Why wasn't Michelle Yeoh in Kill Bill ? She asked Quentin Tarantino the same question

·2 min read

In another multiverse, action star and martial arts stunt queen Michelle Yeoh could have starred in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

One particular title comes to mind: Kill Bill, centered on a former assassin (Uma Thurman) who awakens from a coma years after a jilted lover and fellow assassination squad member tries to murder her on her wedding day. No longer comatose, she sets out on a path of revenge. According to Tarantino, a Michelle Yeoh superfan, Yeoh's 1992 action comedy Police Story 3 served as inspiration for Thurman during filming — so, why didn't he cast her in the film?

Yeoh "asked Quentin the same question," she said in her Town & Country cover interview published Wednesday. "He's very smart," Yeoh said of the filmmaker. "He said, 'Who would believe that Uma Thurman could kick your ass?'"

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Michelle Yeoh attends the "Shang-Chi" premiere screening on August 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Michelle Yeoh attends the "Shang-Chi" premiere screening on August 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Mike Marsland/WireImage Michelle Yeoh

Tarantino's admiration for Yeoh is well-documented. The actress has shared that the director inspired her to keep acting when she considered quitting after an on-set injury on 1996's The Stunt Woman. "I thought I broke my back. I thought I was paralyzed," Yeoh recalled once more to T&C. While mulling safer career options, Yeoh reluctantly received a visit from Tarantino, who was in Hong Kong to screen Pulp Fiction.

"I must say, Quentin, he's persistent," Yeoh said. "He is who he is today because he's full of passion and love, so he wore me down." During their conversation (in which she only allotted him five minutes), "Suddenly we became animated," Yeoh said. "So then I thought, 'Maybe I'm not ready to give up on this.' " She would later sign on to do the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, marking her first English language lead role.

"I was just a huge, huge fan of hers," Tarantino told T&C. "There was always a twinkle in her eye."

Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once

Allyson Riggs/A24 Michelle Yeoh in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

Yeoh most recently headlined Everything Everywhere All At Once, a sci-fi adventure epic centered on a laundromat owner (Yeoh) tasked with saving an infinite number of multiverses. The film also starring Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu, and James Hong has received Oscar buzz ahead of next year's Academy Awards.

"I completely let loose in this film, and that's when you are the most vulnerable, when you've put yourself out there," Yeoh previously told EW. "I was prepared to cringe and cower and go, oh my God, what the hell am I doing? I laughed at it so much. I didn't see me anymore. I saw this Chinese immigrant woman who was dragged into all these different things. So I had a good laugh. And then I had a good cry."

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