Chan told her that he had in fact been offered the lead role first, which was originally written to be a man.
In the film, Yeoh stars as Evelyn Quan, a laundromat owner who discovers the ability to travel through an infinite number of parallel universes.
Yeoh was nominated for Best Actress at the forthcoming 2023 Academy Awards for her role in the film, while Everything Everywhere All At Once is currently tipped to win Best Picture.
Speaking to CNN, she recalled of the role: “It was written for a man, when [directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known collectively as the Daniels] set out to do this.
“They wrote it that way, with Jackie, and me as the wife. So the roles were completely reversed. I remember Jackie texting me and saying, ‘Congratulations! You know your boys came to see me first.
“I’m like, ‘thank you bro, you did me a huge favour’,” she added.
Yeoh went on to suggest that it was a “mutual” decision for Chan to turn down the film. On top of Chan’s “very busy” work schedule, she also said that the Daniels had “stepped back” and decided to make the film focus on a female lead.
Yeoh and Chan starred together in the 1992 Hong Kong action classic Police Story 3: Supercop.
This year’s Academy Awards ceremony will be held on 13 March.
The Independent has compiled a full list of this year’s Oscar nominees here.
Competing against Everything Everywhere for the night’s big awards are films including The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fablemans, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Tár.