Yuh-Jung Youn on Brad Pitt and Minari

(Yuh-Jung Youn)

Last night was also a watershed moment for Minari’s Yuh-Jung Youn –the talented thespian made history by becoming the first Korean actor to win Best Supporting Actress at the 93rd Academy Awards. 

Youn kicked off her acceptance speech by teasing Minari executive producer Brad Pitt, who was last year’s Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar winner for the movie, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

It appeared that Pitt was not present for Minari’s film production. “Mr. Brad Pitt, finally. Nice to meet you. Where were you while we were filming in Tulsa? Is very honor to meet you.” 

The petite actress was clearly star struck meeting Pitt. “I saw him on the stage, and then he called my name, and I could tell he practiced a lot,” she enthused during a pressroom interview. “He didn’t mispronounce my name.  Then at that moment, when I got there, I just lost ‑‑ what is the ‑‑ what I supposed to say. What ‑‑ should I begin or something?!”

Another journalist in the pressroom actually asked Youn what Pitt smelled like.

“I didn’t smell him, I’m not dog!” she quipped. “I’ve been watching him ‑‑ his first movie.  He was young…He was movie star for me.  So I couldn’t believe that he was speaking to me when he announced my name…Maybe I just blacked out a couple of minutes, a couple of seconds or so!”

The charismatic Youn was completely shocked by her win, asking the journalists to limit their attention on her.

“I kept asking my friends, ‘am I saying right? Do they understand what I’m trying to say?’  Something like this. I’m still not myself.  So don’t ask me too many questions, please!”

The scene stealing Youn also acknowledged the actresses who were also nominated in her category, while onstage.

“I like to thank too, well, see, I don’t believe in competition. How can I win over Glenn Close? I’ve been watching her so many performances…Five nominees, we are the winner for the different movie… We played the different roles, so we cannot compete each other. Tonight I have just a little bit luck, I think. Maybe I’m luckier than you. And also, maybe, is American hospitality for the Korean actor.” 

Youn is thrilled to see relatable Asian stories onscreen.

“I’m sure it’s about time. Just hearing different stories, I think it’s very nice to understand each other. And we should embrace each other…Because without knowing categorized ‑‑ these people are categorized like black, white, yellow, brown, something like that. That is not nice way to just divide like that, you know?  I think if we put our colors together, make it more prettier, even rainbow has seven colors.  So colors doesn’t matter.  Gender doesn’t matter.”

She continued: “I don’t know how to divide like, you know, like this, man, woman, or black and white, yellow, brown, or the gender, you know, gay or straight or something like that.  I don’t want that kind of thing.  So just we are equal human beings.  We have the same warm heart… It’s an opportunity for us to share in the story together.” 

Susan L. Hornik is an active contributor to Los Angeles Times, Grammy.comShondaland.com, InStyle, SFGate, LA Weekly, Irvine Weekly, MensHealth.comAARP.org, Los Angeles Blade, Washington Blade, Industrym.com.com, Videoage, Alo, Discover Hollywood