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After Feeling “Supreme Disappointment” at 2023 Oscars Loss, Angela Bassett “Decided to Party Like It’s 1999” with Beyoncé and Jay-Z

 Angela Bassett.
Angela Bassett.

For every Oscar winner, there are usually at least four other nominees who go home empty handed. Though being nominated in the first place is a big deal—definitely something to be celebrated and recognized on its own—losing is typically never a fun experience, and the bravest ones among us are the ones who can own that.

Enter Angela Bassett, who, inexplicably, has never won a Best Actress Oscar for her body of work. (She’s not alone—Halle Berry remains the only Black woman, still, to have ever won the Best Actress Academy Award; Berry won in 2002 for her role in Monster’s Ball, a full 22 years ago. The Academy Awards, just in case you’re keeping score, had its 96th awards ceremony last night. One Black Best Actress in 96 years. Not okay—but nobody asked me.) Bassett has been nominated, though, and received her first Best Actress Oscar nomination back in 1994 for her role as Tina Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do with It and received the nod again in 2023, for Best Supporting Actress this time, for her role in 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett

Bassett herself, by the way, brought up the disparity of Black actresses not taking home the top prize back in January, while being awarded an honorary Oscar for her contributions to the film industry. Bassett’s husband, fellow actor Courtney B. Vance, told People that in particular her loss in 2023 stung: “It hurt her feelings when she didn’t win the Oscar this last go-round, but we decided to party like it’s 1999 that night and they weren’t going to run us home,” Vance said. “So we ended up at Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s party, and life goes on. They gave her [Bassett] an honorary Oscar, which is wonderful. So we keep it pushing.”

Look—if you’re going to be disappointed, probably the best formula available is to be disappointed while partying with Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

Ever the supportive husband, Vance said of his wife “I believe her best work is ahead of her. So maybe it re-energized people about her, but she’s the most amazing actress in the world. Folks who know, know, and the folks who don’t know, maybe they were re-energized, maybe they were energized.”

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett

Bassett herself recently told People of her career “I’ve always been a hard worker. You have to know what to say no to as well as what to say yes to. And during this time, a lot of things have been worthy of me saying yes to.”

Vance said Bassett remains “very shy” about her accomplishments and said she’d “never toot her own horn.” He added that when she received her honorary Oscar in January, he “flashed back to 30 years ago when they didn’t call her name [in 1994], and then when they didn’t call her name last March,” he said. The honorary Oscar “meant everything to her,” Vance said.

Even after losing in 2023, Vance encouraged her to celebrate what she had achieved: “She leaned over to me and said, “Are we going home?’” Vance said. “I said, ‘No, we’re going to party.’ And then she said—anyway, we had a good time that night. I’m going to leave it like that.”

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett

Of the loss, Bassett herself told Oprah Winfrey “I was gobsmacked! I was. I thought I handled it very well, and that was my intention—to handle it very well. It was, of course, a supreme disappointment, and disappointment is human so yes, I was disappointed, and I handled it like a human being.”

She said she handled herself with dignity “for myself and for my children, who were there with me,” she continued, adding of her children, “There are going to be these moments of disappointment that they are going to experience. But how do you handle yourself in the midst of them? We’re going to smile, we’re going to be gracious, we’re going to be kind—we got a party, anyway.”

Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett

As any Oscar winner or nominee knows, the spotlight is on you for one fleeting moment, and then, like today, it’s the day after the Oscars and the public is already forgetting what just happened—so none of it should be taken too seriously. “We look at it and we’re the same people when they like us, when they want us, and when they don’t,” Vance said. “So we just keep moving. Eventually the world comes around to you and then one minute you’re hot, one minute you’re a little tepid, but you’re still you. So we really try not to let it faze us.”