Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night.
The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s Emma Thompson, and Cate Blanchett for Where’d You Go, Bernadette to win the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical prize for her role in The Farewell.
With her win, the 31-year-old became the first person of Asian descent to win that category and win a lead actress Golden Globe for a film.
No Asian woman had ever been nominated in the category until last year, when her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Constance Wu landed on the shortlist and was subsequently beaten by Olivia Colman for The Favourite. At the 2019 awards ceremony, Sandra Oh became the first Asian to win Best Actress in a TV show for Killing Eve.
First-time nominee Awkwafina, whose father is Chinese-American and late mother was South Korean, acknowledged her historic win backstage by saying, “I just heard that fact and it was pretty mind-blowing. There’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more, and I hope this is just the beginning.”
In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina joked to the star-studded audience at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, “This is great. If I ever fall on hard times, I’m gonna sell this, so that’s great.
“I’ve never been to the Golden Globes, so I’m here now and it’s this and it’s great. Most importantly, to Lulu Wang, our incredible director. You gave me this chance, this chance of a lifetime and taught me so much.”
She dedicated the award to her father, praised her paternal grandmother, whom she described as her “best friend”, and thanked her late mum, commenting that she “always hoped was watching from somewhere above and I hope she’s watching now.”
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