John Boyega hails ‘King Kaluuya’ after fellow Briton’s historic Oscars win

Stephen Jones, PA
·3-min read

John Boyega has led tributes to fellow Londoner Daniel Kaluuya after the Judas And The Black Messiah star’s historic triumph at the Oscars.

Kaluuya, 32, who was born in the capital to Ugandan parents, took the best supporting actor prize for his portrayal of Black Panther party leader Fred Hampton.

It made him the first black Briton to receive the prize, and was the latest marker of a meteoric rise since his breakthrough in the UK TV series Skins.

After his victory, Boyega, who has also become a breakthrough success in Hollywood in recent years, took to Instagram to praise “King Kaluuya” for “showing us what is possible”.

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“This guy didn’t travel across the pond to play. If you were worried about the next generation of stars? Psh. Look at this man!” the Star Wars actor said.

“So many will follow. Motivation overload!”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi European Premiere – London
John Boyega (Matt Crossick/PA)

Several other British stars joined in sharing their delight at Kaluuya’s recognition, and the actor was filmed celebrating in his hotel room with friends including grime rapper Dave and Snowfall actor Damson Idris.

Actor, writer and director Noel Clarke wrote on Twitter: “Nothing to be said but congratulations. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the 1st ever black British male actor to win an Oscar?”

“Will mean so much to so many,” he added.

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Clarke, 45, was recently recognised for outstanding British contribution to cinema, and used his own acceptance speech to pay tribute to “my young black boys and girls out there who never believed that this could happen to them”.

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Game Of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel tweeted that she was “proud” of Kaluuya’s success, writing: “Yes Daniel!!!… what wonderful news to wake up to.”

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And rapper Ghetts, also from the capital, wrote: “Every time one of the man dem break barriers I feel energised, so to wake up to the news of Daniel Kaluuya winning an Oscar has got man spring stepping.”

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Camden’s Torriano Primary School, which Kaluuya attended in the 1990s, tweeted that it was “incredibly proud”, adding: “What an inspiration for our children!”

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British comic actor Steve Pemberton, with whom Kaluuya starred in the early years of his career in the BBC’s dark comedy Psychoville, also offered a message of congratulations.

“I’ll be using my Club biscuit to congratulate Daniel Kaluuya on his amazing win,” Pemberton wrote on Twitter, referencing a joke from the show.

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Tributes also came in from across the world, with Minnie Driver tweeting: “Daniel Kaluuya, that is what is happening.”