The 2023 Academy Awards aired Sunday and many substantial wins were given out. Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian actress to win an award for Best Actress. Additionally, Ruth E. Carter became the first Black woman to win two Oscars in any category. Amongst all of the notable wins that night, there were whispers that Angela Bassett would finally get the award she deserved.
This year, the actress made history by becoming the first actor ever to receive an Academy Award nomination for a Marvel role. That feat, in addition to her NAACP Image Award, SAG and Golden Globe wins this year, led fans to believe that she was on track to finally win an Oscar. When the time came for the Best Supporting Actress winner to be announced, Bassett’s name was not called. “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” actress Jamie Lee Curtis took home the award. The indie film has done well this award season with several wins. Each time the film collected another award, it made history. Still, many believed that Best Supporting Actress belonged to Bassett for her role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Fans thought that this would be the year that the 64-year-old would go home with her first Oscar.
Although she did not get the win we all hoped for, that does not mean her performance was not spectacular. Every time Angela Bassett steps on the set of any film, she is that character. She drops the name given to her at birth and becomes the character assigned to her. The roles she deserved an Oscar for, will never be forgotten.
Angela Bassett’s Previous Oscar Nomination For “What’s Love Got To Do With It”
Believe it or not, the last time Bassett was nominated for an Oscar was in 1994 for her role as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” That year, she lost to Holly Hunter who took home the Best Actress Oscar for her work in “The Piano.”
Many fans agreed that the loss at the time was a snub as well but the actress didn’t see it that way. In a 2023 interview with Gayle King, the actress shared her thoughts on that Oscar loss.
“Of course, in the moment you’re hoping and praying and wishing [you’ll win]. But I never — I don’t walk away thinking ‘I’ve been robbed,’” she said. “That’s too negative of an emotion to carry with me for the rest of my life. I choose to believe there was a reason why it didn’t happen.”
Even though she stayed positive after that loss, there were a few setbacks that followed. In a recent interview with KeKe Palmer for Vanity Fair, she went on to admit that she didn’t work for 18 months after her Oscar nomination.
“There was no material, there was nothing offered,” she recalled.
An Oscar Win Is Not What Makes An Actor Impactful
After her role as Tina Turner, she went on to play many characters worthy of a shot at an Oscar. Her performances as Betty Shabazz, Bernadine Harris, Stella Payne and more all exemplified greatness. She played over 35 roles since her 1994 Oscar nod but had not been considered again until this year. That does not make her any less of an amazing actor. An Academy Award is not what makes an actor great, it’s their performances.
Fans and industry members alike must remember that an Academy Award is not an end-all-be-all. The opinions of those in the Academy should not be held to such a high standard. That being said, less than 10 years ago the #OscarsSoWhite movement began, showing that the Oscars were lacking diversity and inclusivity. The awards ceremony has had a long history of snubbing actors. Hopefully, Angela’s snub is yet another wake-up call. If not, it may just simply be time for us to stop making the Oscars the grand prize of acting.