James Hong, 94, Attends First Oscars in Googly-Eyed Bowtie Honoring 'Everything Everywhere'

James Hong
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The actor made quite the impression Sunday night, during the 95th Academy Awards.

At the age of 94, Everything Everywhere All at Once star James Hong attended his first Oscars on Sunday night, sporting a googly-eyed bowtie in honor of the award-winning film, in which he plays Michelle Yeoh's demanding grandfather, Gong Gong. 

"It's a great pleasure to be here, the first time to be at the Academy Awards," Hong said during ABC's Oscars pre-show. "Here I am, after 70 years, I'm here. Actually, I'm 94!" The actor added, "It shows if you wait long enough, you'll make it… This movie, Everything Everywhere All At Once, gave me the chance to be here today."

Not only did he have fun posing on the champagne-colored carpet with his daughter, April, but he was also recognized by host Jimmy Kimmel during the 95th Academy Awards. "James, you're one of our greatest living actors," Kimmel said during the ceremony, revealing that Hong was a civil engineer before he started acting professionally at 25 years old. 

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For the longtime actor, who has over 600 acting credits and first appeared on screen in 1954, the 2023 awards season has marked a number of firsts in his career. In addition to attending his first-ever Oscars ceremony, sharing the stage with his co-stars during EEAAVO's Best Picture win, he got to accept the cast's historic honor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards just two weeks prior. 

"I got my SAG card 70 years ago," Hong said as the audience gave him a standing ovation. "My first movie was with Clark Gable. But back in those days, I have to tell you this, the leading role was played by [white] guys with their eyes taped up...because the producers said the Asians were not good enough. And they were not box office. But look at us now!" 

Backstage at the SAG Awards, co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, who also won her first Oscar on Sunday night, told ET it was the cast's plan to let Hong speak. "There was a group text that said, 'Should we win, let's make sure James is the one who really says what we need to say,'" she shared. 

The 2023 Academy Awards aired live on Sunday, March 12 on ABC. Keep checking back with ETonline.com for complete Oscars coverage including the night's big winners