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Colman Domingo Reveals Barack Obama’s Advice After Receiving Oscar Nom for ‘Rustin’

“Rustin” star Colman Domingo has just been named an Oscar nominee for best actor for his powerhouse performance in the biographical drama. As he arrives to record the latest episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast, Domingo says he wants to stay present in this moment, noting that he was “waiting around for a certain call for a few hours.”

That “certain call” would former President Barack Obama, who is the founder of the production company Higher Ground, which financed the George C. Wolfe drama.

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A fashionable and charismatic figure (who’s also participating in “Dry January”), Domingo says that Presidential call came about one hour before he entered the studio. Doing his best Obama impression, Domingo says the first thing the former President said was, “Colman! Congratulations! Enjoy this moment. Enjoy every step of this. It’s a wonderful thing. Have fun.”

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, Domingo discusses the euphoric feeling of receiving his first Oscar nomination. Additionally, he talks about his acting journey and the big projects he has ahead. Finally, the roundtable sits down to give their reactions to the shocking and surprising Oscar nominations. Listen below.

Colman Domingo - Rustin
Colman Domingo - Rustin

Basking in the glow of his Oscar nom, Domingo walks into the Awards Circuit Podcast studio that Tuesday afternoon with 477 unanswered text messages and more than 300 unread emails. It’s been roughly nine hours since the performer received a first-Oscar bid, for his stunning work as the civil rights hero Bayard Rustin in the biographical drama “Rustin.”

Written by Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black, “Rustin” is an inspirational true story that takes place during the civil rights movement — when Rustin organized the 1963 March on Washington.

The Oscar nomination is a tremendous moment for Domingo. But he’s already looking ahead to the next big thing. As Variety reported Thursday morning, Domingo has been cast as Jackson 5 family patriarch Joe Jackson — the controversial talent manager and father of Michael Jackson — in the Antoine Fuqua-directed biopic “Michael.”

And also on Thursday, Variety exclusively reported that Domingo plans to play vocalist and jazz pianist Nat King Cole in an upcoming movie musical. Not only that, but Domingo co-wrote the script and will make his directorial feature debut on the project.

“I’ve been working on it quietly for a few years,” he says. “It’s something I’m looking forward to putting together with some great partners.”

Meanwhile, an Emmy winner for guest actor in a drama series for HBO’s “Euphoria,” Colman unsure if that show’s upcoming upcoming season will be its last. “I know (creator) Sam (Levinson) has been creating a season three that he’s very excited about. I know we’re looking at getting started in late spring. I know Sam is an artist who likes to respond to the times and whatever is going on culturally. He’s going to respond to these times.”

One thing’s for sure, Domingo’s historic nom surely speaks to our times.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, hosted by Clayton Davis, Jenelle Riley, Jazz Tangcay, Emily Longeretta and Michael Schneider, who also produces, is your one-stop source for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives, discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines, and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

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