the Korean superstar who conquered the world at the age of 73

Yuh-Jung Youn: the Korean Meryl Streep, who conquered the world at 73

The actress fascinated the academy with her appearance in “Minari” and the audience with her speech at the Oscars. The film hits cinemas in Portugal this Thursday, May 13th.

It was just under two months before Yuh-Jung Youn was 74 years old when we learned on the morning of April 26th that she was going to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Minari opens in Portuguese cinemas this Thursday May 13th and this woman is another reason not to miss the film.

Nominated as Maria Bakalova, Olivia Colman, Amanda Seyfried or Glenn Close, among others, the name of the South Korean could go unnoticed and would even be viewed by many as one of those excluded at the beginning. If the world didn’t already know Yuh-Jung Youn, he did – Oscar and BAFTA cannot be forgotten – but he was a long superstar in his homeland. Almost like an Asian Meryl Streep.

His career is long, more than 50 years have passed since his film debut with “Hwanyeo” in 1971 by the director Ki-young Kim. Still, she didn’t forget him in the acceptance speech for her first Oscar and guaranteed that Kim would be “very happy if he were alive”.

Indeed, this speech was widely circulated on several subjects. Fun and at the same time smart, in this combination that can only be achieved with a little ease and experience that the years of life and career give. The first words soon came to the demonstration: “Mr. Brad Pitt, I am delighted to meet you. Where were you while filming? “All because the actor was part of the producers on Minari, but apparently he wasn’t that close to the production.

Then there was some reflection on the constant changes Westerners are making to his name, which are guaranteed to be given to him after that night. In a small outburst, she said she was still incredulous about attending the Academy Awards, which she normally only saw as a television program. Meanwhile, he did not forget to thank the entire family he had created among the cast of the film, let alone director Lee Isaac Chung, “without whom he would not be here”.

In a rare series of statements in Hollywood, he insisted that he didn’t believe in competition because he couldn’t beat any of the other nominees like Glenn Close. He explained that they were all good at playing different roles in different films, and pointed out that they might have been luckier than the others. “Or is it perhaps American hospitality for Korean actors?”

Those who see her happy and wise at the same time recognize that there is a lot to discover about Yuh-Jung Youn. There really is. This actress’ career has not always been linear over this half century. In the beginning, when he was starting to gain recognition and have more work in Korea, he married the artist Jo Young-nam. This relationship took her to the United States and only when she divorced and returned home ten years later, around 1984, did she return to the agency. This was not an easy task given the way divorced women were viewed at the time, and it even made them think about something to do with their careers.

In both cinema and television, the roles of the femme fatale or matriarch are the ones in which she stood out the most, which makes it easier to perceive her performance in “Minari”. And also the dozen of awards he has won during his long career in Asia.

Over the years he has played characters in other prominent films in the West such as “Noutro País” or the famous “Sense8” series.

Perhaps all of this explains to the children why he spends so much time away from home and works so hard, as she finally said in the acceptance speech to the academy. And yes, in the end she managed to get the long-awaited photo with Brad Pitt – who praised her performance and in whose words she says she is too old to believe it – even though she doesn’t care that much about anything as far as Hollywood and Hollywood are concerned, they represent glamor.

“No, I don’t admire Hollywood. The reason I keep coming back is because I might see my son again when I come to the US and work. From the bottom of his heart, ”he told NBC.

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