Ruth E. Carter: 5 Things To Know About The Two-Time Oscar winner
Ruth E. Carter's genius cannot be denied. The legendary costume designer who has worked on 50 feature films such as "Selma," "The Butler," "Marshall," and "Coming 2 America" made history at the 95th Academy Awards with her win for best costume design for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." This makes her the first Black woman to win two Oscars. Her first was also for the Black Panther franchise.
Dressed in a golden gown befitting how brightly she shines, during her acceptance speech, Carter dedicated the statue to her mom, Mabel Carter, who recently passed away. "Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman. She endures. She loves. She overcomes. She is every woman in this film. She is my mother. This past week Mabel Carter became an ancestor. This film prepared me for this moment. Chadwick, please take care of mom."
Here are some things that you may not know about the NAACP Image Award winner.
Worked with Angela Bassett for Over Two Decades
While presenting Angela Bassett with the Variety Impact Award for her role in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Carter said that she’s worked with the actress for over 25 years and designed almost 200 costumes for her.
The Oscar winner is a Hampton University grad and recently told its office of relations about how the school helped to shape her career. “I credit my experiences in the Little Theatre on campus as the catalyst for my career in Hollywood. My dream began in the costume shop on the second floor of Armstrong Hall, and took me to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Hampton University Repertory Theatre can provide that same inspiration for students who want to pursue a career in the arts, TV, and film industries. I’ve also established an endowed scholarship to assist students with financial aid to help make their dreams come true,” she said.
Boys and Girls Club Alum
She took her first sewing class at the Springfield Mass Boys and Girls Club, where she returned in Oct. 2022 to introduce the Candidate for the Youth of the Year Award.
Spike Lee is a Mentor
During an interview with Variety as the cover for a December issue, she said, “I came up through Spike Lee in New York. I felt I had a solid way of doing things. When I came to Hollywood, everyone was trying to explain to me how this is done: I should never be on set. I should go home. There were all these ways that people had in their minds. It was hard for me to stand my ground. I was bicoastal. [Spike] was my foundation. He was opinionated, very clear and all about us learning together.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, One of Her Biggest Challenges
It is undeniable that the costumes from Black Panther 2 are beautiful and intricately designed; however, for some of the scenes, there were challenges. “Clothes aren’t meant to be worn underwater for eight hours and used again the next day,” Carter told Deadline.
In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she stated, “We made a headdress for Namor [Tenoch Huerta] with organic materials and feathers. He went underwater, and everyone loved the way it looked and floated. But when it came out, it was unusable, because chemicals in the water bleached out the color. So we were constantly learning how to fix our dyes so they didn’t fade.”