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Asian representation hits historic high at Academy Awards

Yong Chavez | TFC News Hollywood

Posted at Jan 28 2023 03:24 PM

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This year's Academy Awards features a record number of Asian talents in the acting categories.

In playing an immigrant mother in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,' Michelle Yeoh has been collecting accolades from various award-giving bodies. She scored her first Oscar best actress nomination for the role.

In an interview, Yeoh shared that being offered to star in the movie 'blew me away completely.'

"It was the first time in a very, very long time where the role literally was written for, without aging, Asian immigrant woman, very ordinary woman that nobody has wanted to tell the story about," she said.

Ke Huy Quan, who plays Yeoh's husband in the same film, can also add 'Oscar nominee' to his growing list of titles, which also includes Golden Globe winner.

For the first time, two Asian talents are Oscar contenders in the supporting actress category.

In 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,' Stephanie Hsu deftly portrayed the struggles faced by generations of Asian American children of immigrants.

Joining Hsu in the category is Hong Chau. The actress delivered two outstanding supporting performances in 2022 in the satire 'The Menu' and the drama 'The Whale' for which she received the Oscar nod.

She has said none of her experiences with the two films was by design.

"I could not have dreamed up the run that I've had. I did four movies in 2021, and they were all with amazing directors and with amazing scripts, so I feel really grateful. And it feels organic like it's happening the way that it should. I am not on social media. I don't have millions of followers and it feels nice knowing that I'm not getting cast for that reason," she said. "It's just based on the work so it’s just affirming for me."

The highly competitive Oscar supporting actress category was where Filipina actress Dolly De Leon campaigned to be in but ultimately the remaining spots were given by Academy voters to Jamie Lee Curtis, Kerry Condon, and Angela Bassett. 16 of the nominated acting performances this year are for first-time nominees.

The 95th Academy Awards will be held on March 12.