Michelle Yeoh Makes Oscars History

Michelle Yeoh took home the Best Actress trophy at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night, making history in the process as the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for lead actress. Earlier in the evening, her Everything Everywhere All at Once co-star Ke Huy Quan became the second Asian actor to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Oscar; Haing S. Ngor, who was of Cambodian descent, won for The Killing Fields in 1985.

Everything Everywhere All at Once won seven of the 11 awards for which it was nominated Sunday night, including Best Picture and Best Director. Along with Yeoh and Quan, Best Supporting Actress winner Jamie Lee Curtis helped the film snag three out of the four acting awards at the ceremony.

“Despite her illustrious career in action films,” an announcer let viewers know as Yeoh, 60, made her way up to the stage, she “has no formal training in martial arts.” Yeoh got her start in Hong Kong action films, followed by roles in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies and 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Everything Everywhere All at Once marks the first widespread recognition of her talents by Hollywood.

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Here’s a full transcript of her remarks.

For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof—dream big—and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.

I wouldn’t be standing here tonight without the Daniels, without A24, without my amazing cast and crew, without everyone who was involved with Everything Everywhere All at Once. I have to dedicate this to my mom, all the moms in the world, because they are really the superheroes. And without them, none of us would be here tonight.

She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her. She’s watching this right now in Malaysia KL [Kuala Lumpur] with my family and friends. I love you guys. I’m bringing this home to you. And also to my extended family in Hong Kong, where I started my career. Thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders, giving me a leg up so that I can be here today.

And to my godchildren, to my sisters, all of them, to my brothers, to my family, thank you. Thank you. Thank you to the Academy—this is history in the making. Thank you.

Michelle Yeoh Makes Oscars History

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