All four of the major acting awards at the 2023 Oscars Ceremony were given to veteran actors who have never won Academy Awards in the past; or even been nominated.
Brandan Fraser took home the award for Best Actor for his role in The Whale. Fraser initially entered the spotlight in the early 90’s before taking a step back from Hollywood throughout the 2000’s.
In 2018, Fraser came out with a sexual assault allegation against Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the Golden Globes. The Association concluded that Berk did in fact “inappropriately touch” Fraser in “a way intended to be taken as a joke and not a sexual advance.”
Fraser stated that the entire situation made him retreat and feel reclusive, especially from anything having to do with Hollywood.
Fraser’s leading role in the movie adaptation of the play, The Whale, has been met with high praise and recognition for Fraser as an icon in his own right.
“I’m grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline, and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale,” Fraser stated in his speech.
Michelle Yeoh also made history after becoming the second woman of color in history to win the award for Best Actress, and the first Asian-American to win the award.
Yeoh won for her role in Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, which has received numerous awards and accolades already this award season.
Yeoh initially had her Hollywood breakout in the 1997 James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies. While her films have been nominated for, and won, Oscars, this marks the first time Yeoh has been specifically recognized for her individual talent.
“Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you you are past your prime,” Yeoh said in her speech.
Everything Everywhere All At Once has been taking over a multitude of awards this season. Which is why it made sense that Yeoh’s costars, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quon, also took home awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
“I am hundreds of people. To all the people who have supported the genre movies that I have made for all these years – the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people – we just won an Oscar together,” Jamie Lee Curtis stated in her speech.
Quan’s speech left many people emotional and inspired by his drive and humble attitude. He initially got his Hollywood start in the 1980’s, playing in The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; so it only made sense that Harrison Ford would be the one to present Quan with the award when the film also won Best Picture.
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here, on Hollywood’s biggest stage. This is the American dream.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.