After an over-three-and-a-half-hour awards ceremony, Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain finally presented the penultimate Oscar of the night to Michelle Yeoh, winning Best Actress for her role as unlikely verse jumper Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. After a group hug with her cast, Yeoh began her speech, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me, watching tonight this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.” She then turned her message toward women in the audience, saying, “And, ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you you are past your prime,” causing Supporting Actress winner Jamie Lee Curtis to shout “Bagel!” from the audience. “I have to dedicate this to my mom. All the moms in the world,” Yeoh continued. “Because they are really the superheroes, and without them, none of us would be here tonight.”
Yeoh dedicated the award to her family and her “extended family in Hong Kong, where I started my career,” making a special shoutout to her mother: “She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her.” After more audience applause, Yeoh finished by thanking the Academy. “This is history in the making,” she said. “Thank you!” Yeoh is the first Asian woman in the Academy’s nearly 100-year history to win Best Actress. Following her historic win, Everything Everywhere All at Once was awarded Best Picture, bringing the film’s total Oscar count up to seven of its 11 nominations. Congrats to an action legend and true stunt queen!