Angela Bassett made history when the 2023 Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, becoming the first actor to land an Oscar nomination for their role in a Marvel movie.
Bassett’s Oscar nomination (her second) makes her the fourth Black woman in Oscar history to be nominated for multiple honors. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday morning, the actress admits that her historic achievement wasn’t something she thought about until recently.
“I certainly didn’t think about that going into the first day of filming — I began to hear about that a couple of weeks ago,” says Bassett of the potential for setting a new standard for Marvel actors. “Others have pondered that reality, but it certainly wasn’t me. I’m grateful for the role and the opportunity to work with the incredible artists, the amazing crew and artisans behind the scenes.”
Bassett also gave a shout-out to her fellow Oscar-nominated colleagues who also earned nods for Wakanda Forever. “We’ve been through so much — as much as you can go through in life together, with the passing of our king,” she added in reference to Boseman. “That really served to bring us together all the more.”
Bassett’s best supporting actress nod is just one of five nods received by Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was also recognized in the categories of costume design, makeup and hairstyling, best song and visual effects.
Still, the film fell short of its groundbreaking 2018 predecessor, Black Panther, which became Marvel Studios’ first film to earn a best picture nomination, among its seven nominations. Black Panther ultimately took home three Oscars, for score, costume design and production design.
With Bassett’s nod she’s achieving something that none of the stars of the first Black Panther film, including the late Chadwick Boseman, as well as acclaimed Marvel performers like Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool, Hugh Jackman in Logan and Robert Downey Jr. in the Avengers and Iron Man films, accomplished.
Marvel’s counterpart DC Films famously saw its Dark Knight star Heath Ledger win best supporting actor for his role as the Joker. And, more recently, Todd Phillips’ Joker earned 11 Oscar nominations, the most of any comic book movie at that point, including a nod for best picture, with Joaquin Phoenix winning best actor for his role as the Gotham villain.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, released after Boseman’s 2020 death, is a meditation on grief and legacy. In addition to Bassett, the film stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Tenoch Huerta, Michaela Coel, Martin Freeman and Dominique Thorne.
The Oscars will be presented live on ABC on March 12.
- Oscars: ‘Black Panther’ Star Angela Bassett Makes Marvel History With Best Supporting Actress Nod
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