Third time’s a charm? Or perhaps seventh?
That’s the hope for two alumnae of Virginia universities, Ruth E. Carter and Glenn Close. Hampton University grad Carter received her third nomination for an Academy Award Tuesday morning for costume design for her work on “Black Panther.”
Close, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, secured her seventh nomination as well, this time for lead actress for “The Wife.”
Carter, who graduated from HU in 1982 with a degree in theater arts, previously was nominated for her designs for Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” and Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad.”
She will be honored by the Costume Designers Guild with a career achievement award Feb. 19, according to the LA Times.
The enthusiasm on campus for Carter and “Black Panther” grew when the movie was released last February, when the historically black university sent Carter signed cards and hosted an early screening of the film for students.
In March, HU President William R. Harvey invited Carter to give the commencement address to the Class of 2018, citing the film’s popularity and Carter’s ability to be a role model to students sitting in the same seat as her years ago.
“We at Hampton University congratulate Ruth E. Carter for her historic Academy Award nomination,” Harvey said Tuesday. “We are overjoyed to watch this amazing and talented Hampton University alum gain so much success in her career. What a great moment for Hampton University to see one of our very own achieve such an accomplishment. It was wonderful to welcome Ruth home as our 2018 commencement speaker. Ms. Carter is a true role model to our students. We wish her the best of luck.”
In her address, Carter said she used her time at HU as an exploration of costume design, essentially creating her own coursework. She also touched on characters she has dressed, from Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” to King T’Challa, the ruler of the fictional African county of Wakanda in “Black Panther.”
“When King T’Challa said, ‘Let’s build bridges not barriers,’” Carter said, quoting the $1.4 billion box office success, “I say good thing Hampton’s got good engineering and architectural programs so they can build bridges that need building once all y’all break barriers in the world with your education.”
Other nominees for best costume design this year include: Sandy Powell for “The Favourite,” Powell for “Mary Poppins Returns,” Alexandra Byrne for “Mary Queen of Scots” and Mary Zophres for “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
In a piece for Forbes that published Jan. 31, 2018, Carter said of her personal inspiration for the movie’s costume design: “That I could bring ancient Africa to the foreground in a way that’s never been seen before in cinema. We weren’t doing ‘Coming to America.’ It really hadn’t been dealt with in this way. You had to imagine a place that didn’t get colonized by the Dutch or the British. So what would that be like? How would their culture stay intact, and what would it look like? It was inspiring for me to know that I could do it.”
“Black Panther” also was nominated for best picture, original song, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and original score.
Close graduated from W&M in 1974 after double majoring in anthropology and theater.
Close has six previous Oscar nominations, three in the lead category and three in supporting. She won the Golden Globe award for “The Wife” earlier this month and is considered one of the leading contenders for the Oscar.
She has won three Golden Globes, three prime-time Emmy Awards and three Tony Awards for her work on Broadway.
The Oscars broadcast is 8 p.m. Feb. 24 on ABC.