Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Actors and Actresses: Stats, Careers and Trivia

Now that we have our lucky twenty (no double dippers this year) in those twenty most coveted positions for movie actors, let's do a little rundown. We'll go factual and then opinionated.

most frequently honored: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) with 16 nominations and 2 wins. She's been nominated for 37% of her screen appearances.
least frequently honored: Captain Von Trapp himself, Christopher Plummer (The Last Station). This is his first nomination from 51 years on the silver screen.
widest stretch of honors: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) received the first of his five nominations way back in the 1971 race starring in Best Picture nominee The Last Picture Show, beating Streep to her first Oscar notice by seven years.

Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), a Leo, is 24. She's also two and a half months younger than Carey Mulligan (An Education), a Gemini.
oldest: Plummer, a Sagittarius, turned 80 this past December.
most represented star sign: rowwwwr, we have five Leos (Woody, Sandra, Helen, Anna and Vera). I guess that's not surprising given Leo's show off nature.
least represented star signs: no Aquarius, Pisces or Aries nominees
shared birthdays: George Clooney (Up in the Air) and Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe (Precious) were both born on May 6th. Best Actress competitors Sandra Bullock and Dame Helen Mirren share July 26th.

tallest: Morgan Freeman (Invictus) is 6' 2½"
shortest: Kendrick is 5' 1½". Teeny-tiny!!!
highest paid?: Bullock and Clooney both command around $15 million a movie last I heard. Streep and Damon are obviously well compensated, too, though exact salaries are hard to come by. What's more they fluctuate from project to project and some stars take less for more of the gross, etcetera.
lowest paid: who knows though I'm willing to bet that someone got scale. Money isn't everything... especially when the role is plum.

number of birth countries: 5. USA (most of them), England (Mirren, Mulligan & Firth) Spain (Cruz), Canada (Plummer) and Austria (Waltz). [see also: Map of the Oscar World]
most likely to appear in a Best Picture Nominee: Meryl Streep has 5 to her credit (The Hours, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Deer Hunter and Julia). Runners up: (tie) Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven and Driving Miss Daisy) and George Clooney (Up in the Air, Michael Clayton, Good Night and Good Luck and The Thin Red Line) have both been in 4.
number of collective offspring: 31.
La Streep (4) Freeman (4) Waltz (4) Tucci (3) Bridges (3) Mo'Nique (3) Harrelson (3) Damon (2) Firth (2) Plummer (1) Farmiga (1) Gyllenhaal (1). Clooney, Bullock and Mirren didn't share their remarkable DNA with the world.
most famous of those offspring: "Honey Bunny" herself Amanda Plummer ...and up until this moment I never made the daddy connection. Runner up: rising actress Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl & Don.

And some opinions...

most deserving: Mo'Nique is just smashing... and I'm not talking about television sets.
least deserving: Stanley Tucci. He's been Oscar nomination worthy before and even this year (Julie & Julia) but not for this overlabored eeeeeeeeevil turn.
most likely to get a career boost with this nom: Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
most deserving of the plentiful "it's about damn time" nominations that were going on this season:
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)
most likely to return again in the next year or two: Meryl Streep. Duh!... although one wonders how many more chances she'll get. She's getting the lion's share of roles for women over 55... but there's not that many of those roles to begin with. You could also make a case for Matt Damon who is almost 40 now and Oscar likes his men with some years on them. And Carey Mulligan may well be the next Oscar Default Girl if her management makes the right moves. [George Clooney & Penélope Cruz are hot-hot-hot Oscar regulars right now but Oscar tends to love movie stars passionately for short blocks of time and then move on. Will we see them again soon or is this the end of the romance for awhile?]
least likely to return:
Gabby Sidibe. That's not as much of a knock as it sounds. She's great in the film and I'm so pleased she got nominated. But approximately 67% of acting nominees are never recognized a second time and there aren't that many roles for big girls.

most likely to wear something crazy:
Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
most likely to make best-dressed lists: Penélope Cruz (Nine)
most likely to wear black:
Carey Mulligan (An Education)

Can't wait to see what Vera, Maggie, Carey, Penélope and Dame Helen wear!

Want to add to or sound off about the trivia?
You know what to do.



