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Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh have revealed both of their roles in Tár and Everything Everywhere All At Once were originally written for men.

The women, who are both receiving Oscar buzz for their lead roles in the films, made the revelation during a conversation with one another as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series.

‘They initially wrote it for a man,’ revealed Michelle, 60, who played a struggling laundromat owner hopping through different universes in the critically-acclaimed movie. 

Revelation: Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh have revealed both of their roles in Tár and Everything Everywhere All At Once were originally written for men

Revelation: Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh have revealed both of their roles in Tár and Everything Everywhere All At Once were originally written for men

‘I think it’s the norm, because it would be easier to finance,’ she continued. ‘It would be easier to understand that a guy would multiverse jump. But then they changed it into a mother role, which actually suits the Daniels so much more, because they’re surrounded by very strong, smart women.

‘I’ve been in the business for a while now, and the opportunities get a little narrower and narrower with time because you’re getting past your prime time. I turned 60 this year, and it’s been a while since I was offered the lead role. I have amazing supporting roles, like in Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi.’

Cate, 53, who plays an orchestra conductor whose past comes to haunt her in Tár, then revealed her role in the film was also originally intended for a man.

‘It’s funny that you say Evelyn in Everything Everywhere All at Once was originally written for a man. When Todd [Field] was thinking about it, Tár was originally a male role.

'Originally a male role': Cate, who plays an orchestra conductor whose past comes to haunt her in Tar, then revealed her role in the film was also originally intended for a man

‘Originally a male role’: Cate, who plays an orchestra conductor whose past comes to haunt her in Tar, then revealed her role in the film was also originally intended for a man

‘Because the film is a meditation on power, you would’ve had a much less nuanced examination of that. We understand what the corruption of male power looks like, but we need to unpack what power is itself.’ 

Michelle also revealed she almost didn’t take the role of Evelyn unless they changed the name they had originally given her character – Michelle Wang.

‘This is like a roller coaster, right? Put away your phones, put on your safety belts. With the Daniels, I had to see if they were certifiably insane, in the best possible way. It’s very important that I feel the director is a visionary and I’m one of their tools.

For your consideration: Both Yeoh and Blanchett have been receiving Oscar buzz for their roles in the films

For your consideration: Both Yeoh and Blanchett have been receiving Oscar buzz for their roles in the films 

Crescendo: The actress plays an orchestra conductor whose past comes to haunt her

Crescendo: The actress plays an orchestra conductor whose past comes to haunt her 

‘The only thing I said to them was, “The character cannot be called Michelle Wang.”  They’re like, “But why? It’s so you.” I’m like, “No, I’m not an Asian immigrant mother who’s running a laundromat. She needs her own voice.” That was the only thing. I’m like, “If you don’t change the name, I’m not coming in.”‘

‘Wow,’ Cate replied.

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‘The rest of it was easy. I didn’t understand the hot dog fingers at all. But I thought when we get to there, I’ll try to figure it out.’

Michelle also shared her delight in learning what kind of character would be leading the film upon receiving the script.  

‘I always want to work with younger directors. Because they throw challenges at you that don’t come your way often. I was very gratified that finally I was getting a script with a very nondescript woman, immigrant woman, and she’s been around us for the longest time, trying to live the American dream — and so have I. And to make such an ordinary woman be extraordinary, it’s very fulfilling, because I think that is all of us.

‘There’s so many of us out there who are very quiet and think they’ll just go along their way and maybe nobody will notice them. They’re not successful enough, and they’re not well-to-do enough. It was such a joy to say, “No, look at what we can do for her,” and give her that loud, strong voice. The core of the story is about family. It’s about the mother and daughter. It’s about her and her father. And all the culture of the Asians is very patriotic.’ 

'The core of the story is about family': Michelle also shared her delight in learning the type of character she would be lending a 'loud, strong voice' to upon receiving the script

‘The core of the story is about family’: Michelle also shared her delight in learning the type of character she would be lending a ‘loud, strong voice’ to upon receiving the script

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