Asian talent makes history during the 2023 Oscars plus big comebacks for Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan.
The 95th Academy Awards wrapped up the awards season on March 12 in Los Angeles and it was literally a big night for the Asian community. While last year’s edition was marred by controversy because of Will Smith’s infamous hit on Chris Rock, this edition was somewhat chilled except for a few misses during the In Memoriam tribute.
Here are 5 highlights from the awards night that will go down in history.
Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian actress to win the Best Actress award
Twenty-one years after Halle Berry made history as the first woman of color to win the Best Actress award, Michelle Yeoh joins in the rank as the first Asian to win for her role in the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Coincidentally, Halle presented the award alongside fellow Best Actress awardee Jessica Chastain.
On top of being the only two women of color to win the award, Michelle and Halle were also former candidates in Miss World and appeared in James Bond movies alongside Pierce Brosnan. The Miss World Organization sent its congratulatory message to the Malaysian-born actress, who competed in 1983.
Key Huy Quan’s touching story leading to the American dream
It wasn’t only Michelle Yeoh who made the Asian community proud. American-Vietnamese actor Key Huy Quan took home the Best Supporting Actor for his role as Michelle’s husband in the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. During his speech, Key Huy, known for playing Indiana Jones’ sidekick Short Round became emotional, saying his scenario only happens supposedly in the movies.
Showing off the statue, he dedicated it to his wife and his mom saying: ” “My mom is 84 years old and she is at home watching. Ma, I just won an Oscar!”
The win was a big comeback of sorts for Key Huy who took a break from acting to concentrate behind the cameras.
Another special moment also happened to Key Huy. After the movie was declared as the Best film, he and Indiana Jones co-star Harrison Ford reunited on stage. The two got to see each other during the Disney event in 2022.
Brendan Fraser’s big comeback
Brendan Fraser’s Oscar win in 2023 marks his return to the spotlight. The Canadian-American actor won for his role as Charlie in the film The Whale, where he tries to establish a relationship with his estranged daughter.
“I’m grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale,” he said.
Chandrabose and M.M. Keeravaani’ song “Naatu Naatu” wins Best Original Song
Fourteen years after A.R Rahman’s “Jai Ho” Chandrabose and M.M. Keeravaani made India proud again by taking home an Oscar for Best Original song for “Naatu Naatu” from the Indian film RRR. Taking to the stage, booth Chandrabose and Keeravaani, who are first-time nominees, shared how they grew up to the Carpenters’ music and said thank you to the crowd.
Jamie Lee Curtis is the third in her family to get an Oscar nomination and win it!
Jamie Lee Curtis started her career in horror films but on Sunday’s night big event, she won an Oscar alongside her fellow co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Key Huy Quan for the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. The actress, known for appearing in the Halloween franchise is the third in her family to get a nomination and win it. Her late parents Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis previously earned nominations for Psycho and The Defiant Ones.
“To all of the people who have supported the genre movies I’ve made, the thousands and hundreds of thousands and people, we just won an Oscar together. My mother and father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories,” she said before once again saying she won an Oscar.
In a series of photos shared on Instagram during the event, she wrote: “This is the best photo essay of my professional career. It involves friends and colleagues and little miracles and patience, community and collaboration, and the deep seeded, hard-earned belief that once in a while, everything, everywhere, all at once coalesces into a shiny golden moment.”
“I will try not to over post from this moment and get back to the daily glow of chopping wood and carrying water, and being a worker amongst workers and loving my friends and my family and my rescue pup, Runi BUT in the thrill of the moment, what I would and should have said is to all of my friends and family and colleagues and the many strangers whose goodwill on this night I felt so deeply, I say to you all… WE WON AN OSCAR!”
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