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After Big Guild Wins, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Heads for Oscars

Asian actors took home multiple prizes at the SAG Awards.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 26: Michelle Yeoh attends the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage)

Michelle Yeoh


Everything Everywhere All at Once” is on a roll, collecting key wins at the DGA and the predictive PGA and SAG Awards. After winning SAG Ensemble, Female in a Leading Role for Michelle Yeoh, Male in Supporting Role for Ke Huy Quan, and Female in a Supporting Role for Jamie Lee Curtis — the first film to win four SAG Awards  —  the charming family action comedy is surging ahead of its Oscar rivals. (OK, it didn’t get a boost from the BAFTAs. That’s ancient history.) In recent years, both “Parasite” and “CODA” won big at the SAG Awards and wound up taking home Best Picture Oscars.

The SAG awards brought their own surprises. Beating out Critics Choice and BAFTA winner Cate Blanchett, Yeoh gains momentum going into final Oscar voting March 2-7. “Fuck,” said the overwhelmed actress, who is 60 and in the movie displayed not only her well-known martial arts chops but her drama and comedy skills. Yeoh became the first Asian actress to win the Female in a Leading Role award. “This is not just for me, but for every little girl who looks like me. We love what we do and never stop doing it because we love it. Thank you for giving me a seat at the table, because so many of us need this, want to be seen and heard, and tonight, now, it is possible.”

After losing to Barry Keoghan at the BAFTAs, Ke Huy Quan accepted his SAG Award with tears, admitting that “this is a really emotional moment for me. I was recently told that if I were to win I’d be the first Asian actor to win in this category. This moment also belongs to everyone who asks for change. When I stepped away from acting it was because there were so few opportunities. Michelle Yeoh, Stephane Hsu, Hong Chau: the landscape looks so different now. “

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” character actress Curtis, age 64, beat out her co-star Hsu and BAFTA winner Kerry Condon as well as “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Angela Bassett, who had won the CCA but lost the BAFTA last week. Curtis, an impressive campaigner on the awards circuit, fought back tears as she said she was wearing the wedding ring her father Tony Curtis gave to her mother, Janet Leigh. When they came to Hollywood, “they had nothing and became monstrous stars in this industry they loved so much. My parents were actors and I married an actor. I love actors.”

The “Everything Everywhere” wins were just a few among many energetic pushes overall for veterans during the evening (on the TV side, for one, Sam Elliott won a SAG prize for “1883”). Curtis, last nominated at the SAGs in 1995 for “True Lies,” has put in her actor dues, like her co-star Yeoh, who was only previously nominated in 2019 as part of the ensemble for “Crazy Rich Asians.” Despite decades of acclaimed credits, neither was Oscar-nominated until this year, either.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 26: Brendan Fraser attends the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Brendan Fraser

Getty Images

Meanwhile, the race for the Best Actor Oscar is wide open. While Austin Butler took home the BAFTA for “Elvis” last week, the SAG Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Critics Choice winner Brendan Fraser for his role as an obese man in “The Whale.” Referencing his own poignant comeback narrative, Fraser said, “If you just stay in there and put one foot in front of each other you’ll get where you need to go.” Fraser won a SAG ensemble prize for “Crash” in 2006 but has never before been represented on his own at the acting group’s awards.

At the end of the night, as the cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” celebrated the night’s top prize for Cast of a Motion Picture, 94-year-old James Hong, who played the grandfather, recalled a time when white people dressed up as Asians in Hollywood. “The producers said the Asians were not good enough and they were not box office,” he said. “Look at us now!”

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