It’s no secret that Michelle Yeoh is fkn badass. I mean, you can take a look at her history of stunt work in Supercop (1992) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), or even in her latest fight scenes in Everything Everywhere All At Once to prove that. But apparently Yeoh is *too* cool, because her incredible fighting skills cost her a role in Quentin Tarantino‘s cult classic 2003 film Kill Bill.
Tarantino has been pretty open about the fact that Michelle Yeoh was the inspiration for Uma Thurman‘s character The Bride. But despite that, he never cast her in either Kill Bill or its sequel. When Yeoh was asked about it, she revealed why.
“I asked Quentin the same question,” Yeoh said in her Town & Country cover interview.
“He’s very smart. He said, ‘Who would believe that Uma Thurman could kick your ass?’”
I mean, this is true. As my editor said, Yeoh “could snap Uma Thurman in half with just a glance.”
Buuuuut it also seems like a cop out. It’s giving “oh, you’re just too good to me baby, that’s why I cheated on you”.
Michelle Yeoh is my everything, everywhere, all at once. (📷: Ruven Afanador) pic.twitter.com/fvcRYlfkOg— Fluorescent Beige Bitch (@MicahTheModest) August 17, 2022
Despite this, Yeoh and Tarantino are actually really good friends and he’s been pretty open about how much he adores her.
“I was just a huge, huge fan of hers,” Tarantino told T&C.
“There was always a twinkle in her eye.”
The two became close after he inspired her to comeback from a devastating injury while filming The Stunt Woman (1996).
“I thought I broke my back,” she recalled.
“I thought I was paralyzed.”
The injury led Yeoh to consider quitting stunt work, and then Tarantino appeared in Hong Kong for a screening of Pulp Fiction (1994) and changed her mind.
“I must say, Quentin, he’s persistent,” she said.
She eventually agreed to see him but reluctantly, and only gave him five minutes.
“Suddenly we became animated,” Yeoh recalled.
“So then I thought, ‘Maybe I’m not ready to give up on this.'”
Lo and behold, just a couple of years later she broke into her first English speaking role and signed on for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
If Tarantino hadn’t pestered Yeoh that evening, we might never have had the joy of watching her in Everything Everywhere All At Once. Imagine that.