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Minari star Youn Yuh-jung makes history with win at SAG Awards

Minari star Youn Yuh-jung made history with her Screen Actors Guild Awards win (SAG Awards via AP)
Minari star Youn Yuh-jung made history with her Screen Actors Guild Awards win (SAG Awards via AP)

Minari star Youn Yuh-jung made history with her Screen Actors Guild Awards win.

The veteran South Korean actress, 73, was honoured for her portrayal of a shrewd grandmother in director Lee Isaac Chung’s poignant family drama.

Youn picked up the best female actor in a supporting role prize and became the first Asian winner of an individual SAG Award in a motion picture category.

Sandra Oh has won in the TV categories.

Youn – who is also Oscar-nominated – provided one of the most heart-warming moments of the ceremony with her touching acceptance speech.

“I don’t know how to describe my feelings,” she said. “I’m being recognised by Westerners.

“I don’t know. Am I saying right? My English is not good? I’m very pleased and happy. And thanks to SAG-AFTRA. I’m sorry, everything is not familiar.”

She praised her fellow nominees – including Borat’s Maria Bakalova, Hillbilly Elegy star Glenn Close and The Father’s Olivia Colman – and added: “Thank you.”

27th Annual SAG Awards
Youn Yuh-jung delivered a heart-warming acceptance speech at the SAG Awards (SAG Awards via AP)

Colman and Close could not hide their delight at Youn’s win.

Her victory bodes well ahead of the Oscars on April 25.

Since 2010, only one actress has won the supporting gong at the SAG Awards and not followed it up with an Oscar win.

That was A Quiet Place star Emily Blunt in 2019.

Youn is a long established star in South Korean cinema and her status in the country has been compared to that of Meryl Streep in the US.

In Minari, she plays a wily grandmother who joins her daughter and her family in the rural US as they pursue a hard-fought career in farming.

The film, which is in Korean and English, earned six Oscar nominations including best picture.

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