day, I’m going to post that on my Instagram and you guys will see what I mean. My script was tagged all the way around with all the colors of the rainbow because is each universes getting their own color and body? And I was like, What the hell am I dealing with? I am in every single scene, every single time. There was just no light. Okay. I can take the next few days off and wander around and see what was going to happen. It was like, No. But it was written like that. The Daniels did not stray. They had a this was like the Bible. And remember, we are an independent film. Well, I guess we’re an independent film on steroids and probably a lot of I don’t know what they were reading, but the fact was we had eight weeks, but 37 shooting days. And you cannot go and do this with all the crazy things happening, you know, by saying, well, let’s see what happens today. No, no, no. They had their team lock in our DP, you know, the stunt coordinator, Tim, you know, with the the set designer, the Jason, everyone, they all they went together. They worked together. And Paul, our editor I mean, I met his wife and he says, You’ve been living with us for two years and we didn’t know what to say to that, but we know each other so well. So they know they’re editing as like the martial arts sequences. It’s not by accident. They know how to pull back when they want you to see and then give you the most intense close ups. Right, Right. This is not by accident. This is understanding their craft, understanding the different techniques that they can put into this when we don’t have the money to do special effects, to do the competitive blah, blah, blah, they have confetti coming out of the guy. So it is done with precision, it is done with great salt. And so and I was so surprised to see some things. You know what, because there were so many multiverses going on you when you see it, you go, oh, the link, you know, like the opera singer. I was like, okay, why am I suddenly an opera singer? You know, he was blinded as a kid when you only see, because when you read it, it is at different times of the shot. So you don’t see it as a scene and only comes together right at the end when she needs that skill and you see why, Oh, she became blind because she fell on that and she blinded herself as a kid. So but then the father taught her another skill, another gift that she had, which was her voice. And then I’m like, what was an opera singer got to do with a skill, all because she can hold a breath. So then, you know, all these like imagery that you shoot ties in and gives you that, yes, you are not surprised, but the realization how it is tied together, that is the beauty of that journey.

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I mean, well, speaking of even that moment that Lewis brought up, too, you know, I love how you talk about how, you know, this was sort of like a script, like a role that you’d been waiting for. And you were it was almost like a gift to you. And you’ve had such a long career with so many different roles. What what would you say you felt like you have been missing in your roles before this film came along and sort of like, what do you still feel like you want to do on screen that people maybe haven’t given you the opportunity to because you, you know, you your show. Yeah, like you beat people up. You could fly through the sky, you know.

 

Michelle Yeoh No, I think in this particular one I think where I, I know that GQ interview you are talking about, it was suddenly that moment, you know, when you feel that the Daniels they saw me people you know you want people to see you and give you the opportunity to show you what I am capable of. And that’s what they gave me. It was a very precious gift. And then not just them, they had the guts to write it. And then we had 824 who believed that their guts were right. And Michelle Yeoh is crazy enough to want to do this and then to hold out for a cinema release. In these times. You know, we’ve been we’ve had a real. It’s been hard the last two years and I think on many different levels for each person. For families that disconnection. And finally to be able to it was such a moment of everything. Everything just coming together like the stars aligned and you you can even begin to. To know who to thank. But somebody is like in the universe is looking after this little movie that we put so much love into.

 

Ira Madison III The theater was packed. I want to tell you, you know, like people are going ot to see this.

 

Michelle Yeoh To watch the movie, right?

 

Ira Madison III Yeah.

 

Michelle Yeoh You had a shared experience. It was like going back to our old primal days when our ancestors were under the stars and there was storytelling around the campfire and things like this. And for us, this is our safe place, you know, in the cinema where we we are with strangers. We are with people that we don’t know, all always with our family and people that we love. But the experience, the shared experience of joy, of pain, of laughter, is so real that we we feel it with each other. And I think this was what this movie has come out at an opportune time that we can have that what that let’s just watch and sit and have a great time. And you’re right, you have to see it in the cinemas and not just once I because I find that with the first time when you watch it, the intellect kicks in, the cerebral part kicks in, You go, okay, I’m going to know who and what. And then after like 15 minutes, you’re like, that’s become that’s when you become like Evelyn Wong And that’s the second time when you watch it, you’re not so like, okay, I am prepared to put on the safety belts, be in for this roller coaster ride and just go because now you have an inkling, Oh, they have to do crazy things or ridiculous things before they can multiverse jump, right? That’s all you need to know. And then when they go to that universe, Evelyn Wong is going to learn a skill that she has never thought that she would possess. And she’ll come back here and do all these crazy things to fight for humanity and fight for the people that she knows. That’s the and the core of story is that it is the familial connections that we all find so relatable with.

