Comedian Ali Wong has become a legit actor in recent years, and her dramatic turn as a vengeful, rage-hungry suburban businesswoman and mother in Netflix's Beef just won her her first acting award, at the Golden Globes.
Beef premiered on Netflix last spring, and SFist noted at the time that SF native Ali Wong was taking on a major dramatic role in the Asian-led limited series after years of doing standup. (She did notably also play an agoraphobic radiologist on the ABC one-season drama series Black Box in 2014.)
On Sunday night, Wong's acting chops were lauded for the first time as she took home the Golden Globe for Best Female Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie.
"I really need to thank Sonny so much for creating such a beautiful show and inviting me to be a part of it," Wong said in her acceptance speech, referring to creator/director Lee Sung Jin, a.k.a. Sonny Lee. "And the friendship that I made with Steven and Jake and the rest of the cast and crew will always be the best thing that came out of Beef."
Wong, who grew up in SF's Pacific Heights and is of Vietnamese and Chinese descent, is the first Asian American woman to win the award in this category.
Wong also thanked her husband of eight years, Justin Hakuta, whom she is in the process of divorcing, referring to him as the "father of my children and my best friend" and saying, "It’s because of you that I’m able to be a working mother."
As People Magazine reports, Wong was caught on camera kissing current boyfriend and fellow nominee Bill Hader when she went up to accept her award.
Wong's co-star, Steven Yeun, also took home the trophy for Best Male Actor in a Limited Series, and creator Lee Sung Jin took the prize for Best Limited Series as well. (It should be noted that the category is Best Limited Series, Anthology Series, or TV Movie, and Lee tells Entertainment Weekly he's hoping that Beef becomes an anthology series, which is how he originally pitched it, with a second a season.
"You know, our show is actually based on a real road rage incident that actually happened to me, so I’d be remiss not to thank that driver," Lee said during his own acceptance speech Sunday. “Sir, I hope you honk and yell and inspire others for years to come."
Per EW, backstage, Yeun went into some further detail saying, "There was one moment where I was like 'I’m gonna follow you.' It was very anti-climatic, didn’t last long, but it did lead to this, so [it] feels pretty great."
Wong, 41, attended University High School and UCLA before going to Vietnam on a Fulbright scholarship. She began doing standup in New York almost two decades ago, and SFist was noting her small SF shows back in 2012. Her Netflix acting debut, the 2019 rom-com Always Be My Maybe, which she co-wrote, was set in SF.
She most recently performed standup sets here at the Masonic auditorium in December. As SFGate noted in a review, much of her new set was about her divorce.
Top photo: Ali Wong poses in the press room during the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)