Michelle Yeoh makes history by becoming Oscars’ first Asian Best Actress nominee

We have no choice but to stan.

Natalie Teo |
January 25, 2023, 2:45 pm

After winning her first Golden Globe earlier this month, Michelle Yeoh, 60, has now scored a nomination for Best Actress at the 95th Academy Awards for her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once.

This is the first time in Oscars history that an Asian has been nominated in this category.

She is up against:

  • Cate Blanchett (Tár)
  • Ana de Armas (Blonde)
  • Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)
  • Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans)

for the award.

Image via hollywoodreporter/Instagram

The film, in which she plays immigrant laundromat owner Evelyn Wang, currently leads the Oscars nomination list with 11 nominations.

Co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress, while comeback kid Ke Huy Quan is widely considered as the frontrunner to win the Best Supporting Actor award.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is also up for best picture, director(s), costume design, editing, original song, original score and original screenplay.

Some required learning for you

Even before she was Evelyn Wang, Michelle has been a familiar face on the silver screen.

Those who grew up in the 90s may remember her as the first Chinese Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies, where she played Wai Lin, a spy for the Ministry of State Security.

In 2000, she was Yu Shu Lien, a martial arts warrior, in the Lee Ang film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

She’s also had roles in movies like Memoirs of a Geisha, The Mummy and The Lady, in which she played Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, a role which notably got her blacklisted and deported by the Burmese government.

More recently, Michelle played Eleanor Young in the landmark film Crazy Rich Asians as the mother of main character Nick Young.

The fight for representation

Despite her illustrious 40-year career, Michelle has been candid about the struggles she has faced as a minority in Hollywood.

In her now-famous Golden Globes acceptance speech, she talked about her early experiences with racism.

“Someone said to me, ‘You speak English!’ I mean, forget about them not knowing Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Asia, India. And then I said, ‘Yeah the flight here was about 13 hours long so I learned.'”

She also spoke about the barriers to getting good roles as she aged.

In an interview with The New York Times following her nomination, Michelle talks about her mixed emotions of being “over the moon” at her nomination, while being “a little sad” for the Asian actresses that have gone before her.

“I hope this will shatter that frigging glass ceiling to no end, that this will continue, and we will see more of our faces up there.”

In case you needed proof that Michelle Yeoh truly has no haters

Henry Golding (who played her son in Crazy Rich Asians) only speaking truths.


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