Here Are 8 "Everything Everywhere All At Once" Actors In Their First Major Role Vs. In The Film Vs. In Real Life

One of the best and most-talked about movies of 2022 is definitely Everything Everywhere All at Once.

three of the characters backing up
A24 / Everett Collection

Directed and written by the Daniels, aka Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the film follows Evelyn, a woman who is being audited by the IRS when she discovers that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent a powerful being from destroying the multiverse. Literally, THIS is a multiverse of madness.

a family sitting in the cubicle of the IRS  office
Allyson Riggs / A24 / Everett Collection

Everything Everywhere All at Once has become a good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth smash hit, with more and more people flocking to theaters to see it. In fact, it recently became A24's highest grossing film at the domestic box office of all time, which is a massive accomplishment.

a character looking down at her palms in confusion
Allyson Riggs / A24 / Everett Collection

Alongside an amazing story, the film also boasts an extremely talented cast, who we should all hopefully see getting their much-deserved praise when awards season comes around. So, to celebrate Everything Everywhere All at Once, below are some photos of the cast in their first big role vs. in the movie vs. IRL:

1.Michelle Yeoh in her first role as Ms. Yeung in The Owl vs Bombo in 1984:

Michelle holding a binder as she talks to someone

After starring in numerous 1990s Hong Kong action films, Michelle's breakthrough performance came in 1997 when she starred as Wai Lin in the James Bond film. Tomorrow Never Dies. Then, in 2000, she starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which earned her numerous awards nominations. Michelle also starred in Memoirs of a Geisha, Reign of Assassins, The Lady, and more before her most recent roles in Crazy Rich Asians, Star Trek: Discovery, and others.

Fortune Star Media Limited / Via

Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

Michelle with blood on her face and a large glue-on eye on her forehead
Allyson Riggs / A24 / Everett Collection

Michelle has called the film one of the highlights of her career, but the role was originally meant for Jackie Chan. The Daniels even went to China to offer the role to Jackie. Now, Michelle won't let her friend live down the fact that he turned down such an iconic role. "Jackie actually texted me," Michelle recalled. "And he says: 'Wow, I hear amazing things about your movie. Did you know that the boys came to see me in China?' And I said: 'Yes, your loss, my bro!'"

Michelle Yeoh in real life:

Michelle in an off-the-shoulder gown for a red carpet event

After Everything Everywhere All at Once, Michelle will be seen in Avatar: The Way of Water, The School for Good and Evil, and The Witcher: Blood Origin.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum / Vogue

2.Stephanie Hsu in her first notable role as "Female Protestor" in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

Stephanie wearing Overalls and a shirt that says Titus = #3 Hitler

After a small role in The Four-Faced Liar, Stephanie's first notable TV role was in an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2. Also, from 2013 to 2015, she appeared on MTV's Girl Code as herself. Stephanie then went on to appear in The Path before landing her most widely recognized role as Mei Lin in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She is also an accomplished Broadway actor, who originated the roles of Christine in Be More Chill and Karen in The SpongeBob Musical.


Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

Stephanie wearing only one glove and with red circles around her eyes
A24 / Via

Speaking about filming Everything Everywhere All at Once, Stephanie said she was "fearless" because it was her first big movie. "I had no concept of how Hollywood works. I just got so lucky, and I think was able to achieve that performance because I was fearless and I was not afraid of how people would perceive me to other work because it was just my first big feature," Stephanie told Collider. "But I remember telling Dan Kwan at the time, I was like, 'This movie is gonna bring people back to the movie theaters!'"

Stephanie Hsu in real life:

Close up of Stephanie at an event

Up next, you can watch Stephanie in the final season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the upcoming series American Born Chinese, which she will appear in alongside Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.

Tommaso Boddi / WireImage / Getty Images

3.Ke Huy Quan in his first role as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984:

Ke as a young boy in the film

Ke Huy made his acting debut opposite Harrison Ford and Kate Kapshaw in Steven Spielberg's second Indiana Jones movie. Then, a year later, he starred as Data in The Goonies. In 1991, Ke Huy starred as Jasper Kwong in Head of the Class. He then took a break from acting until 2021, when he appeared in Netflix's Finding 'Ohana.

