All in all, the 93rd Academy Awards were relatively short on surprises—that is, until the final category of the night was announced. While best picture is typically the last award of the evening, this year’s Oscars broke with tradition and saved the best-actor award for last—and the decision was not without controversy. Below, get all the details on why the best-actor category closed out the night, as well as why the award sparked so much dissent.
Why was the best-actor category saved for last?
It’s not totally clear why the Steven Soderbergh–produced ceremony broke with tradition and announced best picture third from last. But many speculated that it was because the late Chadwick Boseman, who died this summer, was likely to win in the best-actor category for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Who won the award for best actor in a leading role?
Ultimately, the award ended up going to Anthony Hopkins for his performance in The Father, in which he plays an aging father with dementia being cared for by his daughter, played by (Olivia Colman.)
Was Hopkins on hand to accept the award?
Hopkins was not present at the 2021 Oscars. But he delivered his acceptance speech in a video four hours later, saying, “At 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award—I really didn’t,” and adding, “I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early.”
How did people react to Boseman losing out on a posthumous Oscar?
The award going to Hopkins instead of Boseman was an upset, to say the least, with social media erupting in outrage at the Academy’s choice not to honor Boseman for his final role, especially given that his image was used to promote the ceremony: