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Daniel Kaluuya Wins First Ever Oscar

by : Cameron Frew on : 26 Apr 2021 01:30
Daniel Kaluuya Wins First Ever OscarWarner Bros./PA Images

Daniel Kaluuya has won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah

It’s the British star’s second nomination and first win, coming after Get Out‘s stratospheric success in 2017. Since then, he’s starred with Widows, Black Panther, Queen and Slim and A Christmas Carol. However, his Academy Award-winning role may be his best yet.

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He stars as Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton, with the film tracking tragic betrayal of William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), an FBI informant who aids authorities efforts’ to investigate, suppress and eventually assassinate him.

Judas and the Black Messiah 4Warner Bros.

In the Best Supporting Actor category, Kaluuya emerged victorious over his co-star Stanfield (whose inclusion in the same category raised some eyebrows when the nominations were announced), Paul Raci for Sound of Metal, Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Leslie Odom Jr. for One Night in Miami.

Kaluuya’s win had been widely anticipated, having already secured the BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Award in the lead-up to the Academy Awards.

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Ahead of the release of Judas and the Black Messiah, we spoke with Kaluuya about his experience making the film, taking on the character and how he felt about the Oscars.

Kaluuya Stanfield JudasWarner Bros.

He said: ‘My attitude towards awards in general is it’s nice to be recognised by your peers; like in any profession, it’s just a really nice thing. It’s nice to be acknowledged and recognised. I just don’t do it for that.’

Kaluuya added: ‘I don’t think it’d help my spiritual and mental health to be dong it for external validations, you know what I’m saying? Whatever happens happens, it’s literally out of my control, I can’t do anything about it. So, if it happens… great. If it doesn’t, great.’

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Judas and the Black Messiah 2Warner Bros.

When asked if there was an extra weight to playing Hampton compared to earlier performances, he explained: ‘Yeah, I mean playing a real person there’s an added pressure, added weight, added cultural weight, going to Chicago and meeting their family. You get the cultural weight but also the emotional weight, like this is their legacy, this is their family, you know?’

Kaluuya continued:  I think it was probably the experience where I had to be my tallest. It stretched me. Playing a real person on screen, I just hadn’t done that before. There was that, sort of like… oh wow, I have to grow in me, as me, in order to step up to serve Chairman Fred.’

Judas and the Black Messiah is available to rent now. 

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Academy Awards, Daniel Kaluuya, Oscars