Michelle Yeoh Celebrates Golden Globes Win: “40 Years, Not Letting Go”
Image Source: Getty / Rich Polk / NBC
Michelle Yeoh took home the award for best actress in a musical or comedy film at the 2023 Golden Globes, winning for her role as universe-jumping laundromat owner Evelyn Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The legend celebrated her win at the Jan. 10 event with an impassioned look back at her journey to the moment.
“I’m just gonna stand here and take this all in,” she said. “Forty years, not letting go of this . . . It’s been an amazing journey and incredible fight 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,” she continued, causing the audience to burst into laughter.
“Look at this face,” she continued. “I came here and was told, ‘You’re a minority,’ and I’m like – no, that’s not possible. Then someone said to me, ‘You speak English?’ I mean, forget about them not knowing Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Asia, India. I said, ‘Yeah, the flight here was about 13 hours long, so I learned.'”
Yeoh went on to become an icon, but she said that in recent years she began to worry her career might be over. “I turned 60 last year,” she said. “I think all of you women understand this – as the days, the years, and the numbers get bigger, it seems like opportunities start to get smaller as well. I probably was at a time where I thought – hey, come on, girl, you had a really, really good run. You worked with some of the best people – Steven Spielberg, James Cameron – and so, it’s good. Then along came the best gift: ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once.'”
At that point, music started playing, and Yeoh said, “Shut up, please. I can beat you up. And that’s serious.” She then went on to thank the movie’s producers and directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “who had the courage to write about a very ornery immigrant Asian woman, mother, daughter,” she said. “I was given this gift of playing this woman who resonated so deeply with me and so many people. Because at the end of the day, in whatever universe she was at, she was just fighting – fighting for love, for her family.” She also thanked Ke Huy Quan, who won best-supporting actor earlier in the night for his role as her husband; Stephanie Hsu, who played her daughter; and her “hot dog lover,” Jamie Lee Curtis.
At the end of her speech, she thanked “all the shoulders that I stand on, all who came before me, who looks like me, and all who are going on this journey with me forward. Thank you for believing in us.”
On the red carpet before her win, Yeoh told Entertainment Tonight that she feels “it’s about time” for her to be recognized after her decades of work in Hollywood. “It’s like, you know, you work and you work, and you put your head down, and you think it’s OK because you love what you’re doing and you’re giving your best, and your working with people that you really, really enjoy. And they become like family, and all this is not what you started off with, and it’s OK, it’s OK,” she said. “But, of course, when you look at your peers, and you go like [sighs] and suddenly now – to be able to be getting understanding – what it feels like to really be seen, it does make a difference.”