Actress Awkwafina video-calls grandmother after historic Golden Globe win
Asian-American actress Awkwafina made history at the 2020 Golden Globes when she won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Awkwafina, who was born Nora Lum, won the award for her role as Billi in comedy-drama film “The Farewell”.
She is the first performer of Asian descent to win in the lead actress film category, CNN reported.
Dedicated award to parents and grandmother
“The Farewell” follows Chinese-American Billi on her journey to China to visit her grandmother, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is given only a few months to live.
Similar to Billi, Awkwafina has a close relationship with her grandmother, who raised her after Awkwafina’s mother passed away when the actress was four.
In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina thanked director Lulu Wang and co-star and onscreen grandmother Zhou Shuzhen, before dedicating the award to her family:
“I’d like to dedicate this to my dad, Wally. 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, Tia, who I always hoped was watching from somewhere above, and I hope she’s watching now.”
On the same night, Awkwafina shared a photo on Instagram of her holding up the Golden Globe award in a video call with her grandmother.
Reason for taking on the role
In an interview with InStyle, Awkwafina shared that her relationship with her grandmother was one of the main reasons she chose to take on the role of Billi.
In another interview for “Popcorn with Peter Travers”, she described her grandmother as her “saviour”, saying:
“We don’t have a very stereotypical relationship of like, going to grandma’s house and she’s gonna to make cookies and you’re gonna eat well. And you wanna stay over … because she’ll let you stay up late.
It’s more than that. Like, I call her about career advice. She’s my business manager.
My grandma is everything for me. She’s my best friend.”
Thus, she explained, she resonated with her onscreen character, and learned something in the process:
“I know what it’s like to have this really special relationship with someone who may not live with you anymore and is getting older.
And I think this movie really taught me to maybe confront something I didn’t want to confront, which is losing my grandma.”
Top images via Awkwafina / Instagram.