Oscars 2021: Historic wins to look out for at this year's Academy Awards

CARSON BLACKWELDER
·4 min read

History could be made Sunday at the 93rd Academy Awards.

MORE: Oscars 2021: Inside the 8 films nominated for best picture

Movie fans are poised to potentially see some headline-making moments. This crop of nominees has already made waves for how diverse it is -- from increased representation of people of color to two female director nods.

MORE: 2021 Oscar nominations: See the full list

Let's take a look at how some of this year's nominated talent could land themselves in the history books:

PHOTO: Riz Ahmed stars in the 2019 film, 'Sound of Metal.' (Amazon Studios)
PHOTO: Riz Ahmed stars in the 2019 film, 'Sound of Metal.' (Amazon Studios)

Riz Ahmed

"Sound of Metal" star Riz Ahmed, another first-time nominee, could become the first actor of Pakistani descent to win best actor.

PHOTO: Yeri Han and Steven Yeun in 'Minari.' (A24)
PHOTO: Yeri Han and Steven Yeun in 'Minari.' (A24)

Steven Yeun

First-time nominee Steven Yeun of "Minari" would be the first actor of Korean descent to win best actor.

Ahmed and Yeun

With Yeun and Ahmed's nominations, this year marked the first time two men of Asian descent were simultaneously nominated for the same award.

MORE: 2021 Oscars nominations: Riz Ahmed, Chloe Zhao, Viola Davis and more react

Yeun or Ahmed would follow in the footsteps of previous winners Yul Brynner, F. Murray Abraham and Ben Kingsley.

PHOTO: Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Glynn Turman as Toldeo, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Colman Domingo as Cutler in the 2020 film, 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.' (David Lee/Netflix)
PHOTO: Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Glynn Turman as Toldeo, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Colman Domingo as Cutler in the 2020 film, 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.' (David Lee/Netflix)

Chadwick Boseman

Add in a nod for Chadwick Boseman's work in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" on top of Yeun's and Ahmed's inclusion and this year marks the first time where the best actor category had a non-white majority. Three of the five slots went to non-white performers.

The "Black Panther" star, who died from colon cancer in August 2020 at the age of 43, also holds the distinction of being the first Black actor of any sex to receive a posthumous nomination.

Boseman is the seventh person to be nominated posthumously and, should he win, it would be the eighth posthumous win in Oscars history. James Dean received and won two posthumous best actor trophies.

The late actor would also become just the fifth Black man to win best actor, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker.

PHOTO: Anthony Hopkins stars as Anthony in the 2020 film, 'The Father.' (Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics)
PHOTO: Anthony Hopkins stars as Anthony in the 2020 film, 'The Father.' (Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics)

Anthony Hopkins

At 83, "The Father" star Anthony Hopkins holds the distinction of being the oldest best actor nominee of all time. Should he win, the "Silence of the Lambs" alum will become the oldest person of any sex to win an acting Oscar in any category.

PHOTO: Viola Davis in a scene from 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.' (David Lee/Netflix)
PHOTO: Viola Davis in a scene from 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.' (David Lee/Netflix)

Viola Davis

With four total nominations in her career thus far, Viola Davis is the most nominated Black actress in Oscars history. She is also the first to receive two best actress nominations.

If she wins, Davis would become the second Black performer to win in both the leading and supporting acting categories, having previously won a best supporting actress trophy for "Fences" in 2017. Denzel Washington is the other Black performer to have done this, having won best actor for "Training Day" in 2002 and best supporting actor for "Glory" in 1990.

PHOTO: Andra Day stars in a scene from the 2021 film, 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday.' (Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures)
PHOTO: Andra Day stars in a scene from the 2021 film, 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday.' (Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures)

Davis and Andra Day

This year marks just the second time two Black women have simultaneously been up for best actress, with the first being when both Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson were up for the award in 1973.

MORE: Andra Day talks Billie Holiday role and 'truth' coming to light with Black stories

Should either of them win, Davis and Day would become the second Black woman to win best actress, following in the footsteps of Halle Berry, who won for "Monster's Ball" nearly 20 years ago in 2002.

PHOTO: This image released by A24 shows Yuh-jung Youn in a scene from 'Minari.' (A24 via AP)
PHOTO: This image released by A24 shows Yuh-jung Youn in a scene from 'Minari.' (A24 via AP)

Yuh-Jung Youn

First-time nominee Yuh-Jung Youn, up for her work in "Minari," would be the first actress of Korean descent to win best supporting actress.

PHOTO: Writer-director Chloe Zhao, left, and Frances McDormand, center, on the set of 'Nomadland.' (Searchlight Pictures)
PHOTO: Writer-director Chloe Zhao, left, and Frances McDormand, center, on the set of 'Nomadland.' (Searchlight Pictures)

Chloe Zhao

"Nomadland" director Chloe Zhao is the first woman of color and the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for best director.

The upcoming "The Eternals" director is also the first woman to score four nominations in the same year, garnering nods for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay and best film editing.

Zhao and Emerald Fennell

This year marked the first time two women were nominated for best director, with Zhao and "Promising Young Woman" director Emerald Fennell up for the prize.

Zhao or Fennell would become just the second woman to win in the category, following in the footsteps of Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2009 for directing "The Hurt Locker."

PHOTO: Steven Yeun, left, and Will Patton, center, with Director Lee Isaac Chung on the set of 'Minari.'  (Joe Rushmore/A24)
PHOTO: Steven Yeun, left, and Will Patton, center, with Director Lee Isaac Chung on the set of 'Minari.' (Joe Rushmore/A24)

Zhao and Lee Isaac Chung

This year also marked the first time two directors of Asian descent were nominated for best director, with Zhao and "Minari" director Lee Isaac Chung receiving nods.

Zhao or Chung would become the third director of Asian descent to win best director, following in the footsteps of Ang Lee, who has won twice for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi," last year's winner, "Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, who are nominated for best makeup and hairstyling alongside Sergio Lopez-Rivera for their work in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" are the first Black women nominated in the category.

Visit Oscar.com for Oscar 2021 highlights and watch live Sunday, April 25, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Oscars 2021: Historic wins to look out for at this year's Academy Awards originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com