Leslie Odom Jr. Reflects on Why It's "Silly" to Think of Him as Just a Theater Performer

Leslie Odom Jr. exclusively spoke to E! News about his two Oscar nominations and whether or not he's aiming to become the next EGOT winner.

By Cydney Contreras Apr 19, 2021 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Leslie Odom Jr. Reacts to His First-Ever Oscar Nominations

Leslie Odom Jr. has a lot of exciting moments to look forward to in 2021.

On Monday, March 15, the Hamilton actor learned he was nominated for two Oscars at the 2021 Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Original Song.

This is a huge moment for the "Speak Now" singer, because if he takes home an award in either one of the categories, he will be one honor away from earning his EGOT status.

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Leslie said that his latest achievement speaks to a "more open-minded audience and more open-minded business" that allows performers to explore different opportunities. He explained that in the past if you were a theater performer you were told to "stay a theater performer," similar to the way TV stars only did TV. 

He continued, "Now, I think we've realized how silly that is. A performer/entertainer should go wherever that talent allows them to go."

2021 Oscar Nominations: Stars React

The Oscar nominee added that he hopes to be like EGOT winner John Legend, who has an "impressive, formidable portfolio" across all spaces of the arts. 


Leslie said that every artist should aspire to go "as high as your talent can take you," adding that even though he's received praise for his work in One Night In Miami, "I have to keep pushing, I have to keep growing from here and it was a transformative experience, so I gotta keep going."

But the star was also aware he and wife Nicolette Robinson would be welcoming their second child, so his career might be put on the back burner while they adjust. He joked, "We're anticipating things getting a little rocky because my one girl is not in school because of the COVID stuff so we have to have two kids, full-time, around the house and two parents that work. We need all the help we can get!"

Since E! News' exclusive interview with the actor, he and Nicolette have had the pleasure of meeting their son, Able Phineas. The baby boy was born on March 25, according to an Instagram post that reads, "Our little family bursts at the seams with joy!"