In a new interview with Town & Country, Yeoh explained why she didn’t land a role in Tarantino’s classic film, despite his admiration for her as an actor.
“I asked Quentin the same question,” she said. “He’s very smart. He said, ‘Who would believe that Uma Thurman could kick your a**?’”
While Yeoh wasn’t cast, she still credits him with encouraging her to come out of retirement after she suffered a serious back injury on the set of the 1996 film The Stunt Woman.
“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.”
“Suddenly we became animated,” she recalled. “So then I thought, Maybe I’m not ready to give up on this.”
The Malaysian actor’s first Hollywood gig was in the 1997 James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. However, it wasn’t until her roles in the 2018 romcom Crazy Rich Asians, followed by Marvel’s 2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and her latest 2022 film Everything Everywhere All At Once, that her career reached new heights.
“You know what, I did. I waited a long time for this, and luckily it came,” Yeoh told The Independent.
“Some people wait their whole life and the opportunity might never come. I was patient. I was resilient. I never stopped learning. And so I was ready when the opportunity did present itself.”
Yeoh is set to star as Dr Karina Mogue in James Cameron’s forthcoming film Avatar: The Way of the Water, a sequel to his 2009 movie. It is scheduled to be released on 16 December.