The 2020 Golden Globes winners were announced last night, and that brought quite a few surprises, but one of the night's biggest surprises was Awkwafina taking home the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy category for her work in The Farewell.
With the win, Awkwafina made history by becoming the first ever Asian-American woman to win an award in a lead actress category at the awards ceremony, which is one of the biggest of the year, right behind the Oscars.
Also nominated in the category were Ana De Armas for Knives Out, Cate Blanchett for Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Beanie Feldstein for Booksmart and Emma Thompson for Late Night. Awkwafina started her Golden Globes speech by joking that if she ever falls on hard times that she can just sell her award. The actress then singled out Shuzhen Zhao, who plays her grandmother in the movie, before thanking director Lulu Wang as well. She also thanked her parents and her grandmother before concluding her speech.
"I'd like to dedicate this to my dad. I told you I'd get a job, dad! And to my grandma, my best friend. The woman who raised me. And to my mother, who I always hoped was watching from somewhere above and I hope that she's watching now."
The Farewell was also nominated in the Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language category, with Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite going on to win that award. This could end up giving Awkwafina a serious boost as the Oscar voting begins in getting her a Best Actress nomination at this year's Academy Awards as well. Backstage, Awkwafina learned that she was the first Asian-American woman to win a lead actress prize at the Golden Globes and had this to say about it.
"I actually heard that fact and it was pretty mind-blowing. It feels incredible... but you want there to be more. I hope this is only the beginning."
Lulu Wang's The Farewell was one of the best-reviewed movies of 2019. It also performed reasonably well at the box office in the arthouse market, bringing in just shy of $20 million. The movie centers on a young woman and her family returning to China to visit her terminally ill grandmother. However, they have decided not to tell her that she's dying, which becomes difficult for Awkwafina's Billi to handle. The movie is based on Wang's real-life experience.
This comes at a time when Hollywood is, in many ways, pushing for more diversity in front of and behind the camera. But also at a time when the industry, and awards bodies, are being criticized for not doing enough. For example, no female directors were nominated at this year's Golden Globes, despite having plenty of worthy candidates, Lulu Wang included. It will be interesting to see if the Academy handles things differently in that regard. Be sure to check out Awkwafina's full speech for yourself. This news was previously reported by Deadline.