Diane Ladd Blasts Studios’ ‘Greed and Corruption’ for Pushing Leading Roles as Supporting

Diane Ladd Joy
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The 'Joy' star spoke out on 'category fraud' debate at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards this week.

Focus Features and the Weinstein Company were criticized this year for promoting Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) and Rooney Mara (“Carol”), respectively, in the supporting actress category when both performances were arguably leading ones. In the end, the dust-up didn’t harm the campaigns; both actresses received supporting nominations — much to the dismay of actress Diane Ladd.

At the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards earlier this week, where the “Joy” star received the best supporting actress honor, Ladd blasted the “greed and corruption” of forcing leading players into the supporting ranks, pushing out performances like her own.

“I was really upset and chagrined by the studios’ greed and corruption,” Ladd said. “I mean Rooney Mara, she won best actress in Cannes. Three people are stars in leading roles. They are the female lead and the star. So why are they in the supporting category?”

It’s unclear which of the other nominees — “The Hateful Eight’s” Jennifer Jason Leigh, “Spotlight’s” Rachel McAdams or “Steve Jobs'” Kate Winslet — she’s referring to as the third offender. Each of those performances makes sense as a supporting push.

“Joy” received only one Oscar nomination, for lead actress Jennifer Lawrence.

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  1. taffy says:

    If both leading ladies (in the case of Blanchett and Mara) were nominated for Best Actress, they’d split the vote and both lose to someone else (say, Rampling). So I see why the studios do it but Ladd is right. It’s fraud because actual supporting actors are missing out on nominations that are going instead to leads.

  2. red_wine says:

    Mara’s nod is unforgivable in a way. She has more screentime than Blanchett and the story is about her more than even Carol. She’s not even a child actress to be put in supporting like say Steinfeld or something. It’s idiotic that the academy thought she has a supporting role.

  3. Bill B. says:

    These leading nominations in the supporting category are more upsetting to me than all of this diversity crap. The Oscars can’t control how people vote, but they can control the rules for their nominations. Having leading roles in these categories, much like Christoph Waltz in Django, is simply unfair to true supporting roles. It’s just not fair to have two hour performances competing against 20 minute ones. Waltz, Vikander & Rooney are all great in the films mentioned, but they don’t or didn’t deserve an Oscar in this category. They have a big advantage. It’s seems very similar to cheating.

  4. Anne says:

    Cheryl Boone Isaac is changing other issues regarding Oscars, rules need to be put in place regarding lead/supporting characters prior to next season.

  5. Andy says:

    There may be some bitterness from Ladd here (she is a rather notorious Oscar campaigner) but she is right. Vikander and Mara were both co-leads in their films and there’s really no argument for otherwise.

  6. TOM says:

    A.Vikander had so much screen time that I thought ‘The Danish Girl’ was about her.
    Rooney Mara seems to be the Lead in Carol. It is her character that makes the transition and changes after meeting Carol.
    Didn’t see The Hateful Eight since QT said ignorant stuff about police officers.

  7. Jacob says:

    Winslet is the 3rd lead. Everything Diane Ladd said was true. Hopefully enough Oscar voters see that and vote JJL in The H8ful Eight, a TRUE supporting performance, the Oscar.

  8. Sam says:

    Whatever she says changes nothing, lol stay bitter because you ain’t winning anything

  9. ea says:

    She’s absolutely right. The supporting categories were created to honor character actors, who were often overlooked, in small pivotal roles. Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander were definitely playing lead roles in their films. (And, yes, it’s possible for a film to have more than one lead role.) This is obviously a tactic to make sure certain people win Oscars and the films benefit monetarily.

  10. Mark says:

    She is right, Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are not supporting, they are leads…fraud.

  11. James says:

    And her net worth is what? And she has the gall to spew crap out of her mouth? What a friggin’ hypocrite!

  12. Natasha says:

    This gives the chance of more talent to win awards, alicia vikander deserves the oscar. Diane is just pissed she got no nomination, since joy was a bad movie.

    • JK says:

      Totally agree, she’s pissed for not getting the nomination and obviously Alicia and Rooney are category fraud, but there were dozens of supporting performances above Diane Ladd, she was just serviceable. Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart, Jane Fonda, Diane Lane,Helen Mirren were way way better performances. So she better not call that “her category”, she simply doesn’t belong to the best

      • JK says:

        Guy, she’s the one who should be blame of “greed”, she said it in the video, take a look at it, “in my category of best supporting actress”, such entitlement. And I repeat that’s not her category as she doesnt belong to the best of the year, not even close

      • guylodge says:

        Where does it say she called it “her category”?

    • guylodge says:

      So… only actors in leading roles qualify as “talent”?

      • JK says:

        Guy, she said it in the video, take a look at it, “in my category of best supporting actress”. And I repeat that’s not her category as she doesnt belong to the best of the year, not even close

    • Mark says:

      Well, it’s category fraud though. Alicia doesn’t deserve the Oscar because she wouldn’t win it if she were in the best actress category…hers and Rooney Mara are clearly leading roles not supporting…

  13. frankofile says:

    she’s right.

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