Michelle Yeoh was a winner at the Golden Globes on Tuesday, receiving the trophy for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her work in Everything everywhere at once.
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The star took the stage at the Beverly Hilton and reminisced about her journey to Hollywood. After receiving the trophy on stage from presenter Ana de Armas, Yeoh said: “I just want to stand here and take it all in. Forty years of not letting go of this.”
“It’s been an amazing journey and an incredible struggle to be here today, but I think it’s been worth it,” she said. “I remember when I first came to Hollywood, it was a dream come true until I got here. Because look at this face, I came here and was told, ‘You’re a minority.’ And I says: ‘No, that’s not possible’.”
Yeoh continued: “And then someone said to me, ‘You speak English.’ I mean, forget about them not knowing Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Asia, India… And then I said, ‘Yeah, the flight here was about 13 hours long, so I learned that.’
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The actress said she turned 60 last year and noted that “as the days, years and numbers get bigger, it seems the options start to get smaller too.”
Yeoh said she was about to give up after “having a really, really good run” working with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Danny Boyle, “then came the best gift – Everything everywhere at once.”
The music started to play, signaling her to finish her speech, and Yeoh clapped back, saying, “Shut up, please. I can beat you, okay? And it’s serious.”
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Yeoh thanked directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for having “the courage to write about a very ordinary immigrant, aging woman, mother, daughter…”
“I was given this gift to play a woman who resonated so deeply with me and with so many people because at the end of the day, in whatever universe she was, she was just fighting, fighting for love, for her family,” she said.
Yeoh concluded his speech by dedicating the award to “all the shoulders I stand on, all those who came before me, who are like me, and all who will be on this journey with me going forward.”
Watch her speech above and her backstage comments below.