Speed Reads

2021 Oscars

Youn Yuh-jung becomes the 1st South Korean woman to win an acting Oscar

Minari's Youn Yuh-jung has emerged victorious in the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category, a first for a South Korean performer.

Youn on Sunday won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first South Korean woman to ever win an Oscar for acting. In fact, she was the first South Korean woman to ever even be nominated for an acting Oscar, according to NPR.

"I cannot believe I'm here," Youn said in an acceptance speech.

Youn drew acclaim for her performance as grandmother Soon-ja in Minari, which follows a Korean family making their way in the United States, and she emerged as the favorite in the Oscars' supporting actress category in recent weeks. Prior to the Academy Awards, she also won at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the British Academy Film Awards. Her historic win came a year after Parasite, a South Korean film, became the first film not in English to win Best Picture, although no member of its cast was nominated.

"This has never happened in Korea," Youn told NPR prior to the Oscars, "and I feel like I'm an Olympian competing for my country."