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Angela Bassett says without a doubt Lupita Nyong’o deserves to take home an Oscar Sunday night.

HelloBeautiful caught up with the ageless film star at ESSENCE’s 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Along with sharing her Academy Award predictions, Angela detailed the moment she fell in love with Hollywood’s new it-girl.

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“I think Lupita definitely,” she said, predicting the biggest Oscar of the night,” and 12 Years A Slave for best film.”

She went on to say that the Best Supporting Actress nominee’s talent cannot be ignored.

“Did you see that performance? It was honest, it was raw, it was heartbreaking,” Bassett gushed. “When he left her behind it was that moment but we’ve all felt some of those emotions in our life from time to time. It was transcendent. It was ancient, it was modern.”

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“I was called and asked to present an award to her because I’m a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and she just graduated,” the Black Nativity star shared of the first time she met Ms. Nyong’o. “The film had not come out. The film was coming out, I think, the night before so it was the first night in the theatre and no one knew here. So they called and asked me and I said, ‘Well, I want to see the film.’ I went to a late show — and I never go to a 11:35 movie! — I was awake and I was enthralled. And I was there and I fell in love.”

Hollywood’s biggest night kicks off on March 2, live on ABC at 7 EST. Tell us your predictions in the comment section below.

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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.