Angela Bassett Was ‘Gobsmacked’ She Lost the Oscar for ‘Black Panther 2’: ‘It Was a Supreme Disappointment, and Disappointment Is Human’

In a recent interview with Oprah as part of the “OWN Spotlight” series, Angela Bassett admitted she was “gobsmacked” when she lost the Oscar for supporting actress last year. Bassett was nominated for her performance in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She had won the Globe Globe and Critics Choice Award, but the supporting actress race remained somewhat open leading into Oscar night as Curtis won the SAG Award for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and Kerry Condon won the BAFTA for “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Curtis ended up winning the Oscar.

“I just knew your name was going to be called,” Oprah told Bassett. “I was beside myself [when it wasn’t]! We were beside ourselves.”

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“I was gobsmacked! I was,” Bassett responded. “I thought I handled it very well. That was my intention, to handle it very well. It was, of course, a supreme disappointment, and disappointment is human. So I thought, yes, I was disappointed and I handled it like a human being.”

Bassett said handling the Oscar loss with grace was of the utmost importance “for myself and for my children who were there with me.”

“There are going to be these moments of disappointment that you’ll experience, but how do you handle yourself in the midst of them?” she added. “We’re going to smile, we’re going to be gracious, we’re going to be kind, we’re going to party anyway.”

Prior to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Bassett had only been nominated for an Oscar once before. She competed for best actress in 1994 for playing Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” a performance that also won her a Golden Globe. Holly Hunter won the Oscar that year for “The Piano.” After her 2023 loss, Bassett was named a recipient of an Honorary Award for her career as part of this year’s Oscar season.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was the second time Bassett played Queen Ramonda in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her Oscar nomination made her the first person to be nominated for an Academy Award for a Marvel movie. She told Oprah that she signed on to play the character in the original “Black Panther” film without even seeing the script.

“Some of these places are secretive with the scripts, but [director Ryan Coogler] said, ‘Queen.’ For years I had been saying … when they ask what else you want to play, I’d say, ‘I want to play a queen.’ I manifested it, evidently,” Bassett said. “Because I hadn’t seen it. It’s not queen for me, it’s queen for us. We are queens. My mother, my auntie, you. We all are. So often Black women are considered at the low end of the totem. No!”

Watch Oprah and Bassett’s full conversation in the video below.

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