Paramount Pictures

Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

close up of Ke in a polo shirt and small oval shaped glasses
A24 / Via

After being a well-known child actor, Ke took a long break from acting, but after seeing Crazy Rich Asians, he signed with a new agent and the first script he read was for Everything Everywhere All at Once. He told GQ, "I saw my fellow Asian actors up on the screen [in Crazy Rich Asians], and I had serious FOMO because I wanted to be up there with them. I thought about it for a long time, because I hadn’t done it in 20 years, and you don’t know if people will still embrace you. But when I stepped in front of the camera again, I realized that's what was missing all those years."

Ke Huy Quan in real life:

close up of Ke wearing a double-breasted blazer and thick glasses

After Everything Everywhere All at Once, he'll be reuniting with Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu in American Born Chinese.

Tommaso Boddi / WireImage / Getty Images

4.James Hong in his first role as Judge #4 in TV Reader's Digest in 1955:

close up of James wearing a military uniform and hat

After several uncredited film roles, James's first notable role came when he appeared in TV Reader's Digest. From there, he continued to star in numerous TV shows and movies and even re-dubbed several Asian films. In 1982, he starred in Blade Runner as Hannibal Chew and then David Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China in 1986, with both roles being two of his most notable. He's also appeared in Jackie Chan Adventures, and lent his voice to several animated projects, like Mulan and King Fu Panda. He's appeared in more than 600 films, TV shows, and video games.

ABC / Via

James Hong as Gong Gong in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

close up of an older James with thinning hair, a vest over a striped button down and bluetooth ear piece
A24 / Everett Collection

James established East West Players to help increase Asian representation in the acting industry, and he said that this movie is a great example of how far they've come. He hopes every Asian actor gets a role like Michelle Yeoh's Evelyn. "I hope in my lifetime, I see them all, eventually, in much bigger roles," he explained. "So like Stephanie [Hsu], the leading lady, and Ke [Huy Quan], who has returned back to the industry. He stayed off for a long time, because there were no roles. Now there are! I'm so happy."

James Hong in real life:

James kneeling down next to his Hollywood star

In 2022, James Hong was finally honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he became the oldest person to accept the honor at the age of 93. In 2020, actor Daniel Dae Kim championed a fan campaign to get James a star. Alongside Everything Everywhere All at Once, he also voiced Mr. Gao in Disney's Turning Red in 2022. Next up, he'll once again voice Mr. Ping in the upcoming TV series Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight.

Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

5.Jamie Lee Curtis in her first big role as Lt. Barbara Duran in Operation Petticoat from 1977 to 1978.

close ups of Jamie in the series

After appearing in episodes of shows like Quincy M.E, Columbo, and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Jamie's first major credit was when she starred in the short-lived series Operation Petticoat. After starring in only Season 1, Jamie landed the part of Laurie in Halloween, a character that she is still playing to this day. Of course, Jamie's career exploded from there and she went on to appear in numerous Halloween sequels, Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies, Freaky Friday, Knives Out, and many, many more films and TV shows.

ABC / Everett Collection

Jamie Lee Curtis as Deirdre Beaubeirdra in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

Jamie has a grey bob hair cut and wears a sweater vest over a turtleneck behind her desk
A24 / Everett Collection

For the movie, Jamie was grateful that the Daniels allowed her to not "conceal" her real body while playing this wacky IRS inspector. She said, "My instruction to everybody was: I want there to be no concealing of anything. I've been sucking my stomach in since I was 11, when you start being conscious of boys and bodies, and the jeans are super tight. I very specifically decided to relinquish and release every muscle I had that I used to clench to hide the reality. That was my goal. I have never felt more free creatively and physically."

Jamie Lee Curtis in real life:

Jamie a long sparkly dress with long sleeves and turtleneck

Up next, she'll reprise her role as Laurie in Halloween Ends, which will mark the the thirteenth installment of the Halloween movie franchise. She'll also be starring in Borderlands and Spychosis.

