Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black has heaped praise upon actor Colman Domingo. The latter was nominated yesterday in the ‘Best Actor’ category at the Oscars for his role in Rustin.
Black co-wrote the screenplay for the movie—a biopic about 1960s civil rights campaigner Bayard Rustin—with Julian Breece.
On Instagram, Black said he’d been working on the project for years. He said Domingo’s passion helped to ensure it got made.
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“Heartfelt congratulations to Academy Award Nominee @kingofbingo!!” said Black.
“For many a reason I wasn’t able to say much as RUSTIN met the world, but now, here are a few loving words.”
It’s unclear what Black is referencing here. However, it’s likely the fact Rustin was released on November 3. At the time, Black faced assault charges in the UK and was awaiting a court appearance. A judge dismissed the charges against the writer and producer mid-trial on November 8.
“Bringing this story to screen was quite the solitary journey for more than a decade,” Black continued. “Believers would come and go. Come and go. And the heartbreaks were plentiful and cut deep. BUT, one of the brightest moments in that decade came when @tomdaley and I spotted Colman and his husband walking into a CB2 in Weho.
“We ran after them, introduced ourselves, and I said to Colman that I knew in my heart he had to bring Rustin to screen. There was no hesitation from Colman. He was in and never lost his fire for the man and the story.
“Years later, when it seemed the production itself might lose its way, it was Colman who showed the courage to keep things true. I love this man. I genuinely could not be happier today. For Colman. And for the memory of Bayard Rustin and the brave work he did to bring people of all kinds together in the (ongoing) struggle and fight for equality and justice for all.”
Fellow writer Julian Breece also congratulated Domingo. Writing on his Instagram stories, Breece said, “Congratulations @kingofbingo on your historic Oscar nomination!
“You’ve elevated Bayard Rustin’s name and legacy with your creative gift and your leadership in ways that none of us could have imagined. Because of you a black gay genius, an American hero, is out of the shadows and burnished into history where he belongs. Love you, brother!”
Domingo made history yesterday as the first Black gay man to receive an Oscar nomination for portraying another Black gay man on screen. In fact, he follows only in the footsteps of Ian McKellen as an out-performer Oscar-nominated for playing a gay role. McKellen received his nomination for playing James Whale in Gods and Monsters in 1998.
Jodie Foster was also nominated yesterday in the “Supporting Actress” category for a gay role. She played Bonnie Stoll in another Netflix drama, Nyad.
Domingo himself said receiving his nomination felt “Seismic.”
“The idea of getting this nomination is seismic, it´s truly seismic. It´s not only for me, it´s for Maya Rustin, it´s for people who look like me, being an openly gay man as well as being also part Afro-Latino. I´m representing so many groups and people that are just so happy for me that I exist in this space,” he told AP.
Watch below a clip of his interview in which he talks about hearing the news, and both he and his husband bursting into tears.
Watch the trailer for Rustin below.