Lead actor insights

“Blood Diamond”

  • Two previous nominations: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993), “The Aviator” (2004)
  • A committed environmentalist, his foundation works to raise awareness about the issues of global warming and the development of alternative and renewable energy sources
  • “The Departed” is DiCaprio’s third collaboration with director Martin Scorsese

“The Pursuit of Happyness”

  • One previous nom: “Ali” (2001)
  • Real-life son Jaden plays his onscreen son in “The Pursuit of Happyness”
  • Plays a real person, Christopher Gardner, in “Happyness”; this is his second biopic, after “Ali”
  • Production shingle Overbrook Entertainment is named after the high school he attended in Philadelphia, which also boasts NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain

“World Trade Center”

  • Two previous noms: “Adaptation” (2002); won for “Leaving Las Vegas” (1995)
  • Born Nicolas Coppola (nephew of Francis Ford Coppola), changed his name to Cage after comicbook character Luke Cage
  • Along with cousin Sofia Coppola, Cage represents the third generation of Coppola Oscar winners, after his uncle Francis and grandfather Carmine Coppola


  • Seven previous noms: “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), “Beckett” (1964), “The Lion in Winter” (1968), “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1969), “The Ruling Class” (1972), “The Stunt Man” (1980), “My Favorite Year” (1982)
  • Received honorary Academy Award at 2003 Oscar ceremony
  • Was a classmate of Albert Finney and Richard Harris at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the mid-1950s

“The Good German”

  • Three previous noms: “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005) for writing, directing; win for “Syriana” (2005)
  • As in “Good Night, and Good Luck,” plays a journalist in “The Good German”
  • “The Good German” is the sixth film Clooney has acted in that was directed by his former Section Eight producing partner Steven Soderbergh

“The Last King of Scotland”

  • Seeking first nomination
  • Screen debut was in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”
  • Has worked with an impressive list of directors: Martin Scorsese (“The Color of Money”), Oliver Stone (“Platoon”), Barry Levinson (“Good Morning, Vietnam”), Clint Eastwood (“Bird”), Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”), Robert Altman (“Pret-a-Porter”), Wayne Wang (“Smoke”) and David Fincher (“Panic Room”)

“The Good Shepherd”

  • Two previous noms: “Good Will Hunting” (1997) for supporting actor; win for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) for original screenplay
  • First credit was a one-line part in the Julia Roberts starrer “Mystic Pizza”
  • Worked with Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Departed” and took the role DiCaprio was going to play in “The Good Shepherd”

“Catch a Fire”

  • Seeking first nomination
  • Made feature film debut in “Antwone Fisher” (2002)
  • Often portrays real people, including Patrick Chamusso in “Catch a Fire,” Bobby Joe Hill in “Glory Road,” Boobie Miles in “Friday Night Lights” and title character in “Antwone Fisher”

“Half Nelson”

  • Seeking first nomination
  • Born in London, Ontario, Canadian hometown of Gosling’s “The Notebook” co-star (and current companion) Rachel McAdams and “Crash” writer-director Paul Haggis
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety