'Minari' Star Youn Yuh-Jung Makes Oscars History, Flirts With Brad Pitt
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History was made in many ways during Sunday night's Oscars broadcast. Perhaps one of the most endearing moments of record-breaking belonged to Youn Yuh-Jung.
The Minari star collected her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the foul-mouthed grandmother Soon-ja, becoming the first Korean and second Asian woman to win in this category. Upon accepting her award from Brad Pitt, the 73-year-old looked at him lovingly and quipped: “Mr. Brad Pitt, nice to meet you finally. Where were you when we were filming?”
The actress remarked on the other women in her category, which included Borat Subsequent Moviefilm star Maria Bakalova, Hillbilly Elegy star Glenn Close, The Father star Olivia Colman, and Mank star Amanda Seyfried.
“How can I win over Glenn Close? I’ve been watching her for so many performances... We cannot compete [with] each other. Tonight I’m here, I had just a little bit of luck, I think. I’m luckier than you," she told the crowd.
Yuh-Jung also shared that she used to watch the Oscars in South Korea and never expected that she'd be collecting her own award one day.
“I cannot believe I’m here. Let me pull myself together," she said before going on to thank her "two boys who made me go out and work."
"This is the result because Mommy worked so hard," she continued.
Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, Minari follows a South Korean family working to find success in 1980s rural Arkansas. The film, which is inspired by Chung's childhood, has led to many accolades during this awards season for Yuh-Jung. Prior to her Oscar, she took home a BAFTA, Critics Choice Award, Independent Spirit Award, and SAG award for the role.
On being nominated for an Oscar, Yuh-jung told Deadline earlier this month:
"I was just very happy being nominated. I never even dreamed about being nominated for an Oscar," she said. "People will be very happy for me if I get the win, but it's very stressful. It's not like I'm representing the country by going to the Olympics, but I feel like I'm competing for my country. It's stressful."