Oscar best supporting actress Youn Yuh-jung returns to South Korea

Published May 9, 2021, 10:54 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

(Clockwise from top left) Youn Yuh-jung at Incheon International Airport, at the Oscars, with Oscars best actress Frances McDormand, with ‘Minari’ cast and her Oscars tickets (Photos: screenshot from Newsen, Oscars.org, Hook Entertainment) 

Veteran Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung returned to South Korea on May 8, two weeks after making history by winning best supporting actress at the 93rd Academy Awards.

The 73-year-old actress arrived at Incheon International Airport in the morning, wearing a face mask and her green bomber jacket she wore at the Oscars ceremony held on April 25 in Los Angeles.

She was met by the media at the airport but only waved at them due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in South Korea.

A day before her arrival, her agency, Hook Entertainment, released her statement to the media.

“The moment I won Best Supporting Actress Award is still vivid, and I am still excited and trembling. More than anything else, I am grateful to receive more love from many people who have been happy and supporting me,” she said.

Youn Yuh-jung made history by becoming the first South Korean to win an acting award at the Oscars through her role in “Minari,” a story of a South Korean immigrant family settling in a rural area in Arkansas. In the film, she plays the role of Soon-ja, who joins her family in the US to take care of her grandchildren.

She also became the second Asian to win an Oscar best supporting actress after Miyoshi Umeki of Japan won in 1957 for “Sayonara.” By bagging an Oscar, Youn Yuh-jung rewrote Korean film’s 102-year history.

“I don’t believe in competition. We are the winners for different movies. We played different roles so we cannot compete with each other. Tonight, I’m here because I had a little bit of luck, I think, I’m luckier than you. Or maybe it’s the American hospitality for the Korean actor? I’m not sure,” said Youn Yuh-jung in her acceptance speech at the Oscars, according to the Korea Times.

Before the Oscars, she won best supporting actress at the 74th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held on April 11 and at the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.held on April 4 in Los Angeles.

“Minari” was also nominated in five categories: best picture, best director and best original screenplay for Lee Isaac Chung, best actor for Steven Yeun and best original score.

In South Korea, “Minari” has sold 1.08 million tickets and grossed $8.69 million as of May 8.