Angela Bassett made history on Tuesday as the first Marvel Cinematic Universe star to be nominated for an acting Oscar for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. After being nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Bassett paid tribute to her portrayal.
“Wakanda Forever’s Queen Ramonda is a character that touches my soul because she is a mother and a leader who has to care for her grieving people as much as she cares for her family in mourning,” said Bassett. The actor is the favourite to win at the Oscars on March 12, having already picked up a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice award. The film secured four more nominations, including visual effects and costume design.
Bassett was previously nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Tina Turner in the biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It.
Disney’s sequel, Black Panther, sold nearly $330 million in tickets and in November USA and set a record in Canada. In the sequel, King T’Challa’s character dies in the opening, before actor Chadwick Boseman begins filming 2020. After his death from cancer in 2020, the script changes.
Marvel decided not to voice T’Challa again. Instead, writer and director Ryan Coogler crafted a script that foregrounded female characters. “Ramonda is a love letter that reflects and embraces what we women do every day,” said Bassett.
His nomination defies the long-held belief by many big names in Hollywood, including directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, that Marvel movies are not true cinema. “I feel like they’re closer to theme parks than the movies I’ve known and loved all my life, and in the end, I don’t think they’re movies,” Scorsese wrote in New. In 2019, the York Times sparked a backlash.
Despite such criticism, the first Black Panther won three Academy Awards in 2019 after earning seven Oscar nominations, including the first Best Picture nomination for a superhero film. Bassett is joined in the category by The Whale’s Hong Chau, The Banshees of Inisher’s Kerry Condon, and Everything Everywhere All Other’s Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu.
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