How Michelle Yeoh Trained For The Most Infamous Action Scene In Everything Everywhere All At Once

One of the reasons "Everything Everywhere All At Once" managed to separate itself from the scores of other multiversal tales in recent years was its fearlessness in being exceptionally weird. The strangeness of infinite possibilities is interwoven into the film's very narrative, such as the bizarrely specific actions that are required in order to tap into another universe, which can include eating chapstick and self-inflicting paper cuts in between fingers. To their credit, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka Daniels) found a ready and willing group of people to fulfill their uniquely absurd vision. The entire cast, especially the central trio of Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu, give emotionally jarring performances worthy of acclaim.

This only accentuates film's moments of farcical but impressive action. But anyone who's seen the movie knows one fight stands out more than most. It's best described in a single image: Yeoh's character Evelyn yanking out objects lodged inside the rear ends of her two opponents that have helped them tap into fighting skills from another universe. In fact, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" offers up a number of exceptional sex toy-centered fights, including Jobu Tupaki's wild entrance, during which her beat-down of a cop with two massive dildos is only one of the many spectacularly insane things about the scene. For Yeoh, a legend of martial arts films in her own right, the wushu-inspired action was uncanny given the oddball weapon choices. But the actor was game for all of the Daniels' harebrained ideas when it came to training for the unforgettable butt plug showdown.

Trying to keep a straight face was the hardest part for Yeoh

Yeoh was undoubtedly more prepared than some of her other co-stars for the fight scenes in "Everything Everywhere All At Once," thanks to her big screen history. In an interview with Variety, she explained that because of shadowboxing and her years of experience, the "physical fighting [was] relatively easy." Whether she's "playing with and using weapons like a fight board or butt plug," the actor says putting in the time to practice makes all the difference. But even decades of practicing martial arts and working as an actor couldn't have prepared her for the butt plug scene's finale stunt. Yeoh explained:

"It's not so much about rehearsal time, it was more about getting there and learning it. The easy part was the choreography and the execution. The most difficult part was to contain the laughter, especially with the butt plug fight. I was scrambling around with Andy Le, and we lose our powers as we were both trying to get to the butt plug. His brother Brian comes in with just his shirt, and I saw this thing hanging out of him, and I completely lost it."

Anyone who's seen the movie knows it masterfully balances its dark and silly comedy with spellbinding action scenes. Nowhere is that more true than during the fight between Andy & Brian Le's characters against Yeoh. Watching Brian launch his pantless self into a high jump directly onto the butt plug trophy remains one of the funniest moments in "Everything Everywhere All At Once." So it's not hard to imagine the difficulty Yeoh had in trying to keep a straight face while rehearsing the scene's choreography.

Butt plugs and other alternative weapons

The premise might be ridiculous — two men fighting with questionable items sticking out of their rears — but the choreography in "Everything Everywhere All At Once" is far from mediocre. Paying proper homage to the wushu films it was inspired by, plenty of the fight scenes in the film are awesome examples of exceptional choreography. This might explain why Yeoh trusted the Daniels and the more bizarre aspects of the film's multi-versal tale. Yeoh told Variety:

"The Daniels are unapologetic when it comes to the raunchiness. They're really going to fling around dildos in a fight. Going into it, I couldn't imagine it, but I believed in them and I trusted them. When you do something like this, you have to believe in it, otherwise, it just doesn't work. And we all dove into it together. [The script said], 'She pulls out two butt plugs simultaneously.' I thought 'How the hell am I going to do that?' But it's all about timing."

Timing and no small amount of rigged wire work. Not to mention the film's "amazing" director of photography Larkin Seiple, who had to figure out how to actually shoot the stunt. "There were so many things we needed to get right," Yeoh said. "But I think that scene took four or five takes." Of course, the finished product is a breathtaking stunt that boggles the mind. Who knew Yeoh had the ability to make removing the butt plugs of her opponents such a phenomenally cool piece of the action? But like I said Evelyn's fight isn't the only moment in "Everything Everywhere All At Once" that gives a shockingly incredible spotlight to using sex toys as weapons.

Stephanie Hsu worried she'd scare Michelle with her dildo fight

As the big bad Jobu Tupaki, Hsu gives a bonkers performance that nearly steals the whole damn show. Her grand entrance, with all its magnificent outfit changes, perfectly sets the tone for her character as this wacky but dangerous agent of pure chaos. But it was also the very first scene Hsu shot with Yeoh, and she worried that her earnest dildo-swinging moves were going to freak out the martial arts legend. "The first scene I shot with Michelle was the hallway scene, or otherwise known as the introduction of Jobu, or the Elvis scene, or the swinging ding-dong scene," she revealed to Variety. "And I knew that the boys would want me to get weird, but I was so nervous that I would scare Michelle." Hsu continued:

"It was pretty intense, but Michelle's the most generous scene partner and also supremely wild and funny, herself. And she's seen everything, so I don't think it really fazed her as much as we thought it would, though I do think a lot of things in this movie pushed her over the edge of like, 'How is it possible that I'm doing a butt plug fight? In all my years of working, how have I never seen this before?'"

Hsu was actually trained by Li Jing, who appears as the kung-fu master seen training Evelyn in other universes. And like her co-star Yeoh, the scene in question is proof practice makes perfect, even when you're fighting with sex toys.