The Pretentious Know it All said...

Most likely to get drunk, become best friends and start the party at the Governor's Ball:

Helen Mirren and Gabourey Sidibe.

Michael Parsons said...

Poor Gabby :(

Unknown said...

I would love to see Mo'Nique accept her award in character.

E Dot said...

This is why I love this site. Nat, you're greatly appreciated.


awww... thanks. Now recommend it to others. Digg it, Tweet it, make me feeeel gooooooooooooooood

(sorry, I had Halle Berry on the brain)


goodreadwatch -- AMAZING. we could all instantly ascend into heaven that'd be such an untoppable movie trip

OtherRobert said...

There's a Libra nominee? I share a birth sign with Matt Damon? Well, that's a fun bit of trivia to throw out some day.

I'm loving that George Clooney and Gabby Sidibe share the same birthday. I'm hoping Gabby gets more award worthy roles, but I'll settle for her having a steady career without having to lock herself in a gym for a year to get more film roles.

Christine said...

I agree, poor Gabby Sidibe. She's prob. never going to get a major movie role again, or get a couple of roles asking her to play a similar character and then fade away. Anyone see Nikki Blonsky around lately?

There's no reason that Sidibe shouldn't be considered for the kind of roles that Anna Kendrick is going to be offered, but I can't see it happening.

Sebastian Gutierrez said...

Most Likely to Squander the good fortune that comes with a nomination: Sandra Bullock

Marco said...

Want a totally useless trivia?Christopher Plummer ranks 8th among the oldest nominated actors (considering all 4 categories), and 3rd amond the oldest nominated supporting actors, behind Hal Halbrook (Into the Wild) and Ralph Richardson (Greystoke).
Should he win, he'd become the oldest winner in this category, beating out reigning champ George Burns, just by a handful of days: Burns was 80 years 68 days old when winning, Plummer on march 7th will be 80 years 84 days.

GMBear said...

I understand your opinion about Sidibe's future career.

At the same time, I think of a character actress like Kathy Bates who has done well for herself for the past two decades with three nominations and one win. Bates certainly does not fit the stereotypical Hollywood starlet mold.

Sidibe will do well if she is able to have a long-running and diverse career like Bates.

mrripley said...

Vera Farmiga will now move on to better supporting roles but so many times actresses go the Virginia madsen route by taking the paycheque in nothing films and therefore throwing away the momentum and goodwill an oscar nom brings.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

You made me laugh so hard when I read «most likely to wear something crazy - Maggie Gylenhaal» I fell off my chair...

Especially because it's so true!

Michael said...

Most likely to win a Razzie within hours of winning the Oscar: Sandra Bullock.

Cory Rivard said...

That was wonderfully obsessive.

Jim T said...

Nice post :)

We shouldn't really feel sorry about Sidibe. I mean, she got an Oscar nomination! For most people it's totally over the rainbow.

Nathaniel, Mamie Gummer is Meryl's son?? Typo or playful insult? :p

Kev said...

Don't trot out the doom and gloom prophecies for Gabourey Sidibe just yet. She's starring opposite Laura Linney in her new Showtime series, and she may become an Emmy fixture in a couple of years. Television is where she needs to be at anyway. There she'll have far more opportunities instead of trying to conform to Hollywood's standards of beauty/"appropriate" roles for big black women in film.

Andrew R. said...

Poor Sibide. Why do I get the feeling she'll end up stuck in comedy and win Oscar nominations only whenver she goes back to drama?

@GMBear: Bates is now starring in Valentine's Day, which I predict will win Raspberry Awards.

I also don't have a good feeling about every actor from Inglourious Basterds (except Brad Pitt's) career in the US. The women especially.


(errr... typo)

Kev -- good point.

Criticlasm said...

I really want Meryl to win. A lot of people don't realize she hasn't won since 1982, and only one Best Actress, which means that Hilary Swank and Jodie Foster, not to mention Davis and Hepburn, have more. Love 'em all, but it's time for Streep again, even though she is in a class by herself. She was just brilliant in that movie.


Somebody at work was talking to me about wanting Sandra Bullock to win (she hadn't seen The Blind Side) and i mentioned Meryl and that she hadn't won in 27 years and she's like "she had her chance!"


