'Parasite' makes history with major award win, standing ovation from half of Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho brought big dad energy to the Screen Actors' Guild Awards. Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Turner By Amanda Yeo2020-01-20 06:34:53 UTC History was made during the 26th annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards in Los Angeles on...
History was made during the 26th annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, when Parasite took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The South Korean black comedy is now the first film in a language other than English to win the award, beating out fellow nominees Bombshell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Parasite's win was somewhat foreshadowed earlier in the night, when some of the cast received an enthusiastic standing ovation upon taking the stage to present their film. The Screen Actors' Guild Awards are decided by peer vote, so such a positive reception was a very good sign.
Meanwhile, director Bong Joon-ho looked on from the audience, filming the moment on his phone like a proud dad at his kids' recital. He honestly just seemed happy to be there.
Though the entire cast didn't attend the award ceremony, Parasite's win is shared among Chang Hyae-jin, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Jung Hyeon-jun, Jung Ji-so, Lee Jung-eun, Lee Sun-kyun, Park Myung-hoon, Park So-dam, and Song Kang-ko.
On top of its historic nature, this award was particularly notable as it was the only nomination Parasite received. Not one of these 10 actors were in contention for any of the individual acting awards, which seems like quite an oversight.
Still, Bong was grateful for the recognition they did receive. "I think today what's truly important is that these actors were acknowledged by fellow peers, acknowledged as the best ensemble cast of this year, and that's the greatest joy of this night," he said in a post-awards interview, speaking via translator.
"To be honored with a best ensemble award, it occurs to me that maybe we haven't created such a bad movie," said Song in the cast's acceptance speech, also speaking via translator.
After the show, Choi expressed hope that their win would help pave the way for other Asian actors to be recognised in the West. "Other than us, there are so many legends out there in foreign countries," Choi said in English, before turning to the translator. "I hope we can see more foreign language films and Asian films."
There's still some way to go, though. While Parasite also made history as the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture and Best International Film at the Oscars, none of its six nominations were for acting awards.
Those categories aren't exactly consolation prizes, of course. However, this only makes Parasite's lack of acting nominations more stark.
Parasite is the 6th film with a predominantly Asian cast to score 5+ Oscar nominations w/o a single acting nod.
Last Emperor: 9 wins/9 noms
Crouching Tiger: 4 wins/10 noms
Memoirs/Geisha: 3 wins/6 noms
Slumdog Millionaire: 8 wins/10 noms
Life/Pi: 4 wins/11 noms
Parasite: 6 noms
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) January 14, 2020
When asked how the team were feeling in the lead up to the local award show, Bong simply said, "Who knows? No-one can predict what will happen."