By Diana Cheng
AAP Arts and Film Writer
Sandra Oh can now savor not only the sweet taste of making history by being the first Golden Globe Awards host of Asian descent, but the first Asian-American to win twice, first in 2005 garnering the Best Supporting Actress – TV series for “Grey’s Anatomy”, and now on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, winning Best Actress in a TV series – Drama, for the BBC America production of “Killing Eve.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s glamorous highlight of the year was held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Oh and Andy Samberg (Golden Globe winner, 2014, for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) co-host the star-studded awards ceremony.
Oh started the show with a heartfelt testimonial: “I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change,” Oh said, poised but overcome with emotion, she continued, “right now, this moment is real. Trust me, it is real. Because I see you and I see you – all these faces of change – and now so will everyone else.”
Her acceptance speech after receiving the Best Actress Awards is even more moving. “There are two people here tonight that I’m so grateful are here with me,” she turns towards her parents in the audience, “Umma, Appa,” addressing them in Korean and saying she loved them, followed by a genuine bow.
Born in Ontario, Canada, to immigrant parents from South Korea, Oh switched from ballet to acting and attended the National Theatre School in Montreal. 1974 was the breakout year as she starred in the Canadian TV production of “The Diary of Evelyn Lau” which won a Gemini Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television; it was also the year of her first feature film, playing the aspiring actress Jade Li in Canadian director Mina Shum’s “Double Happiness”. The film was a winner at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1995, and brought Oh a Best Actress Genie Award.
But it would take 25 long years for Oh to arrive at the well-deserved recognition she received at the Golden Globe Sunday night. The actor’s versatility has placed her in numerous films and TV series, including “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003), “Sideways” (2004), and her most well-known role on TV as Dr. Cristina Yang in “Grey’s Anatomy”, for which she won her first Golden Globe.
The Awards show also marks another first for Asian American actors in that the popular summer movie “Crazy Rich Asians” which surpassed $230 million in worldwide box office sale, is the first feature with an all-Asian cast ever nominated for a Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Constance Wu being the first Asian-American to be nominated for a Best Actress. Although neither of these two had won, their nominations already represented a moment of change in the American film industry as Oh noted in the opening.
Other winners of diversity grasping the Golden Globe include “Green Book” winning three awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali, and Best Screenplay; Regina King garnering Best Supporting Actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk”, Alfonso Cuarón winning Best Director and his black-and-white feature from Mexico, “Roma”, winning Best Foreign Language Film.
For a full list of nominees and winners go to https://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees/2019/all
Contact Diana Cheng at [email protected] or visit her blog Ripple Effects at rippleeffects.reviews or on Twitter @Arti_Ripples