More than ever before, Hollywood’s A-list actors aren’t in just 1, but 2 major Awards Season contenders. In the past, competing with two films hasn’t gone so well. Tom Hanks was Oscar snubbed in 2014 for both “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks”, and Amy Adams was shut-out of the Oscar ballot last year for both “Arrival” and “Nocturnal Animals”. Here are 12 actors whose publicists will be multitasking this awards season:
Steve Carell – “Foxcatcher” took him to the Oscars and “The Big Short” earned him another Golden Globe nomination. This year, Carell has two films that could put him back in the awards circuit: the drama “Last Flag Flying” (Lead Actor category) and his work as Bobby Riggs in “Battle of the Sexes” (likely Supporting Actor category).
Jessica Chastain – Her work in the true-story drama “Molly’s Game”, out Christmas Day, already has major buzz. But Chastain was excellent in “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, released this Spring. Studio Focus Features likely had their sights on a Fall 2016 release, but Chastain’s other film “Miss Sloane”, forced “Zookeeper” to move. “Sloane” earned Chastain a Golden Globe nomination. Now, because of “Molly”, it looks like “Zookeeper” will be completely forgotten, which is a shame.
Bryan Cranston – He co-stars with Carell in “Last Flag Flying” and will be competing in the Supporting Actor category. However, he will also contend for Lead Actor (in a Comedy) honors for “The Upside” – The Weinstein Co.’s remake of “The Intouchables”, which also stars Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman.
Matt Damon – The “Good Will Hunting” Oscar winner stars in two high-profile releases – George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” (out Oct. 27) and Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” (Dec. 22).
Colin Farrell – He’s one of the best actors working today who’s never been an Oscar nominee. Attempting to change that: his work in “The Beguiled” (released this summer), “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (Oct. 20) and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” with Denzel Washington (Nov. 10).
Woody Harrelson – He was fantastic in “The Glass Castle” and pulled-off the impossible with the first-ever live movie (“Lost in London”). 2017 continues for Harrelson with the starring role of “LBJ” (Nov. 3) and supporting work in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Nov. 10).
Hugh Jackman – He’s the most interesting one of the batch, as Fox will be campaigning for him in the Lead Actor category for both “Logan” and the musical “The Greatest Showman” (Dec. 25). “Showman” is destined to earn Jackman a Globe Actor in a Comedy or Musical nomination, and if the film is well-received once it is seen, I think it could be a game-changer for this awards season. As for recognition for his final film as Wolverine, it’s a little early to tell if this could be a legitimate factor.
Nicole Kidman – A nominee last year for “Lion”, she’s got “The Upside”, “The Beguiled” and “Deer” this year. But another project may put her in the awards season loop – HBO’s “Big Little Lies”. Her performance earned her an Emmy, and she’s a lock for Golden Globes and SAG Awards categories.
Elizabeth Olsen – She had back-to-back releases in August and excelled with both performances. But due to the massive crop of contenders, Olsen may get overlooked for both “Wind River” and “Ingrid Goes West”, which is too bad.
Margot Robbie – She’s earning rave reviews for her lead work in “I, Tonya”, but she’s also in the “Winnie the Pooh” creation film “Goodbye Christopher Robin”.
Michael Shannon – He was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Critics Choice Award last year for “Nocturnal Animals”. He’s got two chances again in that category this year: “The Current War” (opposite Benedict Cumberbatch) and “The Shape of Water” (with Sally Hawkins).
Miles Teller – The “Whiplash” star is in two movies opening over the next few weeks: the true-story firefighter drama “Only the Brave” and the military PTSD drama “Thank You for Your Service”, from Oscar-nominated “American Sniper” screenwriter Jason Hall.