Michelle Yeoh Says Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo Had to Persuade Her to Join 'Wicked' Cast


Michelle Yeoh and Ariana Grande attend Michelle Yeoh's Oscar celebrations hosted by Yeoh's manager David Unger and the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We almost didn't get treated to Michelle Yeoh's appearance in upcoming movie Wicked, and apparently we have Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo to thank for her change of heart.

The Everything Everywhere All at Once star just appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and explained that she was originally dead set on refusing the role of Madame Morrible because it meant she would have to sing.

"I didn't know you could sing," Fallon told her after he brought up Wicked.

"Neither did I!" Yeoh fired back.

The actress recalled director Jon M. Chu calling her to offer her the role, and how excited she was until she looked further into it.

"I read the script. I call him, 'Jon, you realize she sings, right?' And he goes, 'Uh huh.' I don't sing! He's like, 'Eh, don't worry,'" Yeoh explained. "Then, the next day, I get this video, and I look at it, and it's like, 'Hi, Michelle. I just have two people here who really want to talk to you and tell you why you should be here.' And it was Ariana and Cynthia."

Grande and Erivo, who play Glinda and Elphaba in the movie respectively, told Yeoh that it was "imperative" she come on board.

"Imperative was the royal word," Yeoh continued. "Cynthia and Ariana are like angels—when you walk on and you hear them sing, it's like you've gone to heaven."

Before Wicked comes out on Nov. 27, Yeoh is starring in Netflix series The Brothers Sun, whose first season was released on Jan. 4. She continues to do great things!

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.