Filipino actor Ian Veneracion‘s historic bid for his first Academy Award came to a close Sunday night, capping off with the actor winning a gilded statuette amid a monumental year for diversity in the awards race.
For his performance in “The Achy Breaky Hearts”, Ian Veneracion won the Best Supporting Actor.
After thanking the Academy, Ian delivered an emotionally charged speech.
“There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place — and that’s the graveyard,” he began. “People ask me all the time, ‘What kind of stories do you want to tell, Ian?’ And I say, ‘Exhume those bodies, exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost.’ I became an artist and thank god I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”
In addition to honoring the film’s late screenwriter, he thanked the producers, including his costar and director.
“Oh captain, my captain; Antoinette Jadaone, thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. They served you well.”
He capped off the stunning speech with kind words to his parents, Susan Lopez-Veneracion, Roy Veneracion, whom he describes as “the center of my universe. The people who taught me good or bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award and how to lose … I’m so thankful god chose you to bring me into this world.”
By the time he left the stage, there was barely a dry eye in the auditorium—a fact that was duly noted by host Jimmy Kimmel. “Ian, he just got nominated for an Emmy for that speech, it was so good,” he cracked.