Friends supporting friends! Black Panther star Angela Bassett, 64, penned a sweet essay about her dear friend, Elvis star Austin Butler, 31, for TIME‘s 100 Most Influential People of 2023 series on Apr. 13. In the sentimental article, Angela wrote about how she supported Austin when they were reading the nominees at the 2023 Oscars on Mar. 12. “On the evening of the Oscars, with Austin seated next to me, I understood intimately what he felt when it was time to learn if he would climb those stairs to the stage,” she wrote of the exciting moment, which ultimately led to Brendan Fraser‘s win for his work on The Whale.

That is when the American Horror Story alum held the Hollywood hunk’s hand. “So, I took his hand and held it softly as the winner was announced,” Angela continued. “Although his name wasn’t called, Austin is no less a winner.” And although her pal didn’t win the prestigious acting award that evening, the 64-year-old added that it made her excited to see what is next for Austin. “The time had come for Austin to say goodbye to Elvis [Presley] as he began to embrace an infinite universe of possibilities as an actor. I can’t wait to see what he brings us next,” she added.

Both Austin and Angela were nominated for awards that night, Best Actor in a Leading Role for his part, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for hers. The brunette beauty was nominated for her work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was the sequel to the 2018 hit movie, Black Panther. Angela lost the award to the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis, 64, who took home the Oscar for her work on Everything Everywhere All At Once.

angela bassett and austin butler
Angela Bassett & Austin Butler held hands at the 2023 Oscars. (Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock)

The two also sat next to each other and the moment she grabbed onto the 31-year-old’s hand was captured on camera during the show. One fan took to Twitter to react to the sweet moment of support and shared a video of it that night. “Angela Bassett holding Austin Butler’s hand while he’s nervous…is exactly the kind of woman I imagined she was,” they captioned the post, along with a heart emoji. “The moral of the story? Share kindness.”

Earlier in Angela’s essay, she revisited the first time she met him at the start of awards season. “The first time I met Austin Butler, we were both starting to find our grooves in what promised to be a busy awards season. We connected in a fleeting moment, one of many when we would share a hug and warm words,” she penned. “Despite all that swirled around him, Austin opened his heart to new friends. I was fortunate to be one of them.” The two-time Golden Globe winner noted that she watched the Elvis film with a “deep appreciation”, as she knew the “all the work” that Austin “put into his performance.” Angela concluded the introduction by calling his work on Baz Luhrmann‘s movie a “brilliantly nuanced performance.”



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