After 200 films, a myriad of injuries, and a significant lack of formal recognition, legendary martial arts expert Jackie Chan has finally won an Oscar. It's more than mysterious how the 62-year-old managed nearly six decades in the industry without receiving much appreciation from his peers, but on Saturday night, that all changed.
At the eighth annual Governors Awards in Hollywood, the action star was venerated with an honorary Oscar. The event, run by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, became an annual celebration in 2008.
"After 56 years in the film industry, making more than 200 films, breaking so many bones, finally this is mine," the actor said, beaming as he received his trophy.
"Every year when I watch the Oscars with my dad, my dad always said, 'Son, you've got so many movie awards around the world. When are you gonna get one of these?' I just looked at my dad: 'Ha ha ha. Dad, I only make comedy action movies.'"
"I talked to myself," he continued. 'I really want one.' Finally [Academy president] Cheryl [Boone Isaacs] called. I said, 'Are you sure?'"
The star-studded event also played host to actors like Sylvester Stallone, Helen Mirren, Richard Gere, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Kate Beckinsale, Taraji P. Henson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Wahlberg, Miles Teller, and Lupita Nyong'o.
Before Chan received his Oscar, Isaacs announced a new program the Academy would roll out in the spring of 2017. Meant to "[bring] new faces and voices into the room and [make] sure they are heard and seen," the Academy president promised the moves toward diversity were meant to make lasting change.
"Inclusion isn't just a favor we're doing for anyone," she stated. "It's a strategic imperative for our industry."