Daniel Kaluuya, the British actor, who played the charismatic leader of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, in Judas and the Black Messiah, has won the Oscar for supporting actor, describing in an emotional acceptance speech how inspired he was by his character and how lucky he felt.
“Peace, love, and onwards,” said Kaluuya, thanking Warner Bros. for “making a film a about Fred Hampton.”
“What a man. What a man! How blessed we are that we lived in in a life where he existed. Thank you for your light. He was on this earth for 21 years and found a way to feed kids, education kids,” Kaluuya said. And, “There is so much work to do. This is not a single man job.”
Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther, Widows, Queen & Slim) was considered the frontrunner tonight, a show that, unusually, put him up against costar Lakeith Stanfield, who played William O’Neal, the FBI infiltrator who took a plea deal, joined the Panthers and betrayed the civil rights leader. Hampton was murdered in 1969 at age 21. O’Neal later committed suicide. Kaluuya thanked Stanfield, saying, “I share this honor that is the the light that is Lakeith Stanfield.”
Stanfield had been presented by Warner Bros. as a lead actor nominee but Academy voters went their own way and the pair ended up in the same category that featured a landmark three of five nods to black actors, including Leslie Odom, Jr. as Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami. It was a competitive field with Sacha Baron Cohen’s expertly played Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Paul Raci in Sound of Metal — the 7-year-old veteran actors’ first nomination for a role as a deaf Vietnam vet with addiction issues.
For the first time in 11 years, all nominees were new to the category.
Kaluuya was nominated for best actor Oscar for 2017 film Get Out.
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