Christine said...

@Nathaniel "somebody at work" is the bane of all cinephiles. They do not get our devotion.

Dean said...

Here's why Meryl will win:
1998 Best Actress- Gwyneth IN a Best Pic nominee
1999 Best Actress- Swank NOT IN a Beat Pic nominee
2000 Best Actress- Julia IN a Best Pic nominee
2001 Best Actress- Halle NOT IN a Best Pic nominee
2002 Nicole IN
2003 Charlize NOT IN
2004 Swank IN
2005 Witherspoon NOT IN
2006 Mirren IN
2007 Cotillard NOT IN
2008 Winslet IN

So following the pattern the winner this year would have to not be in a best picture nominee so it would be Meryl over Sandra.


Dean... but the 10-wide thing kinda spoils stats, doesn't it?

Fernando Moss said...

I don't want Meryl to win... I want Gabby to win. She gave the best performance of the 5 nominees (and 3rd best of the year only behind Swinton adn Cornish, but...) and I think that's what should count (I know it doesn't...). The best performance should win, not the most overdue actress. Yes I agree Meryl shoudl have 3 Oscars cuz I feel she should have won for Postcards but actually I think every other year there has been someone with superior work (not that this superior work actually won, but still) so for me is not like she's been robbed that many times...

Unknown said...

Re: Dean & Nathaniel ("so it would be Meryl over Sandra."; "the 10-wide thing kinda spoils stats, doesn't it?")
- Yes, it does.
If there had been only five nominees, The Blind Side would have only been nominated for Best Actress.
Also notice that all the actresses that won for a movie not nominated for best picture were first time nominees.
So it seems that Bullock will be the winner after all.

adam k. said...

re: Sidibe, please have some perspective here, people.

Poor Gabby Sidibe! Really??

She does NOTHING related to theater or film for her whole life until she randomly decides to audition for this indie film, and then becomes a breakout star in a big hit and gets an oscar nomination for lead actress, and even has future projects lined up, and people are thinking, "poor her, she won't get any more oscar noms"? Come on.

That's a completely ridiculous line of reasoning.

Sure, she won't be a Hollywood leading lady. But not everyone can be Sandra Bullock. She will have some sort of career if she plays her cards right, and like someone said, may even become an Emmy fixture in due time. And that's way more than I think even she even imagined a year ago.

She's talented, sure, and seems like a super nice person, but she's also DAMN lucky. Right now, she's living the dream, having lucked her way into what 99% of working actors never get even after they've worked their whole lives for it. And she knows it, dammit. She's a smart girl.

The irony is, I guarantee you she's the last one who's thinking "poor me."

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. I suppose I'm biased, as an aspiring actor myself, but seriously, Gabby Sidibe has it MADE right now.

Bryan said...

What's your opinion of the following category, Nathaniel:
"Least deserving of having been a shoo-in all season?"

I would say Damon, Kendrick, and Clooney, and Freeman.

With the exception of Kendrick (I'm in the minority with her, I suppose), no one is really even excited about these performances. Sooo... why are they here?...

E Dot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E Dot said...

"What is it that you want me to say to you, huh? Do you want me to say, "Poor you. No more Oscar-Nods in the near future. Poor you. Poor Gabby"? Hmm? Wake up, Precious. This is not just the People's Choice awards. This is a shining statue of credibility for... oh, I don't know... let's say a New Jersey bred actress who struggled and filmed countless films only to garner her first (supporting) nomination at 30 in 'The Deer Hunter'. You have no idea how many legends graced that nomination circle. And what's worse you don't care. Because the Academy Awards, where so many people work a lifetime to get recognized, you walk in and get nominated for your first role. And you're concerned with when you'll get that next baity role that'll get you another Oscar nod. Wake up, sweetheart."

Yes. I was bored. Yes. I had fun writing this. No. I'm not crazy.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Plummer has been in 4 Best picture nominees: The Sound of Music, The Insider, A Beautiful Mind and Up.

notanotherblog said...

I'm not sure about Jeremy Renner. I mean, he's done a few cult classics, (Dahmer, Jesse James) but Sam Worthington and Tom hardy are competing for the same roles as him. I do want him to succeed though.

