Michelle Yeoh Named Time Icon Of The Year

By Renee Hansen | Published

michelle yeoh

Michelle Yeoh has been making headlines for several reasons, including the wild success of her recent absurdist comedy drama A24 film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Now Time Magazine has named her the much-deserved, Icon of the Year for 2022. 

An actor of Malaysian descent, Michelle Yeoh began her career in the 1990s when she starred in several Hong Kong action films in which she performed her own stunts. One of the more prominent of these movies was Police Story 3: Supercop with Jackie Chan

Her first piece of major international recognition came when Michelle Yeoh starred in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. She played Wai Lin, an ally of Bond’s. Next, she would star in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

It is shocking to learn that with all of her accomplishments, Michelle Yeoh is only now being recognized for her craft. She has starred in many amazing projects, including Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha and Crazy Rich Asians, but even with all of that, she hadn’t become a top star, as she rightfully should have, given the immeasurable talent she possesses. 

Michelle Yeoh has also been featured in several iconic universes, including Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the Star Trek: Discovery series.  

While Michelle Yeoh tells Time she believes the discussion shouldn’t be about her race, the fact remains it has been a battle for the actress to achieve the success of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Asians are often cast in stereotypical roles that rarely receive top billing. 

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere all at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once is directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who are known as “Daniels.” Michelle Yeoh is an immigrant wife, Evelyn Quan Wang, who is overworked and facing an IRS audit for the laundromat her family owns. She then discovers that there are multiple versions of the universe, and everything changes for her. 

Along the way, Evelyn begins to gain the skills of the different versions of herself and has the ability to move between realities. This was a challenging role for Michelle Yeoh as she had to transition from scenes where she has to be wacky and intimate and even use her martial art skills. 

Next, Michelle Yeoh will star in the next 3 Avatar films, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, The Witcher: Blood Origin, A Haunting in Venice, ARK: The Animated Series, and many more. These titles showcase Yeoh’s diversity as a performer, and will hopefully lead to more recognition. 

Congrats to Michelle Yeoh for her Time Magazine title of Icon of the Year for 2022. She shared with Time that when given the opportunity to play Evelyn, she knew she had to give the role her all because she doesn’t know when her next opportunity would be. She hopes this isn’t her only opportunity to be a leading lady in a role of this magnitude.