 

Louis Virtel Speaking of skills, you mentioned something in your Interview magazine feature with Paul Giamatti where you talk about who I mean, that’s so rad that you talk to him for that. But you mentioned how you mastered a calm, serene look for when you do martial arts. And in this movie, you have to merge the martial arts with comedy with, you know, confusion since this character is perpetually confused for the movie. And to me, that sounds almost like the hardest part, like having to mesh like a comic sensibility with like, how hard the martial arts is. And I was wondering, like, how did that take 500 takes to get right to get all of that lined up? Because you just said you had no time to make this movie either.

 

Michelle Yeoh So you remember this is you don’t have the luxury of so many takes. You know, you have to get it right. And I think because we and all it takes is the Daniels and this is what I say to them every day at the beginning is I’m going to be confused because you’re going to be like multi jumping me. I know the gist of it, but you have to you’re like my, my, my anchors. Right. You two are going to hold my hand and you’re going to bring me back when I need to come back. And you will. This is what you do. You are the directors, remember that. Right. You are very simply. The directors don’t mess with my head is messed up enough. So when that happened, you know, when you jump into the universe, when I fight, I automatically it’s very. Because that’s what we’ve been trained to do all this time. It’s like when you fight, you maintain because you are the mentor, you are the teacher, you are the number one martial artist. So you don’t like, you don’t you don’t flinch when a punch comes at you. You you learn to do it with a Zen like quality, right? So. And I’m fighting with Jamie, and she’s the best. She’s fun. She’s like, gung ho. She’s like, willing to to do this. And then. The Daniels come up to me and she’s like, But Evelyn Wong doesn’t know how to fight. So, you know, when she gets the skill, her face is registering the confusion of why the hell are my hands doing these like incredible things and I have no control. You know, it’s like the whole story when she’s talking about Racket Cooney and all those kind of things, really. So when you get into your head and then they make you do all these things and you don’t realize what you’re doing and everybody’s like, What the hell are you talking about? So I have to register. The wrath of Greg is going on here. And then, wow, I could do all this. You know, from the change of expression, you are suddenly Evelyn Wong, who have got this new skills and then able to do all this physical things. Yes. You learn to fracture your mind. You learn to, like, split it. And it’s like Bodhi does this face does this, and that is going to how it is. So that was a great challenge. But that’s why I signed up for the movie, was the challenge of doing things that I had not done before.

 

Ira Madison III I want to talk a bit about the you run the gamut of people you’ve worked with. You know, like you started out, you know, you said working with like, you know, like Sarah Hong, you know, like as like a director and also like doing stunts early on. And then you I feel like you got to work with so many icons and like the Hong Kong cinema world when you did Crouching Tiger. What was that experience like? You know, working with Ang Lee and also, you know, just having him bring together so many people who’ve done films, you know, Hong Kong like cinema for for years now, all sort of in one movie being able to work together.

 

Michelle Yeoh Working with Andy is like poetry in motion. He is she the way she loves cinema, the way he loves the humanity and the storytelling. If you look at it, it’s a very intimate movie. It’s about literally three people for Jake Fox being the antagonist,right. It’s about Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien,  that I play, and Zhang Ziyi, her young lover so is about what is important in the martial arts world. And that was what Ang Lee was trying to do. He was trying to present to the world something that she knew as a child. The martial arts world is not something that the West would know. But when I first spoke with him, he said to me, I want you to do Sense and Sensibility with martial arts. And that was when I was I was doing the Press for Tomorrow Never Dies, one of the most incredible movie that any actress would want to be part of. And I waited two years. I didn’t do another movie after that waiting for Ang Lee because we all believed in him. We all believed in his vision and we all wanted to make it happen. But my soul beat of how real Kong we all came together to say we want the rest of the world to embrace our culture in that way. It was one of the best, one of the most poignant, one of the most beautiful, but one of the most painful experiences because I tore my ACL after the first action sequence when I was, you know, around the wall. And I went up the wall and down the wall. And I think when you’re on the wire, off the wire, on the wire, off the wire, your body gets so confused. Your mind is like where the how is it going? You know, one time I jump and I’m soaring in the sky. Next time I jump a land suddenly like what happened to know how come I can’t fly? And it was on the last day of the shoot my it felt like someone clubbed my knee. I fell to the ground and I was fighting with the stunt double. And I was I was going like, why did you kick me? And the poor guy was so horrified. He was like, I didn’t touch you wounded. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry you did it. There was no way, because we were both doing it at a distance. But upon master roping, who was our son choreography coordinator at that time, and Angie, who was the editor, They went frame by frame to understand how was that possible, That, you know, a simple thing then. But that’s always the case. The simplest motions are the ones that you get into trouble with. And in one of the shots, they saw that my leg when I was doing the front, John had just touched his leg, which probably that split, which I really didn’t even know or noticed. Right. And when I landed, they just. Wiped out. And it was most also painful but beautiful because and could have changed me because I had only done that action sequence and action sequences with the artistry of Master Jung, hoping you could double it. You know, they could take all the shots and then make another person look like it was them was fighting, and they could have done that easily. But I will never forget when I was in England and Johns Hopkins with the specialists who said, I can wrap your leg up, your knee up because your your your ACL is gone. It’s not just like Torn. It’s like if you you you basically you can run, you can jump, you can do something soft, which you can walk gently. And that’s about it. And you’re like, I’m doing a martial arts movie. This is not possible. So Ang and Bill Kong, our producer at that time, just turned around, say, do what you need to do. Get them fixed you up and we will wait for you.

