LOS ANGELES (AP), Michelle Yeoh won the Academy Award for best actor, making history. Born in Malaysia, the actor was the first Asian woman to win Sunday’s Academy Award for best actress for her multifaceted performance on “Everything Everywhere At Once.”
LOS ANGELES (AP), Michelle Yeoh won the Academy Award and became a historical figure.
Born in Malaysia, the actor was the first Asian woman to win Sunday’s Academy Award for best actress for her multifaceted performance on the multiversal “Everything Everywhere at Once”
This is a beacon for hope and possibility for all the little girls and boys who look like me tonight. She said that this is proof that dreams can be big and they do come true. “And ladies, never let anyone tell you that you are past your prime.
Yeoh’s win comes nearly 90 years after Luise rainer, a white actress, won the same category because she wore “yellowface” as a Chinese villager in “The Good Earth.”
Yeoh, a nominee in the category, was the first to identify as Asian. Merle Oberon was nominated for “The Dark Angel” in 1935, but did not win. She hid her South Asian heritage according to birth records.
In front of the reporters, she joyfully acknowledged the historic moment.
“I believe this is something we’ve been working hard towards for a long time, and tonight we freaking broke the glass ceiling!” Yeoh stated that Yeoh kung fu-ed it and shattered the glass ceiling.
Yeoh defeated past Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Tar“) as well as Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans“) Ana de Armas (“Blonde”), Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”) and Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”).
The category was also noted for the non-nomination of nominees. In an year that saw strong performances by Black women such as Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) or Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”), they were excluded. Some also criticized the grassroots campaigning of A-listers via social media for Riseborough.
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Yeoh also used her speech as a way to honor her mother, who is now 84 years old.
She said, “I must dedicate this to my mother and all the moms around the world because they really are the superheroes and none of us would have been here tonight without them.”
Janet Yeoh was able to witness her daughter’s victory at an Oscar watch party in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Yeoh said that her mother “has always instilled confidence in me, taught me love, taught us about kindness, and compassion.”
“The most recent thing she asked me was, ‘Don’t wear pants to Oscars.’
Yeoh was a lock after she won almost every award in the world, including the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe, for her subtle portrayal of Evelyn (an immigrant Chinese woman, mother, and laundromat operator) who is preparing for a tax audit.
Her win was one among seven Oscars for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which included best picture and editing. Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan and Daniel Scheinert won the Oscars for best supporting actor. Daniel Kwan, and Daniel Scheinert were awarded for best screenplay and directors.
Yeoh started her career in kung fu cinema, but she rose to stardom as Jackie Chan’s costar in “Supercop” in 1992. American audiences came to know Yeoh even more over the next decade through hits such as “Tomorrow Never Dies”, and “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” by Ang Lee.
Yeoh initially thought it was an independent film on steroids when she read the script for “Everything Everywhere.” However, she was eventually swayed to speak out about grandmothers and mothers of immigrants who often go unnoticed. Multiverse was also an opportunity to showcase a variety of genres, including comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy.
Yeoh, 60, is highly sought after since her role as controlling matriarch in Crazy Rich Asians.
Yeoh will appear in “American Born Chinese” later this year on Disney+. She will also be reunited with Jon M. Chu, director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” for the screen adaptation “Wicked.”