Michelle Yeoh Named TIME Magazine's 2022 Icon Of The Year

With Oscars season just around the corner, the world is highly anticipating for Yeoh to be among the stars nominated.

Cover image via Michelle Watt/TIME

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Prestigious American news magazine, TIME, just named Malaysia's very own Michelle Yeoh as 'Icon of the Year' for 2022

Showering the actress in deserving praise for her numerous roles she's played in her 40-year tenure in Hollywood thus far, the write-up was quick to reckon that this may just be the very beginning for Michelle Yeoh.

Released yesterday, 6 December, the writer of the piece, Lucy Feldman, earnestly detailed one of Yeoh's most recent accomplishments, and the accolades that may follow suit.

"It's mid-November in Los Angeles, which means the city is gearing up for Oscars season, and Yeoh is holding court before an industry screening of her film, Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)," she wrote.

Yeoh's cover of TIME for the December 2022 issue.

Image via Michelle Watt/TIME

While TIME listed some of her 70 acting credits, Yeoh got candid about the struggles of being an Asian actor in Hollywood

Speaking openly, Yeoh stated that Asian actors would rarely receive top billing for a project, and were often given roles that were stereotypically harmful or inconsequential.

"It shouldn't be about my race, but it has been a battle. At least let me try," Yeoh said in the interview piece.

After receiving the revolutionary role of Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), Yeoh has somewhat been reintroduced to a whole new generation, now discovering the vast talents she's proven throughout her tenure.

"She likes to tell the story of how, during a recent press tour, she kept hearing from young journalists that their parents were excited for them to interview her. Her point is that she wants young people themselves to think she's cool and relevant," read the piece.

Yeoh as Evelyn Wang in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' (2022).

Image via Everything Everywhere All at Once/IMDb

Carrying a certain degree of pressure for this year's Academy Awards race, Yeoh understood that her potential victory would be a monumental win for Asians all around the globe

No Asian woman has ever won the category of Best Actress at the Oscars before.

"I've thought about it. And not just me — I feel like my full Asian community has thought about it. They come up to me and they say, 'You're doing it for us'," said Yeoh.

Finding herself involved in conversations with many other stellar actresses in Hollywood, white women particularly, Yeoh was forthright about the effort she put into Evelyn Wang, knowing that her opportunities would not be as many as her counterparts.

"When you get an opportunity like this, you have to pour your heart and soul into it, because you don't know when the next chance is," she said. "I think that is my biggest fear: Please don't let this be the one and only."

Closing out the article, Yeoh is looking forward to the future, and hopes to be the representation that holds up and opens doors for other Asian actors

"Yeoh has always been a woman who knows what she wants: to prove herself, to lend voice to fully embodied, fascinating characters, to play and to love and to reach generations through the magic of movies.

"Now she wants that Oscar — that validation for herself and for people around the world who look like her, like us, so we can experience what it feels like to be told we belong," read the ending of the piece.

"It's not about needing it," said Yeoh. "It's that feeling that you don't have to explain: it's love from other people. My arms are out open."

Watch Yeoh's full sit-down interview with TIME below:

Click here to read the full write-up on TIME's website.

In October, Yeoh was also selected among eight other women for Elle magazine's 'Women in Hollywood' for 2022:

Yeoh has also received an honorary doctorate from the American Film Institute (AFI), becoming the first Asian in history to claim the title:

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