 

Louis Virtel Mm hmm. Thank God they did. My God. Oh, my God.

 

Ira Madison III What a movie.

 

Louis Virtel Yeah. Incredible. No. As far as I’m concerned, there’s also no second one of that movie. I just remember that was a movie that you came out, and everybody I know had to see it, and it was like, Wait, now I have to research every movie that’s ever been like this in history. It was such an education for everybody. So you really ushered in something for a lot of film viewers. I said, I’m looking through your filmography. Truly, most of the things you have done over your career seem like the most time consuming and bodily harmful things ever. Like, there are a couple of movies here, like you were in Last Christmas a couple of years ago or whatever, right? Okay. Maybe that was only a couple of weeks. But I just want to remind you, movies don’t have to be like the most stressful situation of your life. I just want to say that. And I was, What are you craving? Just kind of like, I don’t know, a rom com, something that, like, you know, is just an earthy, normal realm ever?

 

Michelle Yeoh Absolutely. I would love to do that, you know? Yes. A resounding yes. What does it mean that I have to choose one over the other? I hope not.

 

Louis Virtel Good.

 

Michelle Yeoh Bcause you know, I don’t the challenges of being doing things and it’s nice. I would love to do a rom com in a musical or something like that. It would be so fun. And you’re right, it doesn’t always have to be physical and, you know, maybe a threat of being injured or things like that. And it would be so nice just to do something that’s like intimate and fun and loving. Yes.

 

Louis Virtel And I’m glad I’m glad to hear that because even looking at Crazy Rich Asians, I’m like, that’s like the most gigantic production ever. Like, even that movie, which could be, you know, just a quote unquote fun movie seems incredibly demanding based on how much time it must have taken to put me.

 

Ira Madison III On the mahjong scene alone in a place like this, the choreography that I feel like I have to go do that.

 

Michelle Yeoh No, you know, it’s the thought that goes behind is the respect that you give that culture. What is important to that culture? Mahjong is very important to the Chinese culture. And it’s not just a game. There’s much that goes on behind that game is like bridge, you know, It’s like backgammon, just like all these kind of things. Chess. Why do you play? That is a battle of wits. And it’s, you know, it’s very reminiscent, a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha when I was negotiating with the Mamason about Sayuri, you know, bringing her in. And we were just like tossing the the teacups around, you know, like pushing to you and coming back to me. And it is a battle where there is no physical fighting. But the the the the battle is there in how you handle the cards and things like that and what are the innuendos of the dialog. So in that, you know, it’s interesting because in this movie I get to be funny, I get to do physical comedy and everything everywhere all at once, like in Crazy Rich Asians, everybody is having a wild time. And I get to play the most serious like Jiro is scary. Then do the beach party, man. Come on man.

 

Ira Madison III I would be interested to know, like, what kind of, like, films do you consume? You know, you’re known for, you know, you know, martial arts films that are, you know, very involved and tactical. But like where Michelle Yeoh is at home, like, what are you watching? Like, what interests you?

 

Michelle Yeoh Ha ha ha. Actually, I watch everything. I’m such a movie buff. I mean, I would go to the cinemas by myself and I constantly do. Maybe one thing that would surprise you is I love horror films.

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm.

 

Michelle Yeoh But I would go and watch a horror film by myself, wondering, cursed close to the door. I sit right at the back when there’s no one. But I love drama. I love mysteries, I love thrillers. I just basically love the thrill of being in the cinema. I just love that experience because it’s a way of escapism. I, you know, the magic of not having to just enjoying something, a story. I love musicals. I love everything. So I watch anything. Now I’m even watching, you know, baking shows just like, what the hell happened to me.

 

Ira Madison III Well I mean this is an A24 film, You’ve just now said you love horror films. I feel like in two years we will see you in some A24 horror film where you’re torturing your family or something. Oh.

 

Michelle Yeoh I am. I am. A little bit. I don’t want to dwell in the realm of, you know, I mean, I love them, but I don’t want to be invited to be around.

