Ahead of the Academy Awards on Sunday, Whoopi Goldberg is taking a moment to reflect on her historic Best Supporting Actress Oscar win for her portrayal of Oda Mae Brown in Ghost.
In an interview for Variety‘s Hollywood Royalty issue, Goldberg — whose 1991 win made her the first Black woman to receive that award in over 50 years and helped make the first Black female EGOT winner — shares some of her takeaways from that momentous night.
“I didn’t want to jinx it,” she recalls of her chances to win the Oscar after previously taking home a Golden Globe. “I just thought, ‘You’ve got to go in this without any expectations, and whatever happens, happens.’”
When her name was announced as the winner, Goldberg says her only concern at that time was: “Will I make any sense? Can I do it before they play me off? Will I remember to thank the people I need to thank?”
Looking back at her illustrious career, Goldberg is thankful to those who shared advice, including mentor and friend Elizabeth Taylor.
“You and I know you can do anything, but you are Black, so it’s going to be harder for folks to believe,” she recalls Taylor telling her. “It’s going to be up and down. If you have a way to see where you were, it will allow you to not give up in tough times.”
Now, Goldberg says she’s excited about the next chapter in her life, which includes creating her own projects. One of those projects is a forthcoming superhero film centered on an older Black woman.
“Since I was a little kid, I’ve been obsessed with superheroes,” Goldberg says. “They’re all saving the earth all the time. But do you know who’s really going to save the earth? Old Black women.”
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