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Michelle Yeoh Shows it’s Never Too Late to Make History

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The Everything Everywhere All at Once cast took home major wins at the 95th annual Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture.

Michelle Yeoh’s Oscar win for her role as Best Actress in Everything Everywhere All at Once showed that it is never too late to have a major win in Hollywood. “Ladies, don’t let anybody ever tell you you are past your prime. Never give up,” she said. 

(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Yeoh credits her acting journey to the time she spent in Hong Kong where she got her start in films like Magnificent Warriors and Yes, Madam in the late 1980s. Her breakout moment in America came when she appeared in Tomorrow Never Dies as she became the first Asian Bond girl alongside Pierce Brosnan.

The 60-year-old has been in the entertainment industry for decades with hit films under her belt like Avatar: The Way of Water, Crazy Rich Asians, and The School for Good and Evil. These star-studded films prepared Yeoh for her moment as the first Asian woman to receive an Oscar. 

Since the release of Everything Everywhere All at Once, she’s been able to bask in her moment and finally receive her flowers. “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said. “This is proof that … dream big, and dreams do come true.”

In the film, Yeoh starred as Evelyn Wang, a woman who travels through her own multiverse of who she is and wants to be. Yeoh, put her all into the role physicality and emotionally. 

She became the second woman of color to win Best Lead Actress, the first being Halle Berry, who presented the award to Michelle Yeoh last night. Berry won in 2002 for her role in Monster’s Ball. 

Yeoh and her fellow co-star Ke Huy Quan made Oscar history by becoming the first two Asian actors to win in the same year. Everything Everywhere All at Once, which reached $108 million at the worldwide box office and $73.8 million in the United States and Canada with $34.2 million in other territories. Yeoh has received accolades from the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. 

“Thank you to the academy,” Yeoh said. “This is history in the making.” During her Oscars press conference, Yeoh spoke about this achievement opening doors for more Asian representation in the entertainment industry. 

Jamie Lee Curtis, James Hong, Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Wang, Daniel Kwan, Stephanie Hsu, and Daniel Scheinert, winners of the Best Picture award (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

“We need this because there’s so many who have felt unseen, unheard. It’s not just the Asian community,” Yeoh said in the Oscars press room. “We deserve to be heard. We deserve to be seen. We deserve to have equal opportunity so we can have a seat at the table. That’s all we’re asking for. Give us that opportunity. Let us prove we are worthy.”

Everything Everywhere All at Once made a clean sweep by taking home seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Directing. 

“My journey started on a boat,” said co-star Ke Huy Quan. “I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American Dream.”  


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