The Korean American drama film Minari is receiving both high praise and lots of nominations this awards season. One of its stars, 8-year-old Alan Kim has already won a Critics’ Choice Award for his role as David. His heartwarming acceptance speech has even gone viral!

Alan appeared as a guest on The Ellen Show, and Ellen interviewed him, asking about his reaction to winning. He said it felt really nice to win, especially because it was his first award. He won his first award for his first movie!

She mentioned his emotional reaction to winning and asked if he cried for a particular reason. He replied, “I felt a lot of emotions all at once, and I made tears and burst!” She told him that she felt that the reason his acceptance speech was so well-received is that it was an authentic reaction rather than planned.

Ellen pointed out that, during his acceptance speech, he even pinched his cheeks, which is something his Minari character, David, does in the movie to determine if he’s dreaming or not. Is this a habit of David’s or Alan’s? Alan revealed that it was originally something his character did and he has since picked up himself.

I actually did that after the movie and when I did the movie because I actually had no idea if I was actually dreaming or not.

— Alan Kim

Pinching yourself certainly does help to assure you are awake. Even now, however, Alan says he still feels like he’s dreaming. ????

You can watch the full interview below.