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Angela Bassett took Lady Gaga’s “Top Gun: Maverick” lyrics literally and held the hand of her fellow acting nominee, Austin Butler.
In a moving moment during the 2023 Oscars, the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Best Supporting Actress nominee Bassett held “Elvis” star Butler’s hand while his category was being read. Bassett had already lost earlier in the evening to “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Butler, who went Method to play the King of Rock ‘n Roll, was beat out by Brendan Fraser for his turn in “The Whale.”
Bassett became a viral sensation for her moment with Butler, as well as a special shoutout by presenters and “Creed III” star Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors earlier in the evening.
“Hey Auntie,” Jordan said onstage, referencing his “Black Panther” character Erik Killmonger saying the same to Bassett’s Queen Ramonda in the first MCU film.
Majors added to Bassett, “We love you.” Majors starred in “Lovecraft Country” opposite Bassett’s husband Courtney B. Vance. Both Bassett and Majors are also Yale School of Drama alums.
Bassett’s Oscar nomination for “Wakanda Forever” was her second Academy nod since portraying Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” in 1993. She was honored at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, and NAACP Image Awards for playing Queen Ramonda in “Wakanda Forever.” Bassett was also given a special mention by Oscar winner Ariana DeBose during a viral BAFTAs rap.
“I was just so proud. Just so, so proud of us, as humans too, in the way that it was approached and carried out,” Bassett exclusively told IndieWire about making “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” sans late lead Chadwick Boseman in November 2022. “Even in grief, there’s such hope. Hope remained. And hope is the expectation of something good. That’s the mission of hope, that something good will come eventually. You just have got to go through it.”
Bassett continued, “I just felt a responsibility. I remember the first day, the first scene where I had to sit [on the throne], it’s like, ‘How exactly do I sit here? What is the best posture to convey who she is?’ How do I lead? I always think about trying to make something memorable.”
Angela Bassett holding Austin Butler’s hand while he’s nervous…is exactly the kind of woman I imagined she was . pic.twitter.com/IPnYniCCux
— Nadine Babu (@NadineBabu) March 13, 2023
Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors praise Angela Bassett after her Supporting Actress #Oscars loss: “Hi, auntie. We love you.” https://t.co/ndiKiHfmID pic.twitter.com/5YwcBzWM1Q
— Variety (@Variety) March 13, 2023