Lily Gladstone makes Oscars history, becoming the first Native American nominated for Best Actress.
This year's Oscar ceremony marks a new chapter in history as Lily Gladstone won an Oscar nomination. She became the first Native American to be considered for the best actress category at the Academic Awards. The actress has been selected for the nomination for her portrayal of Mollie Kyle in Martin Scorcese's "Killers of the Flower Moon." According to IMDb, the film is a Western crime drama based on the book of the same name by David Grann. The actor paid tribute to her mother for helping her keep in touch with her Native American heritage.
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Gladstone's mother played a pivotal role in ensuring that her daughter was familiar with the language. Even though she was a white woman, she put in the extra effort to ensure that Gladstone had a teacher to educate her about the Blackfeet language. The actress utilized the opportunity to highlight the various struggles that indigenous actors faced in the industry. The movie is set in the 1920s and revolves around the Osage Indian tribe based in Oklahoma. Gladstone's character becomes romantically involved with Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Ernest Burkhart. The duo becomes suspicious of the death of Native Americans in their locality after the tribe discovered oil there. The mysterious deaths of members of the Osage tribe result in an FBI investigation, which forms the crux of the movie. The film also features Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons.
Gladstone's Oscar nomination is no small feat, as she also happens to be the fourth Indigenous actress to get an Oscar nomination in history. According to PEOPLE, Merle Oberon was the first woman to be nominated in the same category all the way back in 1935 for portraying Kitty Vane in the movie, "The Dark Angel." Keisha Castle-Hughes was the next woman to get a nomination for portraying the character of Paikea in "Whale Rider." The most recent nomination happened in 2018 when Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for her role in the movie "Roma."
In fact, Gladstone has been making headlines even before her Oscar nomination, having won the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for the same role at the Golden Globe ceremony. She happened to be the first indigenous individual to get a Golden Globe award in its long 81-year history. What made it even more special was her acceptance speech, which she started with the Blackfeet language. Shortly after she began her speech, she referred to the namesake group as "the beautiful community nation that raised me, that encouraged me to keep going, keep doing this."
Lily Gladstone has become the first Indigenous winner in the Golden Globes’ 81-year history. pic.twitter.com/BtUWp0RpbT— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 8, 2024
Finally watched Killers of the Flower Moon tonight and wow… Lily Gladstone can really take you out at the knees with just a glance pic.twitter.com/PKl0T7HczL— Luke Valle (@LukeValleWrites) January 6, 2024
She also added, "I'm so grateful that I can speak even a little bit of my language, which I'm not fluent enough here, because in this business, Native actors used to speak their lines in English and then the sound mixers would run them backward to accomplish Native languages on camera." The actress is cognizant of the positive impact her award would have on her community. She spoke about how the award did not just belong to her but that it was shared with all of her fellow actresses and her mother. The actress concluded by thanking Martin Scorcese for the opportunity and sharing hope for future generations of kids from her community.