‘Pure gratitude’: Colman Domingo celebrates historic Oscars nomination

‘Trying to find the words,’ Domingo reacted to the nod

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 24 January 2024 10:43 GMT
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Colman Domingo has responded to his first Oscar nomination with a heartfelt post on social media.

The nominees for the 96th Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday (23 January), with several snubs and surprises dominating the headlines.

American actor Domingo, 54, earned a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Bayard Rustin, a gay civil rights activist, in the Netflix drama Rustin.

Domingo commemorated his nomination with a post on Instagram on Tuesday, just hours after the announcement was made during a livestreamed ceremony hosted by Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid in Los Angeles.

Alongside photos from the set of the George C Wolfe-directed film, the actor wrote: “Overflowing. Thank you dear Bayard. Thank you @theacademy for this nomination. Trying to find the words.”

He continued: “Today it is pure gratitude. For everything. The journey. The company. The highs. The very lows. The staying with it. Faith. Love. Light. Joy. Rejoice.”

Several of Domingo’s fellow Hollywood colleagues responded with supportive messages, praising his performance in the movie,

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in ‘Rustin’ (Courtesy of Netflix)

His castmate in the recently released musical film The Color Purple, Taraji P Henson, wrote: “YAAAAASSSS!!! Congrats babe. So deserved!!!”

Meanwhile, Emmy-winning Abbott Elementary star Quinta Brunson added: “Congratulations Colman.”

The other performers in contention for Best Actor in a Leading Role this year are Bradley Cooper (Maestro), Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers), Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer) and Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction).

Domingo’s nomination marks only the second time that an openly gay actor has been recognised at the Academy for the portrayal of a gay character, following Ian McKellen’s performance of real-life director James Whale in the 1999 period drama Gods and Monsters.

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When Domingo spoke to The Independent ahead of Rustin’s release in November, he noted that although he and Rustin were both “openly gay”, it didn’t give him a shortcut to figuring out how best to portray the historical figure.

Colman Domingo is a first-time Oscar nominee (Getty Images for Netflix)

“It’s funny… if people know that we’re both openly gay, they think there must clearly be some part of me in him. But I had to build this character like any other,” he explained.

“The vicious pimp I played in [2020 crime drama] Zola, or the father in [2018 James Baldwin adaptation] If Beale Street Could Talk… I had to build them the exact same way, and then infuse with what I can access in my soul.”

In the UK, viewers will be able to follow the 96th Academy Awards live on ITV, from around 11pm, on Sunday 10 March.

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