February 29, 2016 / 7:59 AM / a year ago

Brie Larson wins best actress Oscar for 'Room'

Brie Larson, nominated for Best Actress for her role in "Room", arrives wearing a royal blue embellished gown by Gucci, at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016.Lucas Jackson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Brie Larson won her first Oscar for best actress on Sunday for her moving portrayal of a young woman held captive for years with a son in the emotional thriller "Room."

Larson, 26, won praise for her role as 'Ma' in the film in which she plays an abducted woman patiently seeking ways to escape from a small, dark and oppressive room.

"The thing I love about movie making is how many people it takes to make it," Larson said, thanking everyone involved in making and supporting the film.

"Thank you to the movie-goers for going to the theaters and seeing our films," she added.

The actress was the front-runner for the honor after winning Golden Globe, BAFTA, Spirit and Screen Actors Guild awards.

It was the first Oscar nomination for Larson, who has starred in more than 45 films and television shows since beginning her career as a child actress almost 20 years ago.

Previous roles, often as a supporting actress, spanned comedy and drama such as "21 Jump Street" and "The Spectacular Now."

The actress has been a fixture on the independent film scene, and her role in "Room," seen through the eyes of a 5-year-old boy born in captivity, won early acclaim in film festivals last year.

Larson said she mined her own relationship with her mother to play the character of 'Ma', and praised her young co-star Jacob Tremblay, with whom she shared intense and fraught scenes.

While the film is based on a fictional story, it echoes real-life kidnapping victims such as Austria's Natascha Kampusch, who was held hostage for eight years.

The actress, who has spoken about how acting helped her overcome her own social insecurities and anxieties, is currently filming action-adventure film "Kong: Skull Island."

Larson is also an accomplished singer who signed a record deal at the age of 13 and released her first album, "Finally Out of P.E." in 2005.

Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy: Editing by Jill Serjeant and Mary Milliken

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