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Michelle Yeoh Explains Why She Handed Emma Stone’s Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence on Stage 

Michelle Yeoh had the sweetest reason for passing Emma Stone’s Oscar off to Jennifer Lawrence at the 96th Academy Awards.

Yeoh, 61, along with Lawrence, 33, Sally Field, Charlize Theron and Jessica Lange all took the stage to present the Best Actress award at the Sunday, March 10, ceremony. After naming Stone, 35, as the winner, Yeoh confused viewers when quickly handing the trophy to Lawrence who then passed it to Stone.

“I wanted to share that glorious moment of handing over Oscar to you together with your best friend Jennifer!!” Yeoh explained via Instagram on Monday, March 11, alongside a slideshow of photos from the night. “She reminded me of my Bae Jamie Lee Curtis ♥️✨.”  (Yeoh and Curtis both starred in Everything Everywhere All at Once, taking home the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscars, respectively, in 2023.)

Yeoh then praised Stone and Lawrence for their years-long friendship, writing that the two women are “always there for each other!! 😘😘😘.” She concluded the message, “Congratulations Emma!!”

Oscars winners 770 Da'Vine Joy Randolph

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All the women who took the stage to present with Yeoh previously received the Best Actress award, with Lawrence winning in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook. Field won twice for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart in 1979 and 1984, respectively, while Lange took home the statue in 1995 for Blue Sky. Theron received the accolade in 2004 for her role in Monster.

96th Annual Academy Awards - Show, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Yeoh
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Stone, meanwhile, beat out Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon, Annette Bening in NYAD, Carey Mulligan in Maestro and Sandra Hüller in Anatomy of a Fall. She earned the nod for her part as Bella Baxter in Yorgos Lanthimos‘ Poor Things, marking her second time winning the award after first receiving it for 2017’s La La Land. (Stone’s other past nominations include Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Birdman in 2015 and The Favourite in 2019. She was also up for Best Picture this year for her work as a producer on Poor Things.)

96th Annual Academy Awards - Show
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Stone opened her acceptance speech by thanking her fellow Best Actress nominees. “This is really overwhelming. My voice is also a little gone. Whatever. The women in this category, you are all incredible. Sandra, Annette, Carey, Lily, I share this with you,” she gushed while looking at Gladstone, who was also a frontrunner of the night. “I am deeply honored to share this with every cast member, with every single person who poured their love into the making of this film. Thank you for the gift of a lifetime in Bella Baxter.”

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Stone also took a beat to thank her family — including husband Dave McCary and daughter Louise Jean — for being her support system over the years.

“My mom, my brother Spencer, my dad, my husband, I love you so much,” she said through tears. “And most importantly, my daughter, who is going to be 3 in three days and has turned our lives technicolor. I love you bigger than the whole sky, my girl.”

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