Awkwafina isn’t letting an Oscars snub get in the way of her ambition.
The actress, 31, was looked over for an Academy Award nomination on Monday for her performance in The Farewell. But as she told reporters on Tuesday’s Television Critics Association press tour for her new Comedy Central show Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, she wasn’t in the least bit downtrodden.
“We had a couple of text messages but everything [was] just about how appreciative we all are of how long this run has been,” she said of the reactions among the film’s cast and crew via Entertainment Tonight. “The Farewell came out last January at Sundance and we really didn’t know where it would take us. To see all the attention that it’s gotten, that feels like a win.”
She continued, “Bottom line, there were some amazing performances this year. I think all of them were warranted as they should have been. That’s not also to say that we can’t ignore the fact that there are some incredible movies that were women-helmed, including mine, The Farewell. Me personally, I feel very grateful for where I am and where we’ve come.”
The comedian and actress added, “My emotional reaction to all of this really is that I’m grateful for this journey. We didn’t know that The Farewell would literally have a home. We didn’t know if anybody would buy The Farewell, that it would be on the screens. To express that as far as we’ve come, it’s so much more. It’s the journey. For that, me personally, I think there’s always more work to be done. Of course.”
The film caught the attention of critics and audiences alike, garnering Golden Globe, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice Award nominations.
Awkwafina made history as the first Asian American to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy.
“I’ve had a pretty exciting ride and I think with this show and with the movies that we’ve seen this year, representation existed in those movies and that’s what I know,” Awkwafina said. “In terms of anything else, I can’t be more grateful to do what I love to do and to be recognized, to be a little bit for that, is enough. It’s great.”
The Crazy Rich Asians actress dedicated her Golden Globe win to her father.
“I’d like to dedicate this to my dad, Wally,” the star said at the show, adding, “I told you I’d get a job, dad.”
“And to my grandma, my best friend, the woman who raised me. And to my mom, Tia, who I always hoped was watching from somewhere above and who I hope is watching now. Thank you all,” she concluded.
Afterward, in response to her being the first Asian-American to win the best actress in a musical or comedy award, Awkwafina told reporters, “It feels incredible. I think there’s also this other feeling when you want there to be more, and I hope this is just the beginning.”
Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens premieres on Comedy Central Jan. 22.