Michelle Yeoh And Ke Huy Quan Made History At The SAG Awards
The SAG Awards happened last night, and the only way to watch it was to watch it on Netflix’s YouTube Channel. Listen, it could’ve been worse. They could’ve shown it exclusively on TikTok and made the winners bust out TikTok dances or do TikTok challenges while accepting their trophy. Or Netflix could’ve turned the SAG Awards into a Squid Games-style challenge where nominees have to battle it out to the death for the trophy (that’s next year). But those who watched this year’s SAG Awards on Netflix’s YouTube Channel watched the cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once get their cardio in by picking up award after award. And one of EEAAO‘s stars, the legendary James Hong, showed us that at 94 years old, he’s still got IT by easily becoming the sparkling star of the night!
Last night’s SAG Awards wasn’t totally an Everything Everywhere All at Once Appreciation Ceremony. Others won too. On the TV side, Abbott Elementary won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, The White Lotus won Oustanding Ensemble in a Drama Series, Jason Bateman won Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series for Ozark, Jennifer Coolidge won Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series for The White Lotus, Jeremy Allen White won Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series for The Bear, and Jean Smart won Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series for Hacks. And EEAAO didn’t pick up the win for Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role – Motion Picture and only because they didn’t have a nomination in that category. But they should’ve just given that award to Michelle Yeoh too!
Brendan Fraser won Oustanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in The Whale, beating out Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Bill Nighy (Living), and Adam Sandler (Hustle). Surprisingly, the first words out of Brendan’s mouth when he took to the mic weren’t, “I can’t believe we all beat Adam Sandler!” Instead, Brendan brought the raw emotion and said that frequent award winner and his Gods and Monsters co-star, Sir Ian McKellen, gave him some acceptance speech advice by telling him to be “be good, be brief, and be seated.” That’s the same pep talk I give myself right before going into a Grindr hook-up. But Brendan also mentioned how his career has been at a low point before and told the actors of the world just to keep at it.
Besides Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture (which was won by the stunt cast of Top Gun: Maverick), Everything Everywhere All at Once won all the movie SAG Awards. Jamie Lee Curtis won Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture over Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), and her EEAAO co-star Stephanie Hsu. Jamie Lee celebrated her win by sucking Michelle Yeoh’s face and declaring herself a nepo baby while pointing out how amazing it is that she’s winning awards at 64.
“I love actors. I love acting. I love the job we get to do. I love being a part of a crew. I love being part of a cast. I love what we do with each other. It’s such a beautiful job. And I know that so many people in our industry who are actors who don’t get to do this job and you look at nights like this and think ‘Is that ever going to be possible for me?’ And I know you look at me and think ‘Well, nepo baby, that’s why she’s there’ — and I totally get it. But the truth of the matter is I’m 64 years old and this is just amazing!”
Ke Huy Quan made history as the first Asian actor to win Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture when he won for his performance in EEAO. The other nominees included Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse). Like his fellow comeback kid Brendan Fraser, he gave encouragement to other actors, saying that actors struggling to be seen need to keep on going “because the spotlight will one day find you.”
The category for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role – Motion Picture was down to Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), and Michelle Yeoh. Michelle won, making her the first Asian actor to win that award. And Michelle also shortened the gap between her and Cate in the race for the Best Actress OSCUH! During her speech, Michelle dropped an F-bomb (cut to angry parents furiously looking for the contact info for the FCC’s online content department, which doesn’t exist) and also got into the importance of her win for the Asian community. via CNN:
“This is not just for me, this is for every little girl that looks like me,” she said in her speech.
Yeoh went on to thank her fellow actors for the honor, saying they’re all here because they love what they do. In a moment of levity, the star let various profanities slip mid-speech while the lively crowd laughed and cheered her on.
“Thank you for giving me a seat at the table because so many of us need this. We want to be seen, we want to be heard. And tonight, you have shown us that it is possible, and I am grateful,” she said. In one last special shout out, Yeoh thanked her mom, whom she said would be “eternally grateful” to see her win the award.
And the big movie award of the night, Oustanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast, was presented by Marky Mark. So scalding hot side-eyes were thrown, and boos and hisses were made when one-time terrorizer of the Asian community, Marky Mark, presented the Motion Picture Cast award to the predominately Asian cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Marky Marky, who briefly went to jail as a teen for viciously attacking two Vietnamese American men in a hate crime, presenting an award to the cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once was definitely a choice. But thankfully, we got a palate cleanser from EEAAO star James Hong. James has been in the game for over 70 years and has over 650 credits to his name, so he got a much-deserved standing ovation at last night’s SAGs. And he shared how early in his career, he was told by a producer that Asians would never be box-office stars.
“I got my first card, SAG Card, seven years ago. My first movie was with Clark Gable. But bakc in those days, I have to tell you this, The Good Earth, the leading role was played by these guys with their eyes taped like this and they a’-talk-uh like this. Because the producer said, the Asians were not good enough, and they are not box office. But look at us now!”
Yup, look at James Hong’s ass now! And hopefully, we’ll be looking at James Hong again when EEAAO (probably) takes the Best Picture Oscar in a couple of weeks. But note to Oscar producers: don’t get Marky Mark to present that shit.
Pics: Kevin Winter/Getty Images