Michelle Yeoh has won best actress at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday (Mar 12) night, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win the award. Yeoh, who earned the trophy for her acclaimed performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” has also entered the history books for becoming the first Malaysian-born performer to be honored with a best actress Oscar.
Yeoh is the fifth person of Asian descent to win an Oscar in an acting category and the first to win in a lead acting category.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof to dream big and dreams do come true,” Yeoh gushed while accepting her Oscar.
She added: “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.”
Yeoh dedicated her Oscar to her mother, and “all the moms in the world, because they really are the superheroes and without them none of us would be here tonight.”
In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Yeoh portrayed Evelyn Wang, a beleaguered Asian American immigrant who runs a laundromat and is confronted with the staggering prospect of infinite possible lives as part of the multiverse. As she navigates this bizarre new terrain and gains exceptional new powers, she must come to terms with rifts within her family that ultimately pose a grave existential threat – all while also facing a tax audit.
Upon learning of her history-making nomination for the film in January, Yeoh told The Hollywood Reporter that “it’s taken a long time. But I think this is more than me.” She also mentioned that constantly, “Asians (are) walking up to me saying, ‘You can do it, you’re doing it for us.’ It’s like, ‘I understand. I totally understand.’ All this time, they’ve not been recognized, they’ve not been heard.”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” also stars Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, who both won in their respective supporting acting categories on Sunday night.
In total, the film won seven Academy Awards out of 11 nominations, including best picture. Among its other wins, “Everything Everywhere” clinched best original screenplay and best director for duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.