Michelle Yeoh won best actress at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night, becoming the first Asian-American woman to do so. Yeoh, who won the award for her renowned portrayal in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, also made history by becoming the first Malaysian-born artist to be rewarded with an Oscar for best actress.
Yeoh is the fifth individual of Asian heritage to receive an Academy Award for acting and the first 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 come true," Yeoh said while she accepted her Oscar. "Ladies, don't let anyone tell you you are ever past your prime," she continued.
Yeoh played Evelyn Wang in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, a frustrated Asian American immigrant who owns a laundromat and is presented with the overwhelming idea of unlimited possible lives as part of the multiverse. As she navigates this strange new environment and obtains extraordinary new powers, she must deal with family schisms that ultimately represent a terrible existential threat all while facing a tax audit.
The actress told The Hollywood Reporter in January, after learning of her historic nomination for the picture, that it’s taken a long time. But she thinks this is more than her. 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 awards for supporting performance on Sunday night. The film received seven Academy Award nominations and won seven of them, including best picture. Everything Everywhere also won best original screenplay and best director for the combo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
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