Daniel Kaluuya took home the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah during Sunday night’s 2021 Oscars.
The actor beat out an impressive list of nominees to win the trophy at the ceremony on Sunday night. The Best Supporting Actor winner nabbed the honor for playing late Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah.
“I’d like to thank my mom. Thank you so much for pouring into me. You gave me everything, you gave me your factory settings so I could stand at my fullest height,” Kaluuya said at the beginning of the speech, growing emotional as his mother and sister watched from the U.K.
The actor then thanked his family and friends “from London town to Kampala,” the capital of Uganda where his father is from.
Kaluuya continued his speech by thanking the late Hampton and his family, including his one surviving son, as well as the Black Panthers for their impact on his life and others.
“They showed me how to love myself, and with that love, they overflowed to the Black communities and to other communities,” he said. “They showed us that the power of union, the power of unity, that when they play divide and conquer, we play unite and ascend.”
While Kaluuya went on to say that “there’s so much work to do guys, and that’s on everyone in this room,” he also took a moment to celebrate the miracles of life.
“We gotta celebrate, we gotta celebrate life,” he added, growing more animated. “We’re breathing, we’re walking. It’s incredible. Like, my mom, my dad, they had sex — it’s amazing! I’m here. I’m so happy to be alive and I’m gonna celebrate that tonight.”
Cameras cut to Kaluuya’s mother and sister after the sex comment, with the former appearing to say “what is he talking about?” as his sister looked hilariously embarrassed.
The actor then ended the speech by saying, “peace, love and onwards. We go again.”
The other nominees in the category included Leslie Odom Jr. for One Night in Miami, Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7, Paul Raci for Sound of Metal and Lakeith Stanfield for Judas and the Black Messiah.
Kaluuya, 32, was the clear frontrunner heading into Sunday night, picking up the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and the BAFTA award for his portrayal of Hampton.
This is the actor’s second Oscar nomination and first win.
Speaking to The Washington Post about the film, Kaluuya said he was blown away by his character’s brilliance while researching the role of Hampton.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 26, 2021