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Michelle Yeoh’s mother celebrates the Oscar victory from afar: “She has made Malaysia proud”

A proud country and a proud mother.

Michelle Yeoh’s lead actress won an Oscar on Sunday for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” sparking an explosion of excitement and enthusiasm among her family, fans and politicians at a party at a cinema in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she was born. Yeah. and got up.

“I love my daughter so much, and she has made Malaysia proud,” mother Janet Yeoh, 84, said during a news conference after the unveiling. “malaysia boleh (Malaysia can)!”

Moments before Halle Berry, the first woman of color and only black woman to win the award, and Jessica Chastain, who won last year, announced Michelle Yeoh as the first Asian artist to win in the leading actress category, Janet Yeoh and her relatives were already wiping tears from their eyes, according to footage of the moment.

When Chastain read Michelle Yeoh’s name on the envelope, the crowd rose to their feet and cheered, while Janet Yeoh joined in with a whoop from her seat. After taking the moment in for a few seconds, she rose to her feet to embrace the boisterous crowd around her, raising her fist in the air.

In her acceptance speech, Michelle Yeoh dedicated the award to her mother, along with all mothers.

“I have to dedicate this to my mom, to all the moms in the world, because they really are the superheroes, and without them, none of us would be here tonight,” Yeoh said onstage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. “He is 84 years old and I will bring this home to him. She is watching right now in Malaysia, KL, with my family and friends. I love you guys, I’m bringing this home to you.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim also congratulated Yeoh on her win, tweeting: “Creating history by being not only the first Malaysian but the first Asian actress to win in this category, we are extremely proud of her achievement, which adds to a long list of successes and caps off a performance acclaimed by the criticism. career spanning decades.”

In “Everything Everywhere,” Yeoh played Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant mother and laundromat owner struggling to keep her business afloat and her family together. A central conflict of the film is her difficulty as a mother in connecting with her second-generation Asian American daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), who also plays the film’s villain Jobu Tupaki.

Amid the celebration in Malaysia, Janet Yeoh said she was immensely proud of “my little princess” who wanted to be a dancer before entering the world of acting. Yeoh said she pulled her daughter out of her cocoon despite the protests of her late husband, a lawyer whom she described as “old-fashioned.”

Michelle Yeoh joined her family in Malaysia via FaceTime, calling them from backstage at the Dolby, according to video posted by Channel NewsAsia reporter Melissa Goh.

Someone held up the iPhone in front of the family members huddled around Janet Yeoh. Michelle Yeoh could be seen blowing kisses and holding her Oscar on screen. Her mother began to sing, “Malaysia bhey (Malaysia can)!”

The actor’s niece, Vicki Yeoh, grabbed the phone and held it up to reveal to Michelle the crowd at the viewing party, which once again erupted in applause.

“I was speechless, I cried,” Vicki Yeoh said after the party. according to NBC News. “The nominees are really strong, but we had no doubts. We keep telling him that you will win… you will stand on stage with the golden man.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.