Actress Yuh-jung Youn has worked in the industry for decades – but the American audience met and loved her because of her role as grandmother Soonja in Minari. She got off to a strong start into the award season and won award after award. Even more exciting were her various viral acceptance speeches – at the BAFTAs, where she won the award for best supporting actress, she jokingly described the English as “very snobbish, but not bad”.
On Sunday night at the 93rd Academy Awards, Yuh-Jung Youn made history as the first Korean woman to win Best Supporting Actress (she is the second Asian woman to win the award after Miyoshi Umeki won Sayonara in 1957). And her speech, which she supposedly hadn’t planned ahead of time, didn’t disappoint.
Youn immediately freaked out about Brad Pitt announcing her victory. “Mr. Brad Pitt, nice to meet you at last,” she said breathlessly while he was backstage. “Where were you when we were filming? It’s a great honor to meet you.”
“As you know, I’m from Korea and my name is Yuh-jung Youn. Most Europeans call me Yuh-youn, and some of them call me Yuh-young. But tonight you are all forgiven, ”she continued from the crowd with lots of laughter. “Okay, let me pull myself together.” After thanking fellow Minari colleagues Steven Yeun and Alan Kim, Youn called director Lee Isaac Chung “our captain and director.”
But she wasn’t done with the hijinks. “I don’t believe in competition,” she continued. “How could I win Glenn Close? I’ve watched her perform a lot. “(Minutes after the actress gave her speech, the Internet had already picked up the idea of a close-youn friendship and ran with it.)
“All my [fellow] Five nominees, we’re winners for different films, we play different roles, ”said Youn. “I’m just a little lucky tonight, I think maybe. I’m happier than you. And maybe it’s American hospitality for a Korean actor – I’m not sure. “(At this point the camera panned to Amanda Seyfried, who visibly said,” I love her! “)
But Youn, always the loving and motherly type, ended her speech on a more serious note – albeit with a little cheek. “I want to thank my two boys for making me go out and work,” she said. “That’s the result because mom works so hard.”