Queer history was made earlier today when the Academy Award nominations were announced. For the first time ever two openly queer actresses were nominated for Academy Awards. Spencer leading lady Kristen Stewart snuck into the Best Actress race, edging out presumed frontrunner Lady Gaga for House of Gucci, and Broadway veteran Ariana DeBose was nominated for her electrifying portrayal of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s reimagined West Side Story.
Blackish star Tracie Ellis Ross and Call Me Kat actor Leslie Jordan announced the nominations live as surprises and snubs were everywhere. Leading the field in total nominations: Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog with 12, including four acting nods. Benedict Cumberbatch scored a leading actor nomination. Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons (who are together on screen and off) and Kodi Smit-McPhee all notched supporting nominations. The sci-fi epic Dune came up big as well with 10 nominations, mostly in the technical categories.
Hollywood veteran Stewart’s nomination came as quite a surprise to industry experts and insiders. Many had thought overall love for Spencer had faded, as the Twilight franchise star saw herself left out of most of the precursor awards ceremonies. These past years have seen Stewart craft a well-rounded resume including winning a César award for Best Supporting Actress in 2015. The Panic Room actress found much love from the LGBTQ community in 2020 when she starred in Hulu’s gay holiday rom-com Happiest Season.
History has the potential to be made multiple times on March 27 if Tony Award winner DeBose takes home the Supporting Actress Academy Award. She would be the first queer woman of color to win an Oscar. It will also be the first time two different people won an Oscar for the same role. EGOT winner Rita Moreno took home her Oscar for her portrayal of Anita in 1962.
The Motown: The Musical actress will walk into the Dolby auditorium with the hopes and dreams of the entire Broadway community cheering her on. The beloved NYC singer and dancer has originated numerous roles in shows including Bring It On, A Bronx Tale, and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
Check back with Instinct Magazine as we size up each performer’s odds to make history as the Oscars approach. The 94th Annual Academy Awards are scheduled for March 27th.