Angela Bassett Says 2023 Oscar Loss Was “a Supreme Disappointment,” but She Wanted “to Handle It Very Well”

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Angela Bassett got candid about how she felt when she lost the Oscar for best supporting actress in 2023 to Jamie Lee Curtis.

Winfrey brought up the moment, recalling, “We’re all in our pajamas, watching you on Oscar night … 30 years after you were nominated for What’s Love Got to Do with It, but didn’t win. So I just knew your name was going to be called and then when they didn’t, I was beside myself.”

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She then noted that Bassett’s despondent facial reaction became a meme. “People are saying your disappointment showed, but I thought you handled it really well,” said Winfrey.

Bassett agreed. “I thought I handled it very well, also. And that was my intention, to handle it very well,” she said. “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.

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

Bassett was nominated for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, while Curtis won for her role as IRS agent Deirdre Beaubeirdre in Everything Everywhere All at Once. At the time, fans took to social media to express their support for Bassett and saying she deserved to win.

In January, Bassett received an honorary Oscar at the Governor Awards, her first after being a two-time nominee. During the interview, Winfrey pointed out that the location for the sit-down, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, was the “perfect place” for their chat, considering Bassett’s recent honorary Academy Award.

“The speech that you gave will live on forever. I mean, the internet was going crazy,” said Winfrey of the actress’ impassioned remarks.

Bassett shared that it “blesses my soul [and] blesses my heart” to receive the honor and she is “very appreciative” for the recognition that her work has paid off.

She added, “I worked hard to get to this place, so I know it’s not a gift. I know that I earned it because I worked hard for it.”

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