Oscars Spotlight Shifts from North Carolina to South Carolina

Oscars Spotlight Shifts from North Carolina to South Carolina

Last year, North Carolina native Ariana DeBose made history when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in “West Side Story.” This year, the spotlight shifts south as South Carolina’s own Danielle Brooks earns a nomination for the same category for “The Color Purple.”

DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar. She continued her award sweep in 2022 after securing a BAFTA, Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and SAG for her breakout performance. Many cheered on the Raleigh native, who honed her talents locally at Wake Forest High School and CC & Co. Dance Complex before heading to Broadway.

Now South Carolina takes the spotlight, as 34-year-old Danielle Brooks hopes to continue the Southeast’s Oscar success. Brooks stars as Sofia in the new film adaptation of “The Color Purple,” reprising a Tony-nominated Broadway role. Her emotional performance already earned Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards nominations.

From South Carolina to Juilliard to Hollywood

Much like DeBose, Danielle Brooks set her sights on stardom from a young age. Born in Simpsonville, South Carolina, she began acting in her church’s nativity play at age six. In high school, she attended the prestigious South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

After graduation, it was off to New York City and the legendary Juilliard School drama program. Classmate Corey Hawkins, nominated for Best Supporting Actor in “The Color Purple,” joined her. Now the duo aim for Oscar glory representing their home state.

Following Juilliard, Brooks began racking up major acting credits. She starred as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson in Netflix hit series “Orange is the New Black” from 2013-2019. Later came Tony-nominated roles in Broadway shows “The Color Purple” and “The Piano Lesson,” plus two Grammy-winning cast album projects.

With “The Color Purple,” Brooks lands the biggest role of her blossoming career opposite Oprah Winfrey and pop star Fantasia Barrino. She brings Sofia to life beautifully while paying homage to Oprah’s original portrayal. Come March 12, we’ll see if Oscar voters reward her efforts with a win. Either way, the future looks bright for the South Carolina native.

BetMGM Now Offering Sports Betting in North Carolina

While Danielle Brooks chases Oscar history, sports fans in her home state of South Carolina and neighboring North Carolina can now wager legally for the first time. Last year saw online sports betting launch in the Tar Heel state. BetMGM quickly established itself as a top choice for North Carolinians.

BetMGM provides new players in North Carolina a $1,000 risk-free initial bet using bonus code PLAYNCPN. They also gain access to competitive NBA, NFL, and college basketball odds and a wide variety of bet types. The user-friendly betting platform contains extensive stats, analysis, and live-streaming capabilities as well.

Whether Danielle Brooks leaves Hollywood with Oscar gold or not, her remarkable performance in “The Color Purple” made both North and South Carolina proud. And now residents of both states can celebrate their shared Southeast entertainment success by placing their first legal sports wagers using BetMGM.

The future for acting and sports betting alike looks bright in North Carolina and beyond. Danielle Brooks and Ariana DeBose continue blazing trails for women of color in film while setting an inspirational example of chasing dreams. Expect more Grammys, Tonys and Oscars for this dynamic duo in the years ahead.



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