24.01.2023 - 19:25 / deadline.com
When 11 Oscar nominations came in for Everything Everywhere All at Once on Tuesday morning, putting it at the head of the pack, the film’s lead, Michelle Yeoh, was on a Zoom watching together with directors The Daniels and her co-star Ke Huy Quan.
In that moment, Yeoh made history as the first self-identifying Asian lead actress nominee in Academy history (Merle Oberon was nominated in 1939 but her heritage was concealed).
Speaking with Deadline following the news, Yeoh said, “I think what I, “What it means to me, is all those Asians out there go, ‘You see, it’s possible. If she can do it, I can freaking well do it as well.’ That is the most important thing. I’m very ordinary. I just work very hard. There are so many brilliant actresses, actors out there who know that they have a seat at the table. All they have to do is find an opportunity and get there.”
Yeoh was grateful to be on that Zoom call for support, she said, feeling all the significance of the moment. “I was so terrified, sitting here thinking, what if I don’t get nominated? What about all those people who have such hopes and they’ve pinned their hopes and aspirations on you to tell us that we should be there?… Sometimes you don’t do things for yourself. You tell stories because it’s important for that story to be told. And you need need it to be out there. And I understand the need for our Asians to turn around and say, ‘We need this,’ because it just validates that we deserve to have a seat at the table, and we deserve to be part of all this.”
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Meanwhile Yeoh’s co-star Stephanie Hsu was coming into land on a plane from Sydney, where she is shooting The Fall Guy with Emily Blunt and Ryan