Everything Everywhere All at Once is the action comedy-drama that’s taken the world by storm. Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (the director duo known as the Daniels), Everything Everywhere All at Once tells the story of one woman’s fight against personal and interdimensional turmoil after unexpected events leave both unimaginable power and the fate of the multiverse in her reluctant hands. The film was released to critical and commercial success, despite its premiere being heavily impacted by the global pandemic. The movie has grossed over $100 million worldwide, and has a 95% approval rating from critics and an audience score of 89% on the review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes.
The film’s emphasis on the Chinese-American experience has brought some well-deserved mainstream attention to actors from a wide variety of backgrounds. And for much of the cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once, the multiversal A24 film isn’t their first film rodeo. Many of the movie’s talent boasts impressive and storied careers, with some even being involved in some of cinema’s most recognizable blockbusters and movie franchises.
Updated on March 9, 2023, by Hannah Saab:
The 95th Academy Awards will be presented on March 12, which means fans don’t have to wait too long to learn which of Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Oscar nominations will result in a win. The Daniels’ international hit took home a whopping 11 Oscar nominations:
• Best Picture
• Best Director
• Best Actress (for Michelle Yeoh)
• Best Supporting Actor (for Ke Huy Quan)
• Best Supporting Actress (for Jamie Lee Curtis)
• Best Supporting Actress (for Stephanie Hsu)
• Best Original Screenplay
• Best Costume Design
• Best Film Editing
• Best Score
• Best Song (for “This Is a Life”)
1 Michelle Yeoh (Evelyn Quan Wang)
In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Malaysian actor and action star Michelle Yeoh plays unlikely hero Evelyn Quan Wang, a Chinese-American immigrant who runs a laundromat alongside her husband, Waymond. During what seems like an ordinary day, Evelyn is pulled into an interdimensional conflict and granted the ability to access the memories and abilities of the other versions of herself that reside in alternate realities.
Having appeared in the James Bond franchise, the Ip Man films, the Star Trek franchise, and the MCU, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Yeoh is by no means new to the biggest releases on the small and silver screens. Now, she is best known for portraying Ying Nan in Marvel Studios’ Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as Yu Shu Lien in the most beautiful action movie of all time, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Set to appear in upcoming projects within the Avatar and Witcher universes, it looks like Yeoh will soon add more notable credits to her already-impressive list of iconic roles.
2 Ke Huy Quan (Waymond Wang)
Evelyn’s doting husband in Everything Everywhere All at Once, Waymond Wang, is played by Ke Huy Quan. His appearance in the absurdist film marks his triumphant return to acting, after an extended absence from on-screen appearances. Fans of the Indiana Jones franchise and 80s adventure movies will recognize Quan as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data from The Goonies.
Quan never actually put the movie industry behind him during the hiatus that followed his brief, but unforgettable, film career. But as an adult, Quan struggled to find work as an actor in the United States, and so he transitioned into film production, working behind the scenes in various roles. He was the fight choreographer for X-Men and The One but also served as the assistant director for the 2004 romantic drama 2046. But after seeing the success of 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, in which Michelle Yeoh had a starring role, Quan was inspired to return to acting. Aside from Everything Everywhere All at Once, Quan appears in Netflix’s Finding ‘Ohana and is set to appear in Disney’s TV adaptation of American Born Chinese.
3 Stephanie Hsu (Joy Wang & Jobu Tupaki)
It’s true that the Oscar-nominated film is somewhat of a breakout film for Stephanie Hsu, who plays the complicated daughter in Everything Everywhere All at Once. But don’t assume that Hsu is new to the acting world. Her career began with Broadway and an MTV comedy series but quickly flourished. In 2019, she joined the cast of the Amazon Prime series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, joining its third season in the role of Mei Lin. The rising star’s career has amazed even Hsu herself, but if her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once is anything to go by, then any praise and attention the young actor receives is more than well deserved.
In the A24 film, Joy is largely ignored by her overworked mother, struggling to be accepted alongside her girlfriend, Becky (Tallie Medel). An initially understated and tragic character, Joy is more important to Everything Everywhere All At Once than both its hero and its audience might initially expect.
4 James Hong (Gong Gong)
Veteran actor James Hong is known for roles in a variety of movies and TV shows. From, the original Hawaii Five-O to Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, and R.I.P.D., Hong is no stranger to iconic films and franchises. Game for anything, Hong’s voice has also served the film industry in some of its biggest animated blockbusters. Hong voiced Chi-Fu in the 1998 animated classic Mulan and Mr. Ping – father of Po (Jack Black) – in the Kung Fu Panda franchise.
Hong lends his talent to the Daniels’ new A24 film by playing Gong Gong, the aging and demanding father of Leoh’s Evelyn Wang. But don’t think his role as Gong Gong in Everything Everywhere All At Once is Hong’s only recent successful movie outing. Hong also voiced Mr. Gao in Pixar’s Turning Red, another diverse and widely successful film that, much like Everything Everywhere All At Once, concentrated on its portrayal of a complicated mother-daughter relationship on film.
5 Jamie Lee Curtis (Deirdre Beaubeirdre)
For many movie fans, Jamie Lee Curtis and her career need no introduction. Her horror debut in John Carpenter’s Halloween established her as a slasher movie icon, leading to other prominent appearances in Prom Night, Terror Train, and many of the Halloween sequels. Her other film credits include roles in My Girl and Knives Out, but don’t let even these impressive roles distract you from the fact that Curtis is also an accomplished author as well as a baroness.
Curtis graces the screen in Everything Everywhere All At Once as the jaded IRS auditor, Deirdre Beaubeirdre. Curtis’ Deirdre initially seems like a threatening, antagonistic force in the increasingly stressful lives of Evelyn and Waymond Wang but, as is natural in a film about the bizarre possibilities of the infinite multiverse, not every disgruntled inspector is as heartless as they seem.
6 Jenny Slate (Debbie the Dog Mom)
American actor Jenny Slate is perhaps most recognizable for her recurring appearances on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation and the sketch comedy show Kroll Show. That is, of course, until you hear Slate talk. Her distinctive voice has helped bring many animated characters to life. Slate boasts voice acting credits as characters in a wide variety of movies and television shows including Zootopia, Bob’s Burgers, The Secret Life of Pets and The Lego Batman Movie, to name a few.
Though Slate appears in a somewhat limited capacity in the Daniels’ action comedy-drama, as Debbie the Dog Mom, her appearance in Everything Everywhere All At Once is a fun one, with more than a few surprises for action fans.