“It reminded me that certain pockets of the industry, certain pockets of this process are still a business.”
Delroy Lindo was the first likely contender for Best Actor to emerge last year. Da 5 Bloods arrived on Netflix in June of 2020, debuting to much acclaim, including a significant amount of praise for Lindo’s jaw-dropping performance as Paul, one of four African-American Veterans returning to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen Squad Leader. As happens every season, as the year progressed, more potential contenders popped up along the way. But, my hopes and expectations never changed; Lindo was always a frontrunner and rightfully so.
But then in comes the 2021 Golden Globe nominations. Not only was Lindo not included in the Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama category, but Da 5 Bloods didn’t received a single nomination at all. While things did improve after that with Da 5 Bloods scoring two SAG nominations and six Critics Choice nominations, we’re still left hoping the movie will continue to regain the steam needed for that Oscar recognition.
We recently had the pleasure of having Lindo on an episode of Collider Connected to discuss his filmography and making Da 5 Bloods. Towards the end of the conversation we shifted our focus to his awards season experience, first highlighting what this time of year means to him. Here’s what Lindo said:
“I concur with you with regard to, it’s wonderful that actors get recognition for what they have done. I think it’s important that it not become a competition, even though on some level we are competing, and that’s the unfortunate part. But I would say that certainly from the standpoint of giving actors recognition, that’s absolutely tremendous. And, you know, I’m a member of The Academy, and so many, many years during awards season, often times I get to watch extraordinary work and that’s really, really gratifying, rewarding, inspiring to see the depth and the breadth, the magnitude of the talent that’s out there and on display.”
After that, there was no holding back; I had to ask about the HFPA completely shutting out Da 5 Bloods from its nomination list. Here’s what Lindo said when asked for his reaction upon getting the news:
“It reminded me that certain pockets of the industry, certain pockets of this process are still a business and it being a business, the connection between the business and the creative aspect do not always align and I was reminded of that very starkly, very acutely in that moment that the nominations for the Golden Globes were announced.”
So what exactly can be done to change this? It’s a big question right there and not necessarily one Lindo can comment on in full while involved in awards season, but here’s what he said when asked for actionable steps to take in order to improve the awards situation:
“I think that is an entirely legitimate question. It’s very difficult for me to answer that question this year, as it relates to the Golden Globes, because I feel that anything that I say will be seen as sour grapes, perhaps, and I’m not trying to set myself up to be assessed in that regard. Interestingly, perhaps, if I were not so directly involved in awards season this year – on another year I might be able to answer that more ‘objectively’ – but having said that, I will say that I hope it is being looked at. Not just in terms of me because the fact is, as you know, if you’re an awards season fan you know that every single year there are worthy performances that get ignored.”
One particular performance Lindo thought was unfairly overlooked? Alfre Woodard’s work in Clemency as a prison warden who’s carried out years’ worth of executions with the film focusing on the effects that the job’s had on her.
“Maybe I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but I cannot understand at all how Alfre Woodard’s work last year in Clemency was not lauded more widely. Every year it happens that there are worthy performances that for whatever reason don’t get the recognition.”
As Lindo pointed out, that’s something that happens every season. This year, however? He finds the amount of deserving folks being overlooked especially terrible:
“As it relates to this year, I think this year is particularly egregious and I can only hope that that process is deconstructed and looked into, because if you’re going to call yourself a legitimate awards giving organization, then how are you functioning, what are you recognizing and why? Now, they may say, ‘Well, we don’t have to answer that question.’ And you’re right, you don’t. You don’t ‘owe me’ or perhaps anybody else that. But when it involves such a seemingly blatant none reaction, if you were hurt as an observer, [laughs] … I really should stop. I just think you ask a legitimate question, I think it is a legitimate question to say, ‘Okay, what’s going on here? What’s really going on here?’ And smarter minds than myself will perhaps answer that question or investigate that.”
While we wait to find out if Lindo scores that well-deserved Oscar nomination, how about we celebrate his work in Da 5 Bloods and more together? We’ll have our full Collider Connected conversation with Lindo for you on Wednesday covering everything from his early days focusing on theater work to how he wound up working with Spike Lee and so much more.
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