By Jana Monji, AsAmNews Arts & Culture Writer
For playing the feisty maternal grandmother in Lee Isaac Chung’s semi-autobiographical film Minari, Youn Yuh-jung made SAG Award history as the first Korean and Asian actress to win Best Supporting Actress on Sunday night. She was also one of four people of color who won the four film acting awards, another first.
The comradery among her fellow nominees quickly became apparent after Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians fame announced the award.
Youn placed her hand to her heart as cutaways showed the nominees applauding enthusiastically with Glen Close cupping her hands together and breaking out in a genuine smile and others joining in affirmation of their support.
“I don’t know how to describe my feelings. I’m being recognized by Westerners!” she proclaimed. Youn is a major star in South Korea, but less known in the United States.
Minari had received three Screen Actors Guild nominations (Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture for Steven Yeun and Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Youn). The ensemble award went to The Trial of the Chicago 7. Youn was competing against Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father) and Helena Zengel (New of the World).
The 73-year-old Youn is also nominated for an Oscar, a British Academy Film Award and a Critics’ Choice Movie Ward, another first. “Minari” is also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Chung), Best Original Screenplay (Chung), Best Actor (Yeun) and Best Original Score (Emile Mosseri). The Academy Awards is scheduled for 25 April 2021.
The other three winning film actors were the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, Viola Davis for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture (also Ma Rainey) and Daniel Kaluuya for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Judas and the Black Messiah).
Boseman beat British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed for The Sounds of Metal, Anthony Hopkins for The Father, Gary Oldman for Mank and Steven Yeun for Minari.
Davis won over Amy Adams (Hillbill Elegy), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) and Frances McDormand (Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland)
Kaluuya won over Boseman (Da 5 Bloods), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Jared Leto (The Little Things) and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami).
Boseman had been up for a supporting actor award (Da 5 Bloods) , but lost to Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah). Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Jarel Leto (The Little Things) and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami) were also nominated in that category.
The 27th annual SAG Awards is the only awards show where only actors vote. The ceremony was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The one-hour ceremony was broadcast live on both TNT and TBS.
(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misidentified Henry Golding. We apologize for the error.)
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