Veteran actress Youn Yuh Jung has created history. She has become the first South Korean actress ever to win an Academy Award and second South Korean citizen to win the Oscars after Parasite director Bong Joon Ho. The 73-year-old actress won Best Supporting Prize at the 93rd Academy Awards for her performance in the film Minari.
Youn Yun Jung was nominated along with Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman for The Father, and Amanda Seyfried for Mank in the Best Supporting Actress category. At the end the halmoni [grandmother in Korean language] Soon Ja took home the award.
This is the 38th award in Youn Yuh Jung has won. By winning the most prestigious award, Youn Yuh Jung has become the second Asian personality to win an Academy Award as a supporting actress after Miyoshi Umeki, who had won the award in this category in 1958.
Youn Yuh Jung’s Hilarious Academy Award Speech
Youn Yuh Jung is not only known for her performance but also for her hilarious acceptance speeches. In her speech when receiving British Academy Award, she had called the British ‘snobbish people’. During the 27th Screen Actor Guild awards ceremony, she had told “I’ve been recognized by Westerners. It’s a very very big honor,” and made everyone laugh.
Thus, during the Academy Awards, Youn Yuh Jung started her speech by searching for Brad Pitt. “Mr. Brad Pitt, finally! Nice to meet you. Where were you when we were filming? It’s an honor to meet you.” Then moving on she spoke about her name being pronounced weirdly and said that she would forgive them all.
“As you know, I’m from Korea. And actually, my name is Yuh Jung Youn, and most of you people call me Yuh Youn and some of them call me Yuh Jung. But tonight, you are all forgiven,” the Minari actress said.
Then she said that she was moving on to the typical speech style and said: “Tremendous thanks to the Academy members who voted for me. And that’s the speech they usually say.” Ending her speech, the veteran actress said, “I’d like to thank my two boys who make me go out and work. This is the result because mommy worked so hard.”
Youn Yuh Jung has acted in more than 35 films and 83 television series. After Minari, latest in her list is Pachinko [web series] also starring The King Eternal Monarch star Lee Min Ho. Minari, is an American film written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung.
Minari is about a Korean family that immigrates to the USA and starts a farm in 1980s Arkansas. The family home changes completely after their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother [played by Youn Yuh Jung] arrives to stay with them. Despite instability and challenges of this new life, Minari presents the undeniable resilience of family and makes people understand what really makes a home.