Daniel Kaluuya used a lead role to win a best supporting actor Oscar. He’ll take it.
Kaluuya won his first Academy Award on Sunday night for playing one of the two title roles in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
In a quirk of the nominating process, LaKeith Stanfield, who played the “Judas” of the title — William O'Neal who betrayed Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton to the FBI — competed in the same category.
“I share this honor with the gift that is LaKeith Stanfield,” Kaluuya told the small audience gathered at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
The London-born Kaluuya portrayed the fiery Hampton, who was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. He already earned Golden Globe, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild awards for the role.
“To Chairman Fred Hampton, what a man. How blessed we are that we lived in a lifetime where he existed,” Kaluuya said, clutching his trophy. “He was on this Earth for 21 years and he found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, get free medical care against all odds."
Kaluuya name-checked Hampton's fellow Black Panthers Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
“They showed me how to love myself,” he said. "With that love, they overflowed into the Black community and into other communities. They showed us the power of unity.”