Korean Youn Yuh-jung wins best supporting actress for ‘Minari’ at BAFTA

April 12, 2021

 South Korean screen veteran Youn Yuh-jung has won best supporting actress for her role in the immigration film “Minari” at this year’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.

At the ceremony of the BAFTA Film Awards held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday (British time), Youn took home the award for best supporting actress.

She beat Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Niamh Algar for “Calm with Horses,” Kosar Ali for “Rocks” and Ashley Madekwe for “County Lines.”

Youn took a role of the livewire grandmother Soonja in “Minari,” written and directed by Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung, which tells the story of a Korean immigrant family settling in rural Arkansas.

“Thank you so much for this award. Every award is meaningful, but this one, especially being recognized by British people, known as snobbish people, and they approve me as a good actor,” she said in an online acceptance speech. “I’m very happy. Thank you so much.”

She became the first South Korean actor to win an acting award at BAFTA. Previously, two Korean films, Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden” and Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” were given BAFTA’s foreign-language film prizes in 2018 and 2020, respectively, with Bong winning best original screenplay.

Thanks to her recent victories in the leading precursors to the Oscars, including the U.S. Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and BAFTA awards, she has been a leading favorite in the supporting actress race for the upcoming Academy Awards slated for April 25.

Youn, the first Korean actress to get a nod in acting at the Oscars, will compete for the supporting actress title with Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy,” Olivia Colman for “The Father” and Amanda Seyfried for “Mank.”

Meanwhile, “Minari” was nominated in six categories, including best director and best film not in the English language, at the BAFTA Awards but only took home the best supporting actress trophy.

BAFTA’s best film honor went to Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland,” which also earned best director, while Danish film “Another Round” won best foreign-language film.