Daniel Kaluuya won his first Oscar for playing late Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah
Daniel Kaluuya took home the 2021 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor — and gave quite the acceptance speech.
The actor beat out an impressive list of nominees to win the trophy at the ceremony on Sunday night. The Best Supporting Actor winner nabbed the honour for playing late Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah.
“I’d like to thank my mom. Thank you so much for pouring into me. You gave me everything, you gave me your factory settings so I could stand at my fullest height,” Kaluuya said at the beginning of the speech, growing emotional as his mother and sister watched from the U.K.
The actor then thanked his family and friends “from London town to Kampala,” the capital of Uganda where his father is from.
Kaluuya continued his speech by thanking the late Hampton and his family, including his one surviving son, as well as the Black Panthers for their impact on his life and others.
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“They showed me how to love myself, and with that love, they overflowed to the Black communities and to other communities,” he said. “They showed us that the power of union, the power of unity, that when they play divide and conquer, we play unite and ascend.”
While Kaluuya went on to say that “there’s so much work to do guys, and that’s on everyone in this room,” he also took a moment to celebrate the miracles of life.
“We gotta celebrate, we gotta celebrate life,” he added, growing more animated. “We’re breathing, we’re walking. It’s incredible. Like, my mom, my dad, they had sex — it’s amazing! I’m here. I’m so happy to be alive and I’m gonna celebrate that tonight.”
Cameras cut to Kaluuya’s mother and sister after the sex comment, with the former appearing to say “what is he talking about?” as his sister looked hilariously embarrassed.
The actor then ended the speech by saying, “peace, love and onwards. We go again.”
The other nominees in the category included Leslie Odom Jr. for One Night in Miami, Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7, Paul Raci for Sound of Metal and Lakeith Stanfieldfor Judas and the Black Messiah.
Kaluuya, 32, was the clear frontrunner heading into Sunday night, picking up the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and the BAFTA award for his portrayal of Hampton.
This is the actor’s second Oscar nomination and first win.
Speaking to The Washington Post about the film, Kaluuya said he was blown away by his character’s brilliance while researching the role of Hampton.
“I was hit by how brilliant of a mind he was. How much he knew and how much he cared, how much he loved and how much he did,” the actor said.
The Get Out actor explained that he accepted the role to “serve Chairman Fred, to serve the Black Panther Party.”
“He’s been silenced, and been erased and been assassinated, physically and culturally,” he added. “This is an opportunity to put him in his rightful position.”
The 93rd Academy Awards are airing live on Sunday, April 25 on ABC.