And Sidibe, if she's patient, will get something else by the time she's in her forties. Just like every other black actress (Viola, Mo'Nique). I just wish people would think of her when writing their movie though.

par3182 said...

trivia: maggie and jake gyllenhaal join peter and jane fonda and vanessa and lynn redgrave as oscar nominated siblings who also have an oscar nominated parent

Anonymous said...


I can see Mulligan coming back, she was really good on Seagull and she will have NEVER LET ME GO next year, the film adaptation from Kazuo Ishiguro novel.

From early screenings she is the best thing in it.

Joe Shetina said...

Hey, I share a birthday with two Best Actress nominees. (Mirren and Bullock)

brandz said...

Previous winners in the lucky twenty lineup include:

Meryl Streep (twice, Lead and Support)
Helen Mirren (Lead)
George Clooney (Support)
Morgan Freeman (Support)
Penelope Cruz (Support)
Matt Damon (Screenplay)

I sure hope Streep wins her third!

Unknown said...

I'm curious. I love Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air, and I thought she was great in Departed, but if people are saying "it's about damn time," what exactly are they referring to?

SQ said...

Go and find "Down to the Bone" Mike, like now.

adam k. said...

Vera was also apparently very good in Nothing but the Truth recently. And I know from seeing Breaking & Entering that she was a hoot in her small role in that film.

Glenn said...

A bonus stat for you:

Number of Razzie Nominees: 4 (Bullock, Clooney, Cruz, Harrelson - one from each category!)

JT said...

For this year? What were Clooney, Cruz, and Harrelson nodded for at the Razzies?

Danny King said...

I heard that Mirren demanded around $20 million for her role in The Last Station.

Jen said...

Loving this thread.

@JT, Clooney's nom would have to be for Batman & Robin.

Unknown said...

ahh... Capricorn hasn't won a Best Actress Oscar for 30 years now, the last one was Spacek in 1980; well they did rob Emily Watson in 1996 :)

Michael W. said...

No. of total Oscar noms for actors in the 10 best picture nominated films: 29

No. of total Oscar noms for directors of the 10 best picture nominated films: 40!

I know. Completely useless information :D

NoNo said...

Don't be bitter about Sidibe. Sure she lucked into the role but isn't how most successful actors start out...with some luck? Some people take years for their big break and others get it on their first shot. That's just how it works. Just because she was highly successful on her first shot doesn't mean the road is going to be easier for her.

adam k. said...

I'm not bitter, I'm happy for her. I just don't understand how anyone could feel sorry for her for "not having a career."

She DOES have a career, and will probably continue to have one. We should all by so lucky. Not to mention, would she even care that much if her career didn't stay hot? I don't think she even wanted one a few years ago.

MrW said...

Talking about youngest: Three nominees (Kendrick, Mulligan and Sidibe) are younger than Anna Paquin, who still is the youngest living Oscar winning actor/actress.

Looks like she'll keep that title for another year.

Michael W. said...

"Anna Paquin, who still is the youngest living Oscar winning actor/actress."
That's not completely true MrW.

Tatum O'Neal is not only the youngest acting Oscar winner, but also the youngest living acting Oscar winner ;) She was 10 years and 148 days when she won for Paper Heart. Paquin was 11 years and 240 days.

By the way, Justin Henry is the youngest nominee in the acting categories. He was just 8 years and 276 days when he was nominated for Kramer vs. Kramer.

But Shirley Temple is still the younget recipient of an Oscar ever with just 6 years and 310 days.

Michael W. said...

And when I say Paper Heart, I of course mean Paper MOON...

Anonymous said...

She is the youngest right now.

NoNo said...

He means the youngest person to have an Oscar. Paquin is 27. O'neal is 46.

MrW said...

@ Anonymous & NoN0: Exactly. I thought mentioning 3 of this year's nominees are younger made it clear.

Michael W. said...

Oh, I see. The youngest person to HAVE an Oscar RIGHT NOW

See I didn't get that...

But now that it have been spelled out I get what you mean :D

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Unknown said...

That was wonderfully obsessive. Nice Post.

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