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Youn Yuh-jung becomes first Asian actress to win SAG's Best Supporting Actress

Writer: Heidi Hsia

 Youn Yuh-jung is already a very popular and famous actress in South Korea.
Youn Yuh-jung is already a very popular and famous actress in South Korea.

5 Apr – Veteran Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung has made a new record by winning Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role category at the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The actress, who won for her performance in "Minari", became the first Korean actress to ever win the said accolade, besting other contenders; Maria Bakalova ("Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"), Glenn Close ("Hillbilly Elegy"), Olivia Colman ("The Father") and Helena Zengel ("News of the World").

"I don't know how to describe my feelings. I'm being recognised by Westerners," said Youn in her acceptance speech, subsequently apologising for her lack of English proficiency. Thanking her peer actors and the SAG-AFTRA for the honour, she added, "I'm very pleased and happy."


A scene from "Minari", Youn Yuh-jung is here with Steven Yeun, who happens to be the first
Asian-American to be nominated in the Best Male Lead category at the Academy Awards.

Though the 73 year-old has described herself as a "Far East nobody" in a previous interview, but is already a big name in South Korea for her many film roles including "Woman of Fire", "The Bacchus Lady" and "The Housemaid". Fans of Korean variety programmes would also know Youn for her reality shows like "Sisters Over Flowers" and "Youn's Kitchen".

Aside from being the first Asian winner at the event, Youn is also the first Asian woman winner in any individual SAG motion picture category.

In "Minari", the actress plays the matriarch Soon-ja who moves from South Korea to the Arkansas farm where her family lives.


The actress is most known by her Asian fans as the beloved head and maternal figure of "Youn's Kitchen"

Cinema Online, 05 April 2021

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