×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How Much Does Hitting the Awards Season Circuit Really Matter to Stars Like Brad Pitt?

“Do you want an Oscar?”

That’s the first question one top awards consultant asks any potential contender when they first start talking.

Everyone is wondering how Brad Pitt would answer that question these days. He recently raised eyebrows and made headlines when he proclaimed that he would not be campaigning this awards season.

“Oh, man. I’m gonna abstain,” he told Entertainment Weekly when asked if he’d be pounding the pavement for his work in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” or “Ad Astra.” “I mean you never know, and it’s really nice when your number comes up. But the goal is for the film to land — to speak to someone — whether it’s now or a decade from now. I find chasing [awards] actually a disservice to the purity of your telling a story, and a shackling thing to focus on.”

But now, Pitt appears to be backpedaling a bit. When I asked him at the “Ad Astra” premiere in Hollywood about his decision not to campaign, he insisted: “I never said that by the way. I don’t know where that came from.”

He went on to explain, “I want to believe in a meritocracy.” But, he added, “I know that doesn’t exist.”

While Fox may be pushing him for his lead role in “Ad Astra,” it’s his work in “Once Upon a Time” that most believe could finally
secure him an Oscar for acting. He’ll likely be put up for supporting actor, with LeonardoDiCaprio going for lead. Pitt already has a gold statuette for producing best picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” but he went home empty-handed each of the three times he was nominated for his work in front of the camera.

Several sources tell me that Pitt hasn’t decided what he’ll be doing on the awards circuit in the coming months, but they made one thing perfectly clear: He will not campaign solely for himself. As one source says, he’ll probably do “a few things to support his colleagues.” 

That will likely be a round of guild Q&As. 

While it may seem like Pitt has been on the campaign trail during the past couple of weeks because of his frequent appearances in the press, he’s actually been promoting “Ad Astra.” In a series of interviews, the notoriously private actor-producer opened up like never before, discussing his sobriety, fatherhood and even recalling the time he confronted Harvey Weinstein after the now disgraced mogul allegedly sexually harassed his then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Campaigning or not, his visibility during the “Ad Astra” press tour could translate into votes come Oscar time.

But stumping for an acting Oscar has met with mixed success.

Consider Mo’Nique, who famously refused to campaign overseas for her work in “Precious” because she wouldn’t be paid for her time and effort. Even so, she went on to win supporting actress in 2010.

Michael Fassbender said he would no longer work the awards circuit after he failed to grab a nomination for 2011’s “Shame.” Two years later, he earned a nom for “12 Years a Slave.”

In 2012, Joaquin Phoenix blasted the awards circuit as being “utter bulls–t.” He refused to campaign for his starring role in “The Master” because he called stumping for “Walk the Line,” in which he starred as Johnny Cash, “one of the most uncomfortable
periods of my life.” Still, he received a nomination for “The Master.” No word yet on how he’s feeling about campaigning for his role as the titular homicidal madman in “Joker,” but ask anyone working on the film and they’ll tell you that Phoenix is so unpredictable day-to-day that solidifying a long-term campaign strategy is nearly impossible.

And then there’s last year’s campaigner-in-chief Glenn Close. She didn’t miss a beat in an attempt to win her first Oscar in seven nominations, for “The Wife.” Everywhere you looked, there she was. Not that she wasn’t beloved already, but she even brought her dog Pip to events. Close lost to “The Favourite” star Olivia Colman, who did very little campaigning because she was filming Netflix TV series “The Crown.”

It’s too early to say where Pitt will be on Oscar night. As for seeing more of him on the campaign trail, one industry observer said: “It’s not like he has to do anything. Just being Brad Pitt is a campaign.”

More Film

  • CGV movie theatre Seoul South KoreaCGV

    Korean Law To Limit Film Releasing Monopolies

    The Korean government is to make it illegal to show a single film on more than 50% of screens nationwide. The move is intended to prevent “screen monopolies by blockbuster films” and to “address unfair competition practices in the film industry.” The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that it will revise the existing Promotion [...]

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • Hache

    ‘Hache’ Creator, Director Discuss Netflix’s Next Spanish Original, Dropping Nov. 1

    MADRID — On Nov 1 Netflix will drop its fifth Spanish original series, 1960’s-set drug smuggling drama “Hache,” produced by Madrid’s Weekend Studio for the platform. Created by Verónica Fernández and directed by Jorge Torregrossa (“La vida inesperada,” “Cocaine Coast,” “Velvet Collection”), “Hache” tells the story of Helena (Adriana Ugarte), a prostitute who ends up [...]

  • Argentina Film Lab

    Argentina to Build Country’s First Film Restoration Laboratory in Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuals (INCAA) and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires will partner to build Argentina’s first laboratory of film preservation. Minister of Culture Enrique Avogadro and INCAA president Ralph Haiek signed the agreement which will see Buenos Aires’ Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum in [...]

  • The-Ancient-Law

    Lumière Festival’s MIFC Broadens International Spotlight with Focus on Germany

    The 7th Lumière Film Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) is expanding its international scope this year with more foreign companies than ever before taking part in the event, high-profile guests and an examination of Germany’s heritage cinema sector. With 17 international firms from 25 countries at the event, the MIFC has reported a 20% [...]

  • US actor Donald Sutherland poses for

    Donald Sutherland Reflects in Lyon On A Life And Career Marked By Cinema

    In a loose and free-flowing on-stage interview held at the Lumière Festival this past Sunday, Donald Sutherland reflected on his decade-spanning career with a tone that mixed personal irreverence alongside genuine veneration for the art form that brought him this far. “I love filmmakers, I really do,” said the Canadian actor, who delighted the local [...]

  • Lucky Day

    Film Review: 'Lucky Day'

    It’s been 17 long years since “Rules of Attraction” director Roger Avary has released a film, during which time he was involved in a deadly car crash, charged with gross vehicle manslaughter, saw a work furlough translated into actual prison time, and watched things go south with Video Archives amigo Quentin Tarantino over the “Pulp [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content