When "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was released in March 2022, co-director Daniel Kwan wasn't sure if audiences would connect with the film and its multiverse premise, but they did.
"We tried to make a movie that everyone can relate with, but we thought we'd fail," said Kwan, who worked with co-creator Daniel Scheinert. "But it turns out we didn't, like literally everybody has something they can relate with."
It appears Hollywood can relate too. The A24 film garnered more Oscar nominations this week than any other film and is headed back to 1,400 theatres nationwide on Friday after earning $104.1 million globally.
The motion picture is up for 11 Oscars at the March 12 Academy Awards, including best picture and lead actress for Michelle Yeoh. Both Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu are vying for best actress in a supporting role, while Ke Huy Quan is a favorite for best supporting actor.
"Everything Everywhere All at Once" follows Evelyn Wang, portrayed by Yeoh, a Chinese-American immigrant struggling with her taxes, her relationship with her family and her overall life. Then she discovers she can traverse parallel universes as different versions of herself to save the multiverse, and possibly her family bonds.
Yeoh, who already won a Golden Globe for the role, said even after pouring love and collaboration into the movie, one never knows how it will fare.
"Once it is all done and you put it out to the world, there is no control of how it will be received, and I think sometimes it's the alignment of the stars," said the Malaysian actress.
Kwan believes that without Yeoh, the film would not have been the success it is. He said that she pulled other cast and crew members in like a magnet when they weren't sure what the project would look like.
Hsu plays one of the film's most complex characters, as both Evelyn's daughter, Joy, and the multiverse's villain, Jobu.
She said it was a role of a lifetime and a total blast.
"I remember filming the hallway scene where we're introduced to Jobu for the first time," Hsu said. "And I'm going through all these costumes, I'm like doing kung-fu, I'm like blowing up a cop's face into confetti."