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Awkwafina Makes History With Golden Globe Win for Actress in a Musical or Comedy

Variety logo Variety 1/6/2020 Adam B. Vary
Awkwafina wearing a suit and tie © Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Making Golden Globes history, Awkwafina has won the best actress in a musical or comedy award for her performance in “The Farewell” as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels back to China with her family to say goodbye to her terminally ill grandmother (Shuzhen Zhao), who does not know she is sick.

The actress took the stage joking, “This is great, thank you, if I fall upon hard times I can sell this, so that’s good.”

She then thanked her family, everyone at A24 and the director Lulu Wang, “You gave me this chance, the chance of a lifetime.”

It’s the first time an East Asian individual has ever won a lead acting award for a movie at the Globes. Just two other film actors of East Asian descent have won Globes in its 77-year history: Meg Tilly for best supporting actress for 1985’s “Agnes of God,” and Haing S. Ngor for best supporting actor for 1984’s “The Killing Fields.” And last year, Sandra Oh became the first East Asian woman since 1980 to win best actress in a TV drama for BBC America’s “Killing Eve.” But Awkwafina is the first-ever East Asian actor to win in a lead category for a movie.

A first-time Globes nominee, Awkwafina won over Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”), Cate Blanchett (“Where’d You Go, Bernadette”), Beanie Feldstein (“Booksmart”) and Emma Thompson (“Late Night”).

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Related video: Awkwafina is 'Optimistic' About Hollywood Finding a Balance Between Diversity and Representation (Provided by People): 

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