Angela Bassett Didn't Force A Smile After 2023 Oscars Loss To Jamie Lee Curtis (& We Don't Blame Her)

Even though her red carpet look was a show-stopper, it was Angela Bassett's losing face in the audience that went viral at the 2023 Oscars.

For decades, celebrities have had to put on a brave face during award shows, as they have to cheer on their fellow nominees while coping with losing the competition to them. At the 2019 Tony Awards, for example, James Corden poked some fun at this, saying, "I want you to know that in my eyes, you're all winners," he said. "However, statistically speaking, by the end of the night, the majority of you will be losers. I was thinking the majority of you need to get your losing faces right because when the camera's on you, you've got to hide that disgust."

In Bassett's case, there was no hiding the actor's disdain when her name wasn't called for the best supporting actress Oscar on March 12. Bassett wasn't about to force a smile after her loss, and knowing how groundbreaking her nomination was, we can't say as we blame the star.

Angela Bassett looked gutted after Oscars loss

Although there wasn't a 2023 Oscars slap, the competition for the 2023 Best Supporting Actress award was fierce enough to stir up some drama. Jamie Lee Curtis won her very first Oscar for her role in "Everything, Everywhere, All At Once." In her acceptance speech, she thanked all the fans who have supported her throughout the many years of starring in movies. She also mentioned that her mother and father — legendary actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh — had been nominated for Academy Awards during their careers. "I just won an Oscar," she concluded her speech while tearing up.

Angela Bassett seemed to be less than thrilled that Curtis won the category. Bassett was up against the "Everything Everywhere All At Once" actor for her role in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," and she looked gutted after they announced Curtis as the winner. She wasn't seen standing, smiling, or clapping after her loss.

Bassett's reaction has the internet divided. Some fans believe that her reaction was perfectly natural, while others thought not standing up for Curtis was disrespectful. But it seems that it may have been just an in-the-moment feeling, as she has shown that she's been grateful to even be nominated. Bassett is 100% real, and her reaction didn't show anything less than authenticity.

Angela Bassett's Oscar nomination was groundbreaking despite the loss

Angela Bassett won a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Award for her acting performance as Queen Ramonda, giving her a solid chance at winning an Oscar. However, Jamie Lee Curtis won the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the "What's Love Got to Do With It?" actor didn't win a BAFTA, so it evened the competition out.

While Bassett's performance in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" earned her an Oscar nomination for the second time in her career, the 2023 Oscar Awards nomination marked the first time a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie was up for an Academy Award for an acting category. Typically, Marvel movies and other comic book superhero movies are nominated for technical categories such as costume and lighting design. And of course, it's always notable when a person of color is nominated for an Academy Award.

So when Bassett was nominated, she admitted that it was the last thing that was on her mind at the time. "It means I did what I came to do. I did what I came to do. And I did it well," she told the Los Angeles Times, indicating that she's grateful for the nomination and recognition.  And although she definitely looked sad that she didn't win the award, it seems that the loss will only fuel her fire.

Angela Bassett says being the underdog keeps her motivated

When Jamie Lee Curtis took home the Screen Actors Guild Award, she told Entertainment Tonight Canada that she had become friends with all of her nominees in her category, indicating that the last thing she wants is bad blood between the talented actors she was up against. She mentioned that she has spent time with Angela Bassett in London and has met her daughter. "That's the surprising and beautiful part of this. I've made friends through a competition," she said. 

When Bassett was nominated for an Oscar in 1994, her loss was just as shocking as her 2023 Oscars snub. "At the moment ... you're hoping, and praying, and wishing, but I don't walk away thinking 'I've been robbed," she told CBS News, adding, "That's too negative of an emotion to carry with me for the rest of my life." Her "Black Panther" co-star Michael B. Jordan, presenting alongside Jonathan Majors, showed her support on stage saying, "Hey Auntie, we love you."

Bassett has shown that she keeps her head high amid losses in her career. She told the Los Angeles Times that she prefers to be "underestimated" because it gives her more motivation and ambition. So maybe Bassett's 2023 Oscars loss will motivate her more rather than tear her down. One thing about Angela Bassett, she's going to do the thing.