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Most Ever Asian Actors, Thanks to ‘EEAAO’ – The Hollywood Reporter


Just three years after Parasite swept every one of its possible Oscars but received nary a nomination in any of the acting categories, fellow unlikely awards favorite Everything Everywhere All at Once is responsible for helping Asian actors achieve a historic high of four nominations in a single year.

Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) will lead most stories this morning with her expected yet still historic nomination for best actress, the first woman who identifies as Asian to be recognized in that category in the Academy’s 95-year-history. (She’s joined by Blonde’s Ana de Armas, the first best actress nominee of Cuban descent.)

Supporting actor frontrunner Ke Huy Quan, whom Hollywood couldn’t find a substantive role for for nearly 40 years, is the first actor from Vietnam to be recognized by the Academy, and the second ethnically Chinese supporting actor to be nominated since Haing S. Ngor won for The Killing Fields in 1985. Quan and Yeoh’s movie daughter Stephanie Hsu makes for the third Wang family (and fourth EEAAO cast) member to earn a nomination, and she joins the supporting actress race alongside The Whale‘s Hong Chau, the first time two Asian women have shared that category in the same year.

Quan and Chau also are, incidentally, both Vietnamese war refugees who are now Oscar-nominated actors.

Just two Black performers were nominated across the four acting races this year, both in supporting: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Angela Bassett, picking up her second career nom, and Brian Tyree Henry, whose performance in Causeway was critically acclaimed but seen by many prognosticators to be a long-shot for Oscar recognition.

This year also saw a number of strong lead performances by Black actresses, including The Woman King’s Viola Davis and Till’s Danielle Deadwyler, but they were snubbed — perhaps in favor of Andrea Riseborough, whose role in the heretofore obscure film To Leslie was buoyed by a late-breaking and unconventional campaign carried by industry A-listers.

Behind the camera, Elvis’ Mandy Walker becomes just the third woman to be nominated for best cinematography since Rachel Morrison broke the glass ceiling with Mudbound in 2018. Last year, The Power of the Dog DP Ari Wegner became the second female nominee in that category’s history.

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