Michelle Yeoh and Key Huy Quan’s wins at the Oscars put Asia once again in the spotlight since Bong Joon-ho’s win for Parasite.
On Sunday night’s Oscars in Los Angeles, the Asian community once again beamed with pride when Malaysia’s Michelle Yeoh won the Best Actress in a Lead role and American-Vietnamese actor Key Huy Quan scored the Best Supporting Actor award for their respective roles in Everything Everywhere All at Once. While Asians have been getting representation in Hollywood in recent years, the win is a sweet moment for the two stars who climbed their way up to their respective statures.
Michelle Yeoh: Family remains number one
Michelle, who skyrocketed in Hollywood thanks to her role in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies never had her own children but for her, the family still remains important. She even called her mother Janet Yeoh to show her the Oscar statue, minutes after her historic win.
Her niece, Vicky Yeoh, said that the despite her aunt spending most of her time abroad, she still remains in touch with them and has served as their inspiration.
“She is like a mother to us as well because she has no children but she keeps telling us you know what, I don’t need anybody but you are my kids,” Vicky explained of their relationship with their aunt.
“She’s always there throughout our journey – through graduation, she’s always there for us. She is the most supportive aunt that you ever had.”
Michelle has been in a long relationship with Jean Trodt. The couple even posed together with her award.
But the win is not only for her family but also for the boys and girls who she said looked like her. The actress in several of her interviews in the past months said that it’s time to shatter glass ceilings to represent those in the minority.
“We need this because there are so many who have felt unseen and unheard, not just in the Asian community—this is for the Asian community—but for anybody who’s identified as a minority. We deserve, to be heard, we deserve to be seen, [and] we deserve to have opportunities so we can have a seat at the table. That’s all we are asking for. Give us that opportunity. Let us prove we are worth it,” Michelle Yeoh said during the Oscars backstage interview.
Ke Huy Quan: The story of an Asian refugee
Once known as Indiana Jones’ sidekick Short Round, Ke Huy Quan made a big comeback in Hollywood playing Waymond Wang, the husband of Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. For the 51-year-old actor, the victory was sweet when he dedicated his award to his mom, whom he said made a lot of sacrifices.
“Mom, I just won an Oscar!” he exclaimed and later gave a shout-out to his wife, who said to him he will one day have his time.
Citing how his American dream started as a refugee, the American-Vietnamese actor said he could not believe he would be where he is not.
“I cannot believe this is happening to me. This is the American dream,” he said.
He also thanked his brother David, whom he shared has been calling him “to take care of myself”
“Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine,” he said. “To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive.”
The victory was also a reunion for Ke Huy who got to shake hands with Harrison Ford and see Brendan Fraser, an awardee himself. Both starred in The Encino Man.
During an interview with Good Morning America, Ke Huy beamed with pride as he and Brendan shared the journey they had.
“One of the most beautiful things this season is seeing this man again,” Ke Huy said. ” And seeing him holding that [Oscar], oh my gosh.”
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, March 15, Ke Huy reflected once again on the achievement.
“I hope that everyone who watched on Sunday night will find hope in our wins because the impossible was just made possible. Although it took a long time to get here, I would not have changed a thing. I never thought that I would be in a position to inspire others. This is the most meaningful part of this entire experience,” he said.
Michelle Yeoh’s and Ke Huy Quan’s wins should be a reminder to families in the region that they now have a reason to be proud. Once set aside as a minority, the voice is getting louder and louder.
Dolly de Leon may have not been nominated at the Oscars but her achievement goes to show that just like Michelle and Ke Huy, dreams are alive. They are proof that the world is now listening to the voices of the Asian community.
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