Lakeith Stanfield Was Also ‘Confused’ at First Over Supporting Actor Oscar Nom for ‘Judas’ Lead Role

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2021 Oscar nominations was Lakeith Stanfield breaking into the Best Supporting Actor category for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Stanfield’s FBI informant Bill O’Neal is widely viewed as the protagonist of the film, and thus Warner Bros. campaigned the performer all awards season long for Best Actor. Stanfield’s co-star Daniel Kaluuya campaigned for Best Supporting Actor and also landed an Oscar nomination. Kaluuya is considered the frontrunner to win after earning Best Supporting Actor trophies from the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

While Kaluuya was a no-brainer to land an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor thanks to “Judas and the Black Messiah,” not one Oscar pundit could’ve predicted Kaluuya would be nominated opposite his co-star Stanfield. Not even Stanfield himself saw the Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor race coming.

The actor took to social media and wrote in a since-deleted post (via Daily Beast), “I’m confused too but fuck it lmao.” The post was replaced with another humorous reaction to his Oscar nom: “First time an actor with a face tattoo was nominated lmaooo.”

Unlike the Golden Globes, where actors are considered only in the categories where they have been submitted, the Academy has the freedom to choose which acting category a performer belongs regardless of their Oscar campaign. Buzz around Stanfield’s Best Supporting Actor surprise recalled Kate Winslet’s awards season with “The Reader.” Winslet was campaigned for Best Supporting Actress and won the category at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, but the Academy nominated her for Best Actress at the Oscars. Winslet won the prize despite the category change.

That Stanfield and Kaluuya both earned acting Oscar nominations proves the support for “Judas and the Black Messiah” among Academy members. “Judas” ended Oscar nominations morning with six total nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Song. The movie is the first Best Picture nominee in the Oscars’ 93-year history to boast all Black producers.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is now playing in theaters. The 2021 Academy Awards will take place Sunday, April 25.

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A post shared by 𝙷𝚃𝙸𝙴𝙺𝙰𝙻 Stanfield (@lakeithstanfield3)

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