Angela Bassett Reflects On Holding Austin Butler’s Hand During His Oscars Category: ‘I Understood’

Angela Bassett is opening up about how she showed Austin Butler support during one of the biggest nights of his career. On Thursday, the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star confirmed that she did in fact hold the “Elvis” actor’s hand as his category was being announced during the 2023 Academy Awards. “On the evening of the Oscars, with Austin seated next to me, I understood intimately what he felt when it was time to learn if he would climb those stairs to the stage. So, I took his hand and held it softly as the winner was announced,” she wrote of their friendship to honor him for TIME’s 100 most influential People of 2023. The pair became close pals throughout award season as they were nominated for their respective roles at numerous events and were both considered front runners in their categories on Hollywood’s biggest night by some. Austin was nominated for Best Actor for his role as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Angela was up for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Queen Ramonda. Although neither of them took home the top prize, the 64-year-old celebrated her pal’s achievement. “Although his name wasn’t called, Austin is no less a winner,” she said.