“To be standing here representing one of the greatest artists of all time ― James Baldwin ― is a little surreal,” she said in her acceptance speech. Thanking Baldwin and director Barry Jenkins, she added, “It’s appropriate for me to be standing here because I’m an example of when support and love is poured into someone.”
She teared up as she addressed her mother, Gloria King, who was also her date for the evening.
“Thank you for teaching me that God is always leaning, always has been leaning in my direction,” she said.
One exception was King’s portrayal of Sharon Rivers, a driven mother determined to free her daughter’s boyfriend from prison. She took home the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for the role in January.
“Everyone loves her because Regina has played so many wide-ranging, diverse characters in her work,” Jenkins said. “She’s brought this full humanity to all of them.”
This is King’s first Academy Award nomination and her first win.