With a Golden Globe, a SAG and BAFTA beneath his belt, actor Daniel Kaluuya added an Oscar to his tray of accolades at the 93rd Academy Awards. The West London native received the best actor in a supporting role Oscar for his charismatic performance as the Black Panther activist Fred Hampton in the movie “Judas and the Black Messiah.” A transformative role, which saw the 32-year-old actor swap his English tones for an American accent and take on smoking, Kaluuya said he was chuffed to receive the trophy.
“I am glad that people will get to know and understand the Black Panther party,” he told reporters backstage in the virtual media press room. “The more people see his story the legacy will continue.”
An Oscars unlike any before, the telecast was rearranged as a result of the pandemic and shifted to April (usually in February) and was a more intimate setting held at Los Angeles’ Union Station. Nominees, their guests, and presenters were the only ones invited to physically attend the ceremony and there were no audience. Instead, the show resembled the Oscar’s very early days in the 1940’s where it was held at the Roosevelt hotel with just a couple hundred attendees.
Regina King who was nominated for “One Night in Miami” opened the show confidently striding to the stage with an Oscar. “It has been quite a year and we are still smack dab in the middle of it,” King said in the opening.
Oscar winners included Frances McDormand, who won Best Actress, while director Chloe Zhao took home Best Director. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” earned its Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera, hair department head Mia Neal, and Viola Davis’ personal hairstylist, Jamika Wilson, the statue for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Disney’s “Soul” continued its award sweep beating out “Over the Moon” and “Wolfwalkers” to win the best Animated Feature Film Oscar. Voiced by Jamie Foxx, it is the first Pixar feature to have a Black protagonist.
There were lots of stirring speeches, but most poignant came from Tyler Perry, who urged the audience to “refuse hate” as he accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
“I refuse to hate someone because they’re Mexican or because they are black or white. Or LGBTQ,” said Perry. “I refuse to hate someone because they’re a police officer or because they’re Asian. I would hope we would refuse to hate and I want to take this humanitarian award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle, because that’s where healing and change happens.”
Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Rita Moreno and Zendaya were presenters during the two-hour telecast.
Check out pictures from the 93rd annual Academy Awards below:
Samantha Ofole-Prince is a Los Angeles based entertainment journalist who covers industry-specific news. Follow her on twitter @SamanthaOfole