Oscars: Supporting Actors Who Run for the Lead Role

With the news that Michelle Williams is running for leading actress instead of supporting actress for her role in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, many are wondering if the big move will pay off. With real contenders like Cate Blanchett from ‘Tár’ and Michelle Yeoh from ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ already making their claims as the front runner, the category decision caused quite a stir on social media and in expert circles. Not only because many thought Williams locked down the supportive category for herself to win, but there’s a sense that she’s actually a supportive player as free-spirited mom Mitzy Fabelman. The film centers on Gabrielle LaBelle’s role as Sammy, a teenager who falls in love with the movies.

diversity takes a look back at some of the most notable modern (post-1990) “side acts” that have competed for the attention of leading or leading actors. Most of these entries went in favor of the actors.

Category fraud is always a hot topic in any awards season, with clear leadership in supporting categories being submitted to ease the path to a nomination or win. It’s not too often that we see it reversed, with a questionable supporting turn catching the eye.

Looking at the cases that didn’t work out in the actors’ favour, a few come to mind. Most prominent was Richard Gere, who won the Globe and was nominated for SAG for his tap-dance attorney Billy Flynn in Chicago (2002), but ultimately missed out on the Oscar nomination. Other examples include Delroy Lindo’s PTSD veteran in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (2020) and Steve Carell’s hedge fund leader in Adam McKay’s ensemble drama The Big Short (2015).

In the early days of the Academy, you’ll find a lot of short-term performances. In terms of time, David Niven holds the current record for the shortest performance ever awarded in the Best Actor category, at 23 minutes and 39 seconds, as Major Angus Pollock in Delbert Mann’s Separate Tables (1958). For Best Actress, that record belongs to Patricia Neal, whose role as housekeeper Alma in Martin Ritt’s “Hud” (1963) lasted just 21 minutes and 51 seconds.

Read diversity List of top 13 examples of supporting actors campaigning for leading Oscar categories.

recognitions: Amy Adams, “American Hustle” (2013); Samantha Morton, “In America” ​​(2003); Kristin Scott Thomas, The English Patient (1996)

https://variety.com/lists/oscars-supporting-actors-campaigned-lead-categories/ Oscars: Supporting Actors Who Run for the Lead Role

Charles Jones

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