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‘After 70 years I am here’

95th Annual Academy Awards – Arrivals

Arturo Holmes/Getty James Hong

A moment nearly a century in the making: Everything everywhere at once‘s James Hong attended the Oscars for the first time at the age of 94.

“It’s a great pleasure to be here, your first time at the Academy Awards,” Hong said on ABC’s On the red carpet at the Oscars preview Sunday. “Here I am, after 70 years here I am. Actually I am 94!”

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Everything everywhere at once has the most nominations of any film at the 95th Academy Awards, receiving a total of 11 nominations, including one for the Best Picture category.

Hong, who plays Gong Gong in the science fiction adventure film, started his acting career in the 1950s.

“It shows that if you wait long enough, you’ll make it,” Hong said on Sunday. “I’m very glad my mom gave me those bitter herbs. It took me to 94 and 1 month – I have to count it by month now. This movie, Everything everywhere at oncegave me the chance to be here today.”

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James Hong

James Hong

CAROLINE BREHMAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock James and April Hong

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The Chinese-American actor also hopes his first Oscar appearance won’t be his last.

“It takes all these years of perseverance to make it,” he said. “And my 500 movies and TV got me here. I hope to be here next year and the year after that.”

“When I’m 100 I’ll come back and say hello to everyone,” he added.

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It’s been an eventful awards season for Hong, who received a standing ovation at the 2023 SAG Awards last month after telling audiences about the first movie he starred in alongside Clark Gable 70 years ago.

“At the time I have to tell you that the lead was played by these guys with eyes so glued shut and they talk like that because the producer said the Asians weren’t good enough and they’re not box office.” Hong said as he accepted the outstanding performance of a cast in a film award with his own Everything everywhere castmates.

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Then he added, “But look at us, eh?”

James Hong attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

James Hong attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

Kevin Mazur/Getty James Hong

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Hong’s resume includes nearly 500 TV roles, more than 150 feature films, more than 30 short films and more than 20 video games.

He entered Seinfeld, The big bang theory, chinatown And Big problems in Little China. Hong also starred in several animated films, most notably playing the voice of Mr. Ping in the Kung Fu Panda series and villain Chi-Fu in Disney’s Mulan.

Hong has been married twice: first to Pearl Huang, whom he divorced in 1973 after nearly six years of marriage, and then to current wife Susan Hong, whom he tied the knot in 1977. He and Susan, 70, share daughter April Hong , 44, who he brought along as his date to the 2023 Oscars.

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For Sunday’s ceremony, Hong complemented his suit with a googly eyed blue bow tie, a nod to Everything everywhere at once.

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The Oscars will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. ET.

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