 

Ira Madison III And keep it on the screen.

 

Michelle Yeoh I like my peace life.

 

Louis Virtel Well, I just I just I say your enthusiasm for all these different types of movies totally comes across and. This movie and only I think only somebody who has that that fervor and that zeal for movies could give a performance like that. So I thank you so much for that.

 

Michelle Yeoh Oh, thank you. Thank you.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, I just.

 

m But it’s true. I think with this movie, we all just literally looked at each other. Yes. It was like with Ke, with Jamie, with Stephanie and James Hong. And we looked and and Harry Shum as well. Right. We just looked at each other and go like, yes, we are unapologetic with the silliness, the raunchiness or whatever it is and let’s just have a great time, Let’s believe in this. And we literally held hands and say, that’s the way to go. Let’s jump in. And we all grabbed Daniels. Why didn’t you like which I was the only one to do it. It’s like to be fearless, right? And in that way, we empower each other. We just go for it. And we did. We went for it.

 

Louis Virtel Absolutely.

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I jus, lastly, I just feel like, you know, you’ve done so much. Are there things are there things that like, are there films that you’re known so much for, you know, like Crouching Tiger, you know, And like, now this film. Like, you know, like genre bending films that are, you know, like introducing people to, like, a whole new way of seeing the cinema. Um, is there like a film that you’ve done in your career that you feel like, you know, sort of like you wish more it had gotten more attention or something that you really look fondly back on and you’re like, I had you know, I had a really great time making this film.

 

Michelle Yeoh Right? Yes. Yes. You know, that’s when we set out to do a film. Obviously, you want the best for it to happen. And the best for a movie is like to get the best box office, right. I mean, it is show business. I mean, that’s the reality of it is like you, we we do it because we want people to be able to embrace it and say, yes, this is and sometimes you do movies where maybe it’s a little bit ahead of their time and people like more y like, you know, maybe like the heroic trio. I had the best time making that. One particular favorite of mine is Reign of Assassins that I did with John Woo Sung and John, John Woo and Dom, who was the director, And I felt that there was so much. Heart in that film, and I really wish more people saw it. And another one is The Lady that was directed by Luc Besson.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, that’s that’s such a that’s such a it’s I feel like it’s such an outlier. It’s like a Luc Besson film because it’s so intimate.

 

Michelle Yeoh Because if you think about it as artists, you have to explore. You have to do things out of your comfort zone. You can’t just do Taxi Driver the whole time. Make this element the whole time. Yes, you could. I mean, and he’s great at it. But then, you know, sometimes you have to do something that’s so. But Ke did that with love and heart. That was a story that he really, really wanted to tell, and so did I. And that’s how we came together to do The Lady, which was about the Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi.

 

Louis Virtel Yeah. Fabulous performance, by the way.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. It’s it’s a it’s a gorgeous film. I mean, we could say that about so many things you’ve done. I mean, I just want to reiterate that, like, this movie is mind blowing. I am definitely going to have to see it again. And I you know, I’ve just been everyone. It’s it is been a while since a film has, like, been released that I feel like I am constantly getting texts from friends being like, do you want to go see this movie or have you seen this movie? Or they’re like, If you haven’t seen it, I’ll see it again.

 

Michelle Yeoh Wow.

 

Ira Madison III It’s I think it’s just a really, really beautiful film.

 

Michelle Yeoh That is amazing because that is what we hope we see. You know, what we need now is more conversations between people, you know, like good, wonderful shared ideas and, you know, like, how did you see that part? Did you realize that? And, you know, and not to be left out, what do you you didn’t she you better watch it before you can join And that’s so great And that’s what I love about, you know, Yes, there’s so many different reasons. The Internet, word of mouth. And it’s so important because we have real conversations with each other, with family, with friends, and sometimes even with strangers because we are having a shared experience. So this is fantastic. I’m so glad to hear it.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. Oh, well, thank you so much for being here with us. It is truly an honor to talk to you today.

 

Michelle Yeoh Nice talking to you guys. Thank you. Thank you.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s it for this special bonus episode of X-ray Vision. Catch the next episode on Wednesday, March 15th, for the Last of US finale. And remember, we’re bringing you two episodes a week. Not counting. This week we’re bringing three. That’s two episodes a week every Wednesday and Friday on your podcast platform of choice.

 

Rosie Knight And if you want to see us as well as hear us subscribe on YouTube where you can see full episodes like this full bonus episode,  how exciting. Plus, follow us on XRVPod on Twitter. Check out our Discord, which we love. We hang out there all the time. Bunch of great people in there. And make sure to check out Keep It every Wednesday, wherever you get your podcasts and watch the show on the Keep It YouTube channel.

 

Jason Concepcion X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt de Groot provide video production support and Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. Bye.

 

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