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Two of the Best Actress Oscar nominees have been honoured for roles that were originally for men

Gregory Robinson

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Two of the Best Actress Oscar nominees have been honoured for roles that were originally for men

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Out of the five amazing stars nominated for Best Actress this year, two almost didn’t get a nod from the Academy because their roles were originally designed for men.

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With Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, Andrea Riseborough, Michelle Williams and Michelle Yeoh all nominated, it’s going to be an incredibly tough race.

However, film fans may be unaware that the films Everything Everywhere All at Once and Tár, which star Yeoh and Blanchett respectively, were envisioned with men in the lead role.

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Yep, our minds are blown too.

In fact, one iconic actor was asked to star in what became yet another outstanding role for Yeoh.

Michelle Yeoh is nominated for Best Actress. Credit: A24
Michelle Yeoh is nominated for Best Actress. Credit: A24

It’s no secret that Everything Everywhere All at Once has been one of the biggest breakout films of the year. Yeoh, 60, stars in the acclaimed sci-fi film directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert as Evelyn Wang, a Chinese-American immigrant who is on a quest to connect with parallel universe versions of herself to stop a powerful being from destroying the multiverse.

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The Crazy Rich Asians star said she got a text from the legendary action film hero who was originally meant to play the lead role.

Luckily, the pair are great pals and he actually congratulated Yeoh for getting the role.

“It was written for a man, when [directors known collectively as the Daniels] set out to do this,” she told CNN.

The Daniels intended to cast Jackie Chan – the actor and martial artist – until the filmmakers decided to re-focus the film and have a middle-aged woman at the centre, which is so rare in Hollywood.

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Cate Blanchett in Tár. Credit: Universal Pictures
Cate Blanchett in Tár. Credit: Universal Pictures

“They wrote it that way, with Jackie, and me as the wife. So the roles were completely reversed,” Yeoh continued.

“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."

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Yeoh explained that the roles in films ‘seem to shrink’ as women get older. “It’s always the guy that gets to go on the adventure and save the world and rescue your daughter and you think ‘Why can’t I do that too?’”

Similarly, the main character in the acclaimed film Tár was also meant to be a man.

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The psychological film, directed and written by Todd Field, follows the life of renowned celebrity conductor Lydia Tár who becomes embroiled in a career-ending scandal over accusations of serial sexual abuse and harassment.

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Perhaps following on from the #MeToo movement - in which countless men in powerful positions were exposed for misconduct - Field intended for the controversial fictional conductor to be a man.

“When Todd was thinking about it, Tár was originally a male role,” the 53-year-old star said during Variety’s Actors on Actors series.

“Because the film is a meditation on power, you would’ve had a much less nuanced examination of that,” the Oceans 8 star said. “We understand what the corruption of male power looks like, but we need to unpack what power is itself.”

Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Credit: Hollywood News Wire Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Credit: Hollywood News Wire Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

The gender swap for this acclaimed tale on the abuse of power has made it one of the best films released in the last 12 months.

Blanchett added: “Being at the head of a major institution and therefore being in a position of being able to, and expected to, wield a certain level of authority, that has separated her from not only her craft and her creative instinct, but also from who she is.”

This is so incredible – congrats to both women!

Topics: TV And Film, Oscars

Gregory Robinson
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