Oscar Winner Yuh-Jung Youn Shut Down a Reporter Who Asked Her What Brad Pitt Smelled Like

At last night’s Oscars, Yuh-Jung Youn won best supporting actress for her part in Lee Isaac Chung’s drama Minari. She was the first South Korean actress to do so. She was handed the award by the film’s executive producer, Brad Pitt, who she mentioned in her speech. Later, in the press room, Youn was asked about the interaction with Pitt by a reporter.

Yuh-Jung Youn and Brad Pitt at the Oscars.
Yuh-Jung Youn, winner of Best Actress in a Supporting Role for ‘Minari,’ with Brad Pitt | Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Yuh-Jung Youn won best supporting actress for her part in ‘Minari’ at the 2021 Oscars

After Pitt handed Youn her award for best supporting actress, she addressed him in her speech.

“Mr. Brad Pitt, finally,” she laughed. “Nice to meet you. Where were you when we were filming in person?”

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Though Pitt was the film’s executive producer, Youn seemed to be inferring that he didn’t often visit production, which took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Then, she made note that most people in the industry tend to mispronounce her name, but “tonight,” she said, “you are all forgiven.”

Yuh-Jung Youn mentioned her fellow nominees and thanked her son for forcing her to ‘go out and work’

In Minari, Youn plays an eccentric grandmother by the name of Soonja. In the category of best supporting actress, she was in good company. The other nominees included Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy, Amanda Seyfried for Mank, Olivia Colman for The Father, and Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Youn made a point to comment on her fellow nominees.

“I don’t believe in competition,” she said. “How can I win over Glenn Close? I’ve been watching so many of her performances. I have a little bit of luck, I think. I’m luckier than you. Or maybe it’s the American hospitality for the Korean actor, I’m not sure.”

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Youn ended her speech by thanking the film’s director, Kim Ki-young (the first director she ever worked with), and her two sons. She said they forced her to get to work as an actor.

“I’d like to thank my two boys who made me go out and work,” she said. “This is the result because mommy worked so hard.”

‘I’m not a dog’

After she received her award, according to Insider, Youn was asked by a reporter in the awards press room what Pitt “smelled like” during the ceremony.

She laughed and responded quickly: “I didn’t smell him. I’m not a dog. No.” 

Youn went on to say that she admired Pitt and “couldn’t believe” when he said she’d won.

“Maybe I just blacked out for a couple of seconds,” she said. “What should I say, ‘Where am I?’ Or something like that. But I kept asking my friend: ‘Am I saying it right? Do they understand what I’m trying to say?’ I’m still not myself, so don’t ask me too many questions, please.”