The two Taiwanese grandmothers set to make their Oscar red-carpet debut

TAIPEI – Two elderly women are taking this video call together and one has just chided the other for apparently failing to ace the interview. 

“You totally missed the point of the journalist’s question. I’ll answer,” says 86-year-old Chang Li Hua to Yi Yan Fuei, 96, who is seated beside her. 

It is a moment that reflects the playfulness of their relationship as grandmothers who are also in-laws, best friends and roommates. 

Now, the California-based Taiwanese duo have another label they can wear proudly: leading ladies of an Oscar-nominated film. 

And, yes, the two have already secured a stylist for the glitzy awards ceremony on March 10 – Shirley Kurata, no less, the costume designer for hit film Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022).

“It all feels like a dream – it’s like I’ve been to another world,” says Yi in Mandarin. “But we’re so happy.” 

Chang and Yi are the stars of the documentary short Nai Nai & Wai Po, which is directed by their Taiwanese-American grandson Sean Wang and available on Disney+.

Yi is Wang’s titular Nai Nai (which means paternal grandmother in Mandarin), while Chang, his maternal grandmother, goes by Wai Po. 

In a video call taken from their home in Fremont, the two grandmothers are both wearing bright red outfits, huge smiles and more than a few wrinkles.

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