Michelle Yeoh won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Everything Everywhere

Yeoh is the first Asian woman and the second woman of color to win the Best Actress award.

Michelle Yeoh made history. The legendary Hong Kong actor won the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 95th Academy Awards for her starring role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” becoming the first Asian woman and the second woman of color to win the award. The star took to the stage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night to accept the trophy.

Yeoh’s win came after a close competition between her and her closest competitor, Cate Blanchett and her own performance in “The Vault.” Other honorees in the category include Michelle Williams for her performance in Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde,” and Andrea Riseborough’s Dark Horse and “To Leslie,” somewhat controversial nomination.

When Yeoh was officially nominated for “Everything Everywhere” in January, he became the first Asian nominee in the category. Although part-Sri Lankan actor Merle Oberon was nominated in 1935 for “The Dark Angel,” Oberon famously hid his heritage to avoid discrimination, and his background was not discovered until after his death. With her win, Yeoh is only the second woman of color to win the best actress award, after Halle Berry won the trophy for her performance in the 2001 drama “Monster’s Ball.”

The Best Actress Oscar is the latest trophy for Yeoh to add to this year’s awards season, which also includes awards from the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Critics Association, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It was also nominated for the British Academy Film Awards and the Critics Choice Movie Awards.

Yeoh’s historic Best Actress nomination was one of 11 for “Everything Everywhere,” making the sci-fi drama comedy from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (better known as Daniels) the most nominated film of the year. In addition to Best Actress, it was recognized in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Director (for Daniels), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), two Best Supporting Actress nods (Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu), Best Original Screenplay (for also for Daniels), Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.

In an interview with IndieWire following her SAG Awards on Feb. 27, Yeoh talked about what it meant to her to play Evelyn, a Chinese-American immigrant with a strained relationship with her daughter, and the response she received from viewers of the film. .

“Promoting a film for a year is hard work. But it’s easy work when people respond to it and respond so beautifully,” Yeoh told IndieWire. “I have mothers who say, ‘I’m not sure I understand your movie, but you were very interesting. All good.’ Then they say, “But the most important thing is that my daughter saw her and called me, and I haven’t spoken to her in a few months,” because the mother-daughter relationship is always complicated. This film kind of started the healing process and opened a communication platform for husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, people.”

Yeoh, whose other well-known works include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” has plenty of projects in the pipeline following his Oscar win. This year, he will star as a robot in the film “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” and in the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “A Haunting in Venice”. He’s also heading to Pandora in “Avatar 3” and “Avatar 4,” due out in 2024 and 2026, respectively, and reuniting with the Wizard of Oz in a two-part adaptation of the hit musical “Wicked.” It will be released in 2024 and 2025.

“Everything Everywhere” premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 11 to critical acclaim, with many highlighting Yeoh’s performance as one of her best. In his review of the festival from IndieWire, David Ehrlich called it “Michelle Yeoh’s greatest performance ever” that “allows Yeoh to revisit her best roles ever and shine in roles she’s never had before.” given and diving headfirst into roles that have always seemed inferior,” praising the legendary actor for “never (allowing) him to get lost while (Evelyn) is in the multiverse.”

IndieWire’s list of the 25 best movies of 2022 ranked “Everything Everywhere All At Once” at #3. Ehrlich wrote that the film was “as overwrought as its title suggests, even younger than its provenance suggests, and creatively unconnected to the film. The moment it begins, Daniels’ previous efforts seem, in comparison, to have been done with Bressonian restraint.”

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” is currently available on Paramount+ and Showtime.

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