When the nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards were announced there was one huge snub that shocked movie critics world wide … Forest Whitaker’s, Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
But if you thought for one moment Whitaker was upset about The Butler not being nominated, guess again. During a recent phone interview to promote his new film Repentance, the actor explained that it’s about his craft not the awards.
“I’ve been doing this for years and my goal is purely to expand the human experience, to expand myself and connection with other people,” he said. “That’s my real goal. It’s always nice when people celebrate me or my work. But that’s not my real marker. It’s seems to be more of a marker for others.”
Among some of the other major snubs, Michael B. Jordan’s Fruitvale Station, a film which Whitaker co-produced. While the actor calls the film “beautifully done,” he further explains that it’s not always about the validation.
“It was some great performances, and I think people did acknowledge my work,” he said. “As far as nominations, you really just can’t allow yourself to get caught up. You just have to see how it flows.”
During the 2014 SAG Awards, HipHollywood caught up with Boardwalk Empire star Michael Kenneth Williams to talk about some of 2013’s best Black films not being recognized. Williams had the same approach as Whitaker, suggesting that it’s not about the award.
“I stay focused on the work and the fact that these films are being made,” Williams said when asked if the Black community is hyper-sensitive when Black films aren’t nominated. “The fact that Idris Elba made the Mandela film, the fact that we made 12 Years a Slave. The fact that Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker told the story of The Butler, that’s the most important thing. That these stories are getting out there so that the next generation can see what happened, and see what who was who, and see what their stories were.”
“It’s nice to be recognized by the awards but if not the important thing as an actor is to stay focused on the work. Enjoy what you do,” the actor explained.
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