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Michelle Yeoh Was Terrified ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Could Set the ‘Community Back Many Years’

Actor Michelle Yeoh and her Crazy Rich Asians co-stars pushed Hollywood a step in the right direction for diversity in mainstream movie storytelling. However, there were no guarantees that the film would be a success. Yeoh reflected back on making Crazy Rich Asians and explained why she was terrified that it could have set the community’s progress back.

Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy that expanded far past the interest of only those who enjoyed the 2013 novel of the same title. The story follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who joins her boyfriend, Nick, (Henry Golding) on a trip to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. However, Rachel discovers that Nick is actually a part of a very wealthy family and now she must deal with the social and personal politics of the family.

Yeoh plays Eleanor Sung-Young in Crazy Rich Asians, who is Nick’s domineering mother. She has high expectations of whoever her son dates, which puts Rachel in an incredibly awkward situation. Yeoh and her co-stars certainly made waves across Hollywood that proved how diverse casting can be financially worthwhile at the box office.

Michelle Yeoh was terrified in hindsight that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ could set the ‘community back many years’

Variety interviewed Yeoh about an array of her projects, including Crazy Rich Asians. She explained how significant that particular moment was for diversity in Hollywood, but in hindsight, she acknowledged that it could have gone all wrong.

“It was a big moment for us, but looking back, what if it didn’t work?,” Yeoh said. “Would it have set our community back many years? A lot was riding on the success of the film, and a lot of Asian leading roles would not have been greenlit. Because that’s showbiz.”

Yeoh continued: “Fortunately, it was about great storytelling, and Jon did an amazing job of telling this story, which was so relatable and transcends just Asian casts. It sets up the tone that shows that people do love to see leading Asian men and women and to hear their experiences. So, it did change a lot of things.”

Yeoh discussed how other instances also left an impression on her along with Crazy Rich Asians.

“When I look around, I see Ronnie (Chieng), Jimmy O. Yang, and everybody having their moment with their standup comedy shows,” Yeoh said. “And to see them be respected and loved for what they have been trying to do so well for so long, but not given the same kind of accolades, as they now so rightly deserve, it’s so great. We can’t afford to go backward in time.”

The popular movie is getting a sequel

Many audiences expected to see more from the Yeoh-starring movie. There are two sequels to the books titled China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems. After the film’s financial success, it would be ridiculous for Warner Bros. Pictures to not want more installments. They are moving forward, but some payment disputes resulted in delays.

The sequel to Crazy Rich Asians will center around the teaser revealed during the mid-credits scene of the first installment.

RELATED: Quentin Tarantino Saved Michelle Yeoh From Quitting Acting After a ‘Horrific Injury’



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