The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the Oscar for best actress in a leading role to an Asian woman for the first time in its 95-year history. Michelle Yeoh won the Oscar for her role in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. In the movie, she plays Evelyn Wang, a first-generation Chinese immigrant who owns a laundromat and is the center of the film’s absurdist multiverse.
Michelle Yeoh, an actress, wants to change how we think of superheroes.
As Yeoh walked up to the podium to accept her award, she got a long-standing ovation.
She held up the Oscar statuette and said,
For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibility.
“And ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you you are past your prime.”
She dedicated her win to her mother, whom she called a “superhero.”
More About the Michelle Yeoh
Yeoh, who was born in Malaysia, first became famous in Hong Kong movies. Then, in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Crazy Rich Asians, she became known around the world. This was the first time she was up for an Oscar.
Yeoh told Alisa Chang of All Things Considered last April that she thought Asians could finally have a bigger voice in Hollywood and in society as a whole.
“We just have to rock the boat and say, look at us,” she said.
“Give us a chance – because guess what? We exist in your society. We are part of society and very, very much an intricate part of this whole community. This is the only way we will get more opportunities — if we fight for it and no longer be able to say, OK, I’ll turn the other cheek. Dang — no more turning the other cheek.”
Before tonight’s ceremony, Yeoh had already won a Golden Globe, an Independent Spirit Award, several local Film Critics Awards, a SAG Award, and nominations for a Critics’ Choice Award and a BAFTA Award for her work in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.