It’s been a very big couple of years for Colman Domingo – but this week was perhaps the biggest of his career. Colman was nominated in the Best Actor Oscar category for his performance in Rustin. And yesterday two major announcements. First, he’ll play Joe Jackson in the upcoming Michael Jackson biopic. And also, he will direct and star in a Nat King Cole movie musical based on a script that he co-wrote. Boss moves!
Colman already has a lot of experience with the Nat King Cole story as he already co-wrote a play, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, with Patricia McGregor, a few years ago. This, however, is a whole other level of responsibility and pressure. Not that there’s any doubt that Colman will kill it. Because this has been a long time coming.
Colman Domingo is 54 years old and I am reminded by Greta Lee’s comment in her ELLE cover story a couple of months ago:
“I want to work until I’m 100 years old. […] I want to outlive everyone to make up for all that lost time—all those years of sitting and just watching […] the people who had access to all the things, all the opportunities that I didn’t.”
Greta is nearly 15 years younger than Colman so what she said applies even more to him, a Black queer artist who continued to believe in his place in an industry that, for so long, didn’t make space for him. Now he’ll be creating more space for himself. As an Oscar nominee.
So that’s another point about the Oscars and our complicated relationship with them. Because, yes, the institution has ignored so many worthy artists with its legacy of bias. And yet, an Oscar nomination can have impact. Colman has leveraged his inclusion in this year’s award season race to support his other projects, including his Nat King Cole passion project. It’s strategic and smart and it is exactly why the Oscars are still relevant, especially to those who’ve historically been denied participation in the process.
What Colman will do with his Oscar nomination is the TRUE value of an Oscar nomination.
And also… the fact that he’s nominated?! It means Colman will be serving a f-cking LOOK at the Oscars! Attached – Colman giving Colman at Sundance. Everything works on him, including western style.