Just two feature films into their directing career, the Daniels have established themselves as two of the most exciting voices working in independent film. One of the tenets of their style is using ridiculous, sometimes crass subject matter to make serious points.
That was certainly the case in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” their sophomore feature that incorporated butt plugs and hot dog hands into pivotal scenes. In a new interview with Variety, the film’s star Michelle Yeoh opened up about the difficult process of filming those scenes, and what they ultimately meant to her.
“The hot dog scene is the most beautiful love story in that universe,” Yeoh said. “We had these hot dog fingers; this is where I believe that filmmaking is a complete collaboration on all the different levels. It’s never about one person or two people or whatever it is. It is a true collaboration. And when you work with someone like Jamie [Lee Curtis], we looked at one another and said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ This is the scene where we’re going at it with our hot dog fingers, and those things are like hoses. They’re made to fit, but they’re made of silicone. The next day she came back and was covered in bruises and I asked her if she had had an accident. She had all these bruises on her thighs from just going for it.”
Yeoh also spoke about another memorable fight sequence involving sex toys, and how much precision went into filming the fan favorite scene.
“The Daniels are unapologetic when it comes to the raunchiness,” she said. “They’re really going to fling around dildos in a fight. Going into it, I couldn’t imagine it, but I believed in them and I trusted them. When you do something like this, you have to believe in it, otherwise, it just doesn’t work. And we all dove into it together. [The script said], ‘She pulls out two butt plugs simultaneously.’ I thought ‘How the hell am I going to do that?’ But it’s all about timing.”
But while Yeoh and co-stars like Jamie Lee Curtis have earned plenty of praise for their willingness to commit to the Daniels’ wacky ideas, she wants to make sure that the film’s crew gets proper credit as well.
“It also wasn’t us doing that,” she said. “When you rig wire work, it’s not easy. There are two sets of people going in opposite directions. There’s our amazing DP, Larkin Seiple, so we had that moving camera that needed to follow everything. There were so many things we needed to get right, but I think that scene took four or five takes.”