The 94-year-old spoke about his experience as an Asian actor in the industry and joked about his castmates and producer
The movie, "Everything Everywhere All at Once" broke the record of having the most wins for a single movie at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards. They won four major awards and dedicated the biggest award of the night to their fellow cast mate, James Hong, according to PEOPLE.
Michelle Yeoh acknowledged Hong on stage as they accepted the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture. The audience stood up for a standing ovation, and Hong began a speech in Chinese. He then explained, "Actually, I said that because we might be broadcast in Hong Kong. And I hope next year the network won't change their mind and put us on again. So I got my first card, SAG card, and...well anyway 70 years ago. My first movie was with Clark Gable."
FOUND IT. Here is #JamesHong's full #SAGAwards speech. he was all LET ME DO MY TIGHT 5! this guy knows! part 1...@allatoncemovie pic.twitter.com/rs6xgws7eB— Jenny Yang (@jennyyangtv) February 27, 2023
Hong continued, "But back in those days, I have to tell you that the leading role was played by these guys with eyes taped up like this and they talk like this because the producer said the Asians were not good enough and they are not box office."
"But look at us now, huh?" Hong said as the audience cheered. He also joked about Jamie Lee Curtis' and said, "We are not all Chinese but Jamie Lee, Lee is a good Chinese name." Then he acknowledged the directors and a "bald guy" producer for the success of the film. "SAG is a wonderful organization," he added.
The cast members Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis, won individual awards at the SAG Awards 2023. Yeoh won for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role. The actor said in her speech, "SAG-AFTRA, to get this from you, who understands what it is to get here, every one of you knows the journey, the roller-coaster ride, the ups, and downs. But importantly, we never give up. I thank you for your love, for your support because I know I'm up against titans, rightly so."
Quan received an award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for his performance as Waymond Wang in the movie. He has reportedly become the first Asian man to win a SAG Award for acting in a film. "Thank you, thank you so much!" said Quan, as he accepted the award. "This is a really emotional moment for me."
He got emotional as he gave his speech. Quan said, "Recently, I was told that if I would've won tonight, I would become the very first Asian actor to win in this category. When I heard this, I quickly realized that this moment no longer belongs to just me. It also belongs to everyone who has asked for change."
Curtis, for her role, won the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role. She spoke about her parents and said that "they had nothing and they became these monstrous stars in the industry. And I married an actor." She continued, "I love actors. I love acting. I love the job we get to do. I love being a part of a crew. I love being part of a cast. I love what we do with each other. It's such a beautiful job." Curtis added that many actors don't get this opportunity. "And I know you look at me and think 'Well, nepo baby, that's why she's there' — and I totally get it. But the truth of the matter is I'm 64 years old and this is just amazing!"