Yuh-Jung Youn is feeling the pressure ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards.
The “Minari” star is the first Korean actress to be nominated for an Oscar. In contention for this year’s Best Supporting Actress award, Youn says she’s found life as a nominee “very stressful.”
Speaking with Deadline, Youn said, “I was just very happy being nominated. I never even dreamed about being nominated for an Oscar. People will be very happy for me if I get the win, but it’s very stressful.”
“It’s not like I’m representing the country by going to the Olympics, but I feel like I’m competing for my country. It’s stressful,” she added.
At the Oscars, she’ll go up against Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy”, Olivia Colman for “The Father”, and Amanda Seyfried for “Mank”.
Youn has been on a winning streak as of late. Her work in Lee Isaac Chung’s film won her awards at the SAG Awards and the BAFTAs.
Youn drew extra attention to her win at the BAFTAs by making a quip about the “snobbish British” in her acceptance speech.
“Thank you so much for this award,” Youn said upon receiving the trophy during the virtual telecast. “Every award is meaningful, but this one, especially being recognized by British people, known as very snobbish people, and they approve of me as a good actor, so I’m very, very privileged and happy. Thank you so much.”
“Minari” is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, an event Youn considered not attending because of the recent spike in anti-Asian hate in the United States.
“My son, who is Korean American, is living in the States. He was worried about me coming to the States for the Oscars, because he was scared I would get hurt,” she told Deadline. “He asked, ‘Don’t you need to have some guard or something like that?’ It’s a sad thing. Just because you are Asian, there’s no reason to be attacked randomly like that.”