Yuh-Jung Youn becomes first Korean actor to win solo SAG Award for film
Yuh-Jung Youn has taken home the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role at the SAG Awards for her powerful performance in Minari. She is now officially the first Korean actor to ever win a solo acting SAG award for film.
This year, Youn was up against a brilliant group of actors including Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman for The Father and Helena Zengel for News Of The World.
Unlike other television and film award shows, the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ nominees and winners are voted on entirely by their peers. Approximately 160,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA union take part in the voting process each year. This group is made of numerous individuals within the entertainment industry including actors, announcers, dancers and recording artists among others.
This year, SAG-AFTRA has recognized Youn for her performance as Soonja in Minari. During her speech, Youn gave a special thanks to all of her fellow nominees and expressed her gratitude for being recognized by other actors and those in the industry.
"I don’t know how to describe my feelings. I’m being recognized by Westerners," Youn says in her speech. "I’m honored, especially [that my] actor fellows chose me as their supporting actress!"
In the Lee Isaac Chung-directed Minari, Youn plays grandma Soonja who travels to rural Arkansas to help her son-in-law Jacob (Steven Yeun) and daughter Monica (Yeri Han) with their children David (Alan Kim) and Anne (Noel Kate Cho). While Jacob and Monica tend to their new farmland, Soonja introduces Korean traditions to her grandchildren.
With a decades-spanning career, Youn is already a well-known actress in South Korea and across Asia. In 1971, she made her acting debut in the South Korean film Hwanyeo (Woman Of Fire). However, Minari has now introduced her talent to a whole new audience in North America.
This year, Youn has earned her first-ever nomination, and win, at the SAG Awards for her powerful performance in Minari. As it turns out, her win is pretty historic. Youn is now the first-ever Korean actor to win a solo acting award for film at the SAG Awards.
Her co-star Steven Yeun is also up for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. Additionally, the film’s actors are nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Alongside the SAG Awards, Youn’s performance in Minari has led to numerous nominations at other award shows this year. At the Critics Choice Awards, she was up for Best Supporting Actress but lost to Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. However, Youn has already made history at the Academy Awards. She is the first Korean actor to ever be nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category in its 92-year history.
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Similarly, Yeun is also the first Asian-American to be up for the Best Lead Actor Oscar. Minari managed to snag four other nominations at the Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score.
Following the historic Oscars nominations, director Chung shared his gratitude for the prestigious acknowledgment. Amid the uprise in hate crimes and violence against the Asian community in recent months, Chung hopes Minari stands as a reminder that we are all human beings.
“It means so much to me because we made this as a team…we made this as a family,” Chung tells Deadline. “I just feel so damn proud for the entire family behind Minari. I hope that what we are putting forward with this film is that we are not an issue. We are human beings first and foremost."
The trailer for Minari is available to stream below.
More on the 2021 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role nominees
In Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Bakalova plays Tutar Sagdiyev, Borat’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) daughter. Following the aftermath of the 2006 film, Kazakh journalist Borat is released from the country’s head of government Nursultan Nazarbayev. Under new terms, Borat must deliver the Kazakh Minister of Culture to then-President Donald Trump as a way of redemption for the country. As a result, Borat decides to offer his daughter up for marriage to former Vice President Mike Pence as a way to get close to the Trump administration.
This year marks Bakalova’s first-ever nomination at the SAG Awards. Previously, she was recognized in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category at the Golden Globes. In the end, Rosamund Pike ended up winning the award for I Care A Lot. However, Bakalova did go on to win Best Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice Awards.
Along with Bakalova’s nominations and win, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm has also been recognized at various award shows. At the Golden Globes, the comedy mockumentary took home Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Baron Cohen also won Best Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is also nominated at the Academy Awards. Bakalova is up for Best Supporting Actress which marks her first-ever Oscars nomination. As well, the film has been recognized in the Adapted Screenplay category. Previously, Borat was nominated in this same category in 2007 but lost to The Departed.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video, and the trailer is available to watch below.
Hillbilly Elegy is based on the telling memoir of the same name by J.D. Vance. The film follows Vance (Gabriel Basso) as he returns home from law school to find his mom Bev (Amy Adams) worse off than ever before. With Bev on the brink of homelessness and addicted to drugs, Vance reflects back on his turbulent childhood in the suburbs of Ohio and his complex relationship with his Mamaw (Close).
This marks Close’s 10th nomination at the SAG Awards. Previously, she won Outstanding Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for The Lion In Winter in 2005. More recently, she took home the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role award for The Wife in 2019.
Her Hillbilly Elegy co-star Amy Adams is also nominated at the SAG Awards this year for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.
Close’s 2019 SAG Awards acceptance speech is available to watch below.
This year, Close was up for Best Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice Awards but lost to Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. She also earned a nomination in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes. However, the award was given to Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian.
Close’s portrayal of Mamaw has led to her eighth nomination at the Academy Awards. This year, she has been recognized in the Best Supporting Actress category which she’s been nominated in three other times.
Hillbilly Elegy is available to stream on Netflix and the trailer can be viewed below.
The Father follows the life of 80-year-old Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) who slowly begins to lose his memory. Despite his daughter Anne’s (Colman) attempts to hire numerous caregivers, Anthony stubbornly refuses to accept any outside help. However, as time goes on, Anthony starts to lose track of reality while confined within the four walls of his London flat.
This year, Colman snagged three nominations at the SAG Awards, bringing her total up to seven. Along with her powerful performance in The Father, Colman’s work on The Crown has also been recognized. She’s up for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series.
The show’s actors are also nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series. The Crown previously won this category in 2020, marking Colman’s first-ever win at the SAG Awards.
Along with Colman, Hopkins has also been nominated at the SAG Awards in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role category. Additionally, Colman has earned a slew of nominations at other award shows for her role in The Father. At the Golden Globes, she was up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture but lost to Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian. Colman was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice Awards, but the award went to Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
Despite this, Colman has earned her second nomination at the Academy Awards for her performance in The Father. This year, she is up for Best Supporting Actress. Back in 2019, Colman won her first-ever Oscar for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite.
The trailer for The Father is available to watch below.
News Of The World follows Captain Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), a Civil War veteran who agrees to deliver a girl named Johanna Leonberger (Zengel) to her blood relatives after she was taken by the Kiowa people years prior. Leonberger is reluctant to go and spends the long journey across the United States fighting with Kidd. However, after facing grave dangers as they travel hundreds of miles, Kidd and Leonberger find themselves searching for a place they can both call home.
At just 12-years-old, Zengel is one of the youngest Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role nominees. Currently, Dakota Fanning holds the record who was just seven when she was nominated for 2001’s I Am Sam. Along with this nomination, News Of The World is also up for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.
Although this is Zengel’s first-ever SAG Award nomination, the young German actress has already won some prestigious awards. Last year, she won Best Leading Actress at the German Film Award, Germany’s equivalent of the Oscars, for her role in System Crasher.
In fact, her win at the German Film Award caught the attention of News Of The World director Paul Greengrass. After coming across her work and seeing her accept the award, Greengrass eventually invited Zengel to audition for the western.
Along with the SAG Awards, Zengel also earned nominations at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. At the Golden Globes, she was recognized in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture category but lost to Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian. Zengel was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice Awards, but the award went to Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
Although both Zengel and Hanks didn’t earn acting nominations at the Oscars, News Of The World is still up for four awards. The Greengrass-directed film is nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound and Best Production Design.
The trailer for News Of The World can be viewed below.
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