Michelle Yeoh’s Golden Globes win spurs hope for first Asian best actress Oscar

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh’s best actress award at the Golden Globes has sparked hope that an Oscar may be on the cards for the Malaysian star.

Ms Yeoh bagged the award for her starring role in sci-fi comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once.

“It’s been an amazing journey and an incredible fight to be here today,” she said, dedicating the award to fellow minority actors in Hollywood.

People in Asia and Asian-Americans have been celebrating her win.

In her acceptance speech, Ms Yeoh, whose showbiz career started in Hong Kong in the 1980s, reflected on her early years in Hollywood.

“I remember when I first came to Hollywood. It was a dream come true until I got here, because, look at this face. I came here and was told, ‘You are a minority’.” she continued in her speech.

“This is also for all the shoulders that I have (stood) on, all who came before me who look like me, and all who are going on this journey with me forward,” she added.

The accolade drew a flurry of congratulatory messages online, with many describing Ms Yeoh’s win as well-deserved and fans airing hopes it would boost her chances of getting the best actress Oscar.

Malaysia’s Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said it was a “great honour for the country”, while Hong Kong’s culture secretary Kevin Yeung hailed her “exceptional acting skills”.

“We are really empowered by the fact that Hong Kong actors have continued to shine in the global film industry,” he said.

“Up next: The Oscars!” said Malaysian commentator Faizal Hamssin on Twitter.

The 60-year-old played Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant who owns a failing laundromat. She beat Lesley Manville, Margot Robbie, Anya Taylor-Joy and Emma Thompson to the award.

She is the second Asian actor to win the award, after Awkwafina in 2020 for The Farewell.

Ms Yeoh became a household name for roles in Hong Kong action films, particularly those also starring with Jackie Chan. She famously did a lot of the stunts herself.

She later became better known among Western audiences for roles in James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, her Hollywood debut, and Oscar-winning drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

More recently, she appeared in the blockbusters Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

If she pulls off an Oscar, Ms Yeoh will be the first Asian actress to win the award. Nominations for the 95th Oscars will be announced later in January, while the actual awards ceremony will be held in March.

Past Asian Oscar winners include Bong Joon-Ho, who was named best director for Parasite in 2019, which was also awarded best original screenplay.

In 2020, Chloe Zhao was named best director for Nomadland, while Youn Yuh-jung won best supporting actress for Minari.

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