"I have to dedicate this to my mom, and all the moms in the world because they are really the superheroes," she said in her acceptance speech.
Michelle Yeoh made history after she became the first Asian woman to win the best actress award at the Oscars. Although her mom was not present in the Dolby Theater on March 12 to see her daughter win an Oscar, she watched the historic moment live in Malaysia. In a video posted on Malaysia's social media, the Oscar-winner’s mom, Janet Yeoh, was seen sitting in a room full of people holding her hands together in anticipation as presenter Jessica Chastain opened the envelope, as per CNN.
Janet Yeoh, mother of Michelle Yeoh, celebrates during a live viewing at a cinema in Malaysia after her daughter won the Oscar for best actress.— The Associated Press (@AP) March 13, 2023
“I have to dedicate this to my mom and all the moms in the world,” Michelle Yeoh said during her speech. https://t.co/ZZrf9Ix6hH pic.twitter.com/nzT6mkfi1x
Once Chastain announced Michelle Yeoh as the winner of the best actress award for her role in Everything Everywhere all at Once, a symphony of cheers could be heard in the video as Janet embraced family and friends and wiped away tears of joy. Yeoh, who was born in Ipoh, a city in the northwestern state of Perak, Malaysia, played Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once, the sci-fi comedy film that won a total of seven Oscars, as per Insider.
In her acceptance speech, Yeoh said, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.” She added, “This is proof that dreams — dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up." Yeoh, 60, dedicated the historic win to her 84-year-old mother, Janet, whom she said was watching the awards show on television from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. "I have to dedicate this to my mom, and all the moms in the world because they are really the superheroes. And without them, none of us will be here tonight," Yeoh said. "I'm taking this home to her," she continued.
Watch the moment Janet Yeoh realized her daughter, Michelle Yeoh, had made history as the first Asian star to win best actress in the 95-year history of the Academy Awards, for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” https://t.co/0CPbdMjUCy pic.twitter.com/41nl36OlYz— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 13, 2023
Yeoh, who's known for starring in blockbuster hits like the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies and Crazy Rich Asians, describes herself as a foodie. In a December 2022, interview with Netflix Malaysia, Yeoh also shared the seven dishes she loves the most from her hometown. "It goes on and on and on," Yeoh said at the time when listing her favorite local meals, adding that "Malaysia offers the best food."
Many Oscar winners remembered their mothers on their special day, Ke Huy Quan, who won the award for best-supporting actor for his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, also thanked his mom for the sacrifices she made during his acceptance speech. He spoke about spending a year in a refugee camp as a child and finding himself as an adult on Hollywood’s biggest stage. “They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I can’t believe it’s happening to me,” Quan said.
When costume designer Ruth E. Carter became the first woman of color to win two Academy Awards on March 12, she revealed in her speech that her mother recently died at the age of 101. Carter said her work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever prepared her for the moment and dedicated the award to her late mom.
As Michelle Yeoh clutched her Oscar in the press room after winning her award, she perhaps summed up the night's mood in the best way, saying, “This movie has helped to open hearts between families – whether it’s husband and wife, daughters and mothers, daughters and fathers. But just simply family.” She added, “We never give up on each other.” Yeoh's mom could not have been more proud of her daughter's recent successes leading to an Oscar win!
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Amy Sussman; (R) Youtube | South China Morning Post