This cast is seriously “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
The actors in the multiverse epic took the stage to accept the final trophy of the night, for top ensemble, at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. Further cementing its status as a juggernaut of this awards season, the film won every category it was nominated in.
Taking turns to speak from a prepared joint statement, the emotional cast members celebrated their win with the same earnestness as the film’s stars ― Best Actress Michelle Yeoh, Best Supporting Actress Jamie Lee Curtis and Best Supporting Actor Ke Huy Quan ― in their acceptance speeches earlier in the evening.
“While we were individually performing, we were also connected and supporting each other as a family at the same time,” Quan said.
“But there’s one of us who has been supporting ensembles for longer than any of us has been alive,” Yeoh continued, in a tribute to Chinese American Hollywood icon James Hong. In the film, the 94-year-old actor plays the father of Evelyn Wang (Yeoh), a Chinese American immigrant who owns a laundromat being audited by the IRS.
“He is our patriarch, our friend, our gung gung,” she added, using the Cantonese phrase for grandfather.
Hong took over the rest of the address, delivering a show-stopping speech about his experience as an Asian American in Hollywood over the decades that had the audience roaring.
He noted that he first earned his SAG card some 70 years ago, and reflected on the state of Hollywood during that era. He mentioned the 1937 film “The Good Earth,” which featured white actors in yellowface.
“Back in those days ... the leading role was played by these guys with their eyes taped up like this, and they ‘talk-a-like this,’” he said. “And the producers said the Asians were not good enough and they are not box office. But look at us now!”
Hong noted that not everyone in the cast was Chinese, shouting out his co-star Curtis: “Jamie Lee ― Lee is a good Chinese name.”
“I hope I will come back and when I’m 100 years old,” he added.
As he wrapped up, he joked: “That’s all I’m going to say, otherwise, we’ll be kicked off the stage.”
“But if they try, I’ll quote what Michelle said: ‘Shut up, I can beat you up!’”
Accepting her Golden Globe for Best Actress last month, Yeoh said just that as exit music started to play her off, a reference to her prolific martial arts acting career.
Quan was the first Asian actor to win the SAG supporting actor trophy, while Yeoh was the first Asian woman to take home the Best Actress award. Curtis won the best supporting actress category, which her co-star Stephanie Hsu was also nominated in.