Oscars 2023: Michelle Yeoh says she ‘kung fu’d’ glass ceiling with historic best actress win
Michelle Yeoh, winner of the Best Actress in a Leading Role award for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” poses in the press room during the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
Michelle Yeoh is reminding people that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.
Last night, Yeoh, 60, became the first Asian woman to win best actress at the Oscars for her leading performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
“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,” Yeoh said during her acceptance speech. “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.”
The Malaysian-born Yeoh is only the second woman of color ever to take home the award. Halle Berry was the first, winning in 2002 for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” This was Yeoh’s first Oscar nomination.
In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Yeoh plays Evelyn Wang, a Chinese American mother and laundromat owner who becomes an unlikely superhero when she’s told she must jump between absurd parallel universes in order to save the world.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” won seven Oscars including best picture and best director.
“I have to thank the academy for acknowledging, embracing diversity and true representation,” Yeoh told reporters after her win.
“I think this is something that we have been working so hard towards for a very long time, and tonight we freaking broke that glass ceiling,” she continued. “I kung fu’d it out and shattered it, and we need this because there are so many who felt unseen, unheard,” adding that her win is for “the Asian community and anyone who has ever been identified as a minority.”
Yeoh dedicated her win to “all the moms in the world” who she said “are really the superheroes,” giving a special shoutout to her mother, Janet, in her acceptance speech.
“She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her,” Yeoh added. “She’s watching right now, in Malaysia with my family and friends. I love you guys, and 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 I can be here today.”
Yeoh got her start in Hong Kong action movies, before landing bigger roles in global films like 1997′s “Tomorrow Never Dies” and 2000′s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
As far as advice for others who want to carve out similar a similar path in Hollywood, Yeoh urged people to “never be afraid” and “never give up” on their dreams.
“If this is your passion, this is your love, you have to stand up for yourself and for what you believe in and for what you want to do,” she told reporters backstage. “I’m still here today … Finally, after 40 years, I get this,” she told reporters backstage while holding up her award.
Yeoh continued: “Light that fire in your soul and stay on the path. Believe. Dare to dream. Because if you don’t dream, it’s impossible. Nothing is impossible. Look at me, I’m here.”
Smith, M. (2023, March 13). Oscars 2023: Michelle Yeoh says she “kung fu’d” glass ceiling with historic best actress win. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/13/oscars-2023-michelle-yeoh-says-she-kung-fud-glass-ceiling-with-best-actress-win.html