Congratulations are still in order!
Tonight at the 95th Academy Awards, iconic actress Angela Bassett was set to take home her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, unfortunately losing the nomination to Jamie Lee Curtis for her portrayal of Deirdre Beaubeirdra in Everything, Everywhere All at Once. This was the veteran actress’ second nomination, nominated 29 years ago for her portrayal of Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It. A career that spans almost four decades in the industry was expected to culminate with this very moment and Bassett previously told Associated Press reporters that she was overwhelmed with gratitude.
“I’m literally sitting here holding my head, and holding my heart. I’m excited, I’m grateful, I’m nervous. I’m going to have to start journaling,” said Bassett.
Bassett has had several Oscar-worthy performances over the course of her career, including her portrayal of Turner in 1994, her role as Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X alongside Denzel Washington, as the no-nonsense fiery matriarch and friend Bernadine Harris in the blockbuster hit Waiting to Exhale, and who can forget her as Stella Payne in the cult classic How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
This win would’ve also been the first Oscar in the acting category for the Marvel franchise, the Black Panther crew taking a huge loss after the unexpected death of their friend and main character, Chadwick Boseman. That real life grief is what Bassett said she tried to capture in Queen Ramonda’s performance, a grief that only mothers know.
“[Queen Ramonda] is reflective of what mothers have been doing forever, and also a representation of what Black mothers have been doing — holding families together. Holding memories, holding wisdom…That’s what she is attempting to do in spite of the trauma she has experienced herself,” said Bassett.
Despite the loss tonight, Bassett will continue to be celebrated for the phenomenal actress she is and the impeccable work she puts out in the world. Earlier this year she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and the NAACP Image Award for Entertainer of the Year. No matter what, Angela Bassett still did the thing!
We celebrate Ms. Angela Bassett for her tenacity, commitment to craft, and indisputable impact on the culture! Because of her, we can!