Timothy Eulich has become one of Hollywood's most dependable and versatile stuntmen. Whether it's taking one for the team as a performer, taking the lead as stunt coordinator, or pulling double duty as an actor who can do his own stunts, it's kept him busy across various projects across film and television, whether it's high profile like Sony's Spider-Man: No Way Home and Netflix's Stranger Things or something on a smaller scale like How I Met Your Mother or Mad Men. Filmmakers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert had a long-standing 11-year relationship with Eulich and his talents dating back to the Battles' music video "My Machine," following through to their theatrical debut in 2016's Swiss Army Man, and now their latest multiverse film Everything Everywhere All at Once. I spoke to Eulich about how he initially met Kwan and Scheinert, comparing experiences from a tentpole blockbuster like Spider-Man to the A24 multiverse film and working with action legend and star Michelle Yeoh.
"[Dan and Daniel] wanted a stuntman and actor who could fall down an escalator for a one-shot music video," Eulich recalled. "I spent 13 hours one night falling down an escalator for them on that music video, and we became great friends, and I have been working with them ever since. So when they wrote this script, they sent it to me pretty early on, and I was just thrilled that they had written some really, really fun action sequences and their newest movie." When it came to working on a film like Spider-Man: No Way Home (where he worked on stunts but didn't coordinate them), he noted there are a lot more resources to work with. "There are more people, more equipment, all of it. With this movie, with 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,' we're trying to make the film as big as possible using only the resources that we absolutely needed to get it done," he explained. "So that was a fun challenge and offered a lot of buffer. It lends itself to being really creative with certain aspects of the action, design, and stunt work that we did."
As far as planning the sequences in Everything Everywhere All at Once, Eulich wanted the stunts to act as extensions of the filmmakers' vision. "I am really proud of all of the action that we were able to pull off in this," he said. "The goal for 'Everything' was that all the action pieces were a little different. We wanted to use action to enrich the story and develop the characters. We wanted to build action sequences that were pushing the story forward and weren't just action for the sake of action. I think that really comes through in the final edit. I do have a few favorite scenes: 'the fanny pack fight' at the beginning. The first sequence I read when I read the script, the first scene that the audience sees, you really find out a lot about the characters of everyone in that fight. The juxtaposition of using this seemingly harmless and goofy fanny pack as a devastating weapon, it was just incredibly exciting for me as a stunt coordinator to build an action scene, figuring out different ways that we could wreck the other performers with it. It was a lot of fun and one of my favorite ones to put together." In another scene Eulich recalled, "This one fight…the sharp, high-level intensity from the performers in that sequence and the wide shots that did tell that story; you see so much; Especially the performance of that violence really radiates through, again, with that juxtaposition of the absurd kind of juvenile humor, these incredible performers with butt plugs hanging out of their rear ends. It leaves me laughing, in awe of the performance and confused about why I was feeling these various emotions. That just gets me going, really speaks to me, and is exciting to put together."
Working with Everything Everywhere All at Once Star Michelle Yeoh
In the film, Yeoh plays Evelyn; an immigrant swept up in an insane adventure where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led. "It was amazing working with Michelle Yeoh," Eulich said. "Her previous films were highly influential in my decision to pursue a career as a stunt coordinator. Having an opportunity to work with her was nothing short of awesome. She was just such a lovely person who genuinely and deeply cares about everyone on set. That was great just being around her. She has such an amazing command over her physical performance and takes such exquisite care of her physical instrument. It really gives her the ability to tell a story through movement alone.
"I'm building these action sequences and using a lot of physicality and movement to tell the story," he continued. "It's a place in the story where the characters can no longer get what they want by simply speaking. Words are no longer serving them. You're placing the story where the circumstances and stakes are so high that they have no other choice but to break out into action. Having a veteran and physical performer like Michelle there to collaborate with and perform these balletic action sequences was just amazing. I can't even imagine the amount of work that she was putting into this movie because she's in just about every single frame of the film. She had such a huge character arc; just the acting and script work alone seems like a lot to me. Then, being able to come in and really perform of all this action, it's impressive."
Everything Everywhere All at One, which also stars Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenny Slate, and Harry Shum Jr, is currently in limited release, but comes to theaters everywhere on April 8th. Check out our review here.