Future Publishing / Getty Images

6.Tallie Medel in her first major role as Frankie in Inside Amy Schumer in 2015:

close up of Tallie hanging out with a group of friends

After starring in numerous short films and comedy sketches, Tallie's first big role came when she appeared in an episode of Inside Amy Schumer. From there, she went on to appear in episodes of Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack, Brooklynification, The Special without Brett Davis, Broad City, and much more.

Comedy Central / Via

Tallie Medel as Becky Sregor in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

Tallie with half her head shaved and wearing a button down shirt
Allyson Riggs / A24 / Everett Collection

Tallie explained that filming Everything Everywhere All at Once was "just like making movies in your backyard with your friends." Everyone collaborated closely with each other and the entire shoot took only 38 days over eight weeks.

Tallie Medel in real life:

Tallie in a long-sleeved dress on the red carpet

Alongside acting in films and TV shows, Tallie also hosts Darling Tallie, a hybrid comedy and dance show alongside other comedians.

Jemal Countess / Getty Images for IFP

7.Jenny Slate in her first notable role as Jenny the Page in 7th Floor West on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009:

close up of Jenny wearing a uniform on the side of the stage

After appearing in a few TV episodes, Jenny's first widely-recognized role was when she would appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as Jenny the Page. From there, she became a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live Season 35. And in 2010, she notably voiced Marcel in Marcel the Shell with Shoes On before lending her voice as Tammy Larsen in Bob's Burgers. Jenny's biggest and most recognizable role came in 2013 when she starred as Mona-Lisa Saperstein in Parks and Recreation. From there, she's gone on to appear in numerous TV shows and movies like Big Mouth, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Drunk History, I Want You Back, and more.

NBC / Via

Jenny Slate as Debbie the Dog Mom in Everything Everywhere All At Once in 2022:

Jenny with long hair holding her small dog in her arms
Allyson Riggs / A24 / Everett Collection

Originally, Jenny's character had a much bigger character arc that was ultimately cut from the final version of the movie. Director Dan Kwan explained, "[Debbie and Evelyn] had this touching moment on the staircase that helps clean up that loop. Instead, we just beat up her dog and she's gone."

the cast at the SXSW film fest
Amy E. Price / Getty Images / SXSW

Jenny Slate in real life:

close up of Jenny with short hair wearing a tie-dye jacket at an event

After Everything Everywhere All at Once, you'll be able to catch Jenny voicing Tammy in The Bob's Burgers Movie and she voices a character in the TV series The Great North. Jenny will also once again voice Marcel in the upcoming A24 film Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.

Steve Jennings / Getty Images

8.Harry Shum Jr. in his first big role as Cable in Step Up 2: The Streets in 2008:

Harry wearing a newsboy cap and messing with recording equipment

In the mid-2000s, Harry appeared in You Got Served and Stomp the Yard as an unnamed dancer before landing the role of Cable in Step Up 2: The Streets. He also appeared in episodes of Zoey 101, Greek, and iCarly, before landing his breakout role as Mike Chang on Glee in 2009. After Glee, Harry went on to star as Magnus Bane in Shadowhunters and he starred in movies like Crazy Rich Asians, All My Life, Love Hard, and more.

Touchstone Pictures

Harry Shum Jr. as Chad in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022:

Harry carries Michelle on his shoulders as they walk outside at night
A24 / Everett Collection

In a heartfelt Instagram post, Harry expressed his gratitude for being part of the film. "After the screening at SXSW where we spent a good two hours giving speeches to each other expressing our love," Harry wrote. "Wild cheers and appreciation for being a part of this special film — it resulted to our squishy group hug." He also talked about how amazing it was to watch Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis "finally get to show their range."

Harry Shum Jr. in real life:

close up of Harry at the movie premiere

It was recently announced that Harry Shum Jr. will star in a Crazy Rich Asians spinoff alongside Gemma Chan. The spinoff film is currently in development and would follow Charlie and Astrid's love story.

Jerod Harris / FilmMagic / Getty Images

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