Fox Searchlight via Everett Collection
Ever since the rumors started swirling several months ago, the Internet has been waiting impatiently for a Star Wars VII casting announcement that included Oscar winner and instant style icon Lupita Nyong'o. They finally got that wish on Monday morning, when StarWars.com revealed that she would be joining the cast along with Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie. The pair join an impressive cast for the latest installment of the franchise, with acclaimed actors like Oscar Isaac, Max Von Sydow and John Boyega all playing significant roles. However, when it comes to buzz, they all pale in comparison to Nyong'o, who has won over both critics and fans since her breakout performance last year in 12 Years a Slave.
Casting an Academy Award winner is a big deal for a major blockbuster like Episode VII, but Nyong'o is far from the first winner to journey to a galaxy far, far away. Since the first film was released in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has featured several Oscar winners and nominees on both sides of the camera, and seen several of its alum take home the award later on. In honor of Nyong'o's casting, we've rounded up all of the actors, writers, directors and editors who fall in the middle of the Venn Diagram of "Oscar winners and nominees" and "involved in the Star Wars universe."
Academy Award Wins
PRE-STAR WARS: -Nyong'o, who won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 12 Years a Slave at this year's awards, is the third actor who has taken home an Oscar before starring in one of the Star Wars films, and the fifth team member to hold the distinction. -Alec Guinness won Best Actor in 1957 for his work in The Bridge on the River Kwai, before he played everyone's favorite Jedi Master and mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi. He later earned an Oscar nomination for the part. -Composer John Williams, who has been nominated for a total of 49 Oscars, won his first for Best Scoring Adaptation and Original Score Song in 1971 for Fiddler on the Roof. Since then, he's won four more, including Best Original Score in 1977 for Star Wars. -Ben Burtt had established himself as a talented editor with two Best Sound Editing Oscars in 1982 and 1989 before he edited The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
POST-STAR WARS: -James Earl Jones, who provided the iconic voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films received an Honorary Oscar in 2011.-Natalie Portman won Best Actress for playing Nina Sayers in Black Swan in 2010, five years after her final installment of the trilogy was released. -Director Sofia Coppola played one of Queen Amidala's handmaidens in The Phantom Menace, and then went on to win Best Original Screenplay in 2003 for her film Lost in Translation. She was also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture that year.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Academy Award Nominations
PRE-STAR WARS: -Before he created the franchise that eventually became Star Wars, George Lucas made American Graffitti, and was nominated for Best Director and Best original Screenplay in 1972 for his hard work. Five years later, he was nominated in those same categories for the first installment in the series. -Terence Stamp was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1962 for his work in the film Billy Budd, 30 years before he played Supreme Chancellor Valorum in The Phantom Menace. -His co-star in that film, Samuel L. Jackson, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1994 for his performances as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, a first of many iconic characters. -Marcia Lucas received an Oscar nomination in 1974 for Best Editing alongside Verna Fields for American Graffiti, before winning the same award three years later for Star Wars, with Richard Chew and Paul Hirsch. -Liam Neeson was nominated for Best Actor in 1993 for his heartbreaking performance in Schindler's List before stepping into the role of Obi Wan's mentor, Qui Gon Jinn in 1999.
POST-STAR WARS: -After he played Han Solo, Harrison Ford was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1985 film Witness. -Keira Knightley, who played one of Amidala's handmaidens in one of her first film roles, was nominated for Best Actress in 2005 for her turn as Elizabeth Bennet in Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice. -Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with Lucas, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 1984 and 1992 for The Big Chill and Grand Canyon, respectively, and Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture in 1989 for The Accidental Tourist.
Other Awards Of Note
-Three of the key supporting characters in Attack of the Clones were played by actors who were nominated or have won AFI and AACTA awards, the Australian equivalent of the Oscars and the BAFTAs. They are: Rose Byrne, Joel Edgerton, and Jack Thompson. -Ford has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and C3PO, R2D2, and Darth Vader have their "footprints" outside of the TCL Chinese Theater. -Christopher Lee, who played Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith has never been nominated for an Oscar, but he has been knighted, made a Commander of Order of the British Empire and a Commander of the Venerable Order of Saint John, been awarded both the BAFTA and BFI Fellowships, and is a French Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. He was also a war hero, serving as part of the RAF Intelligence and Special Forces during World War II, and was attached to the SAS for a time during his service. He also once climbed Mt. Vesuvius right before it erupted and fronts several heavy metal bands, because he's cooler than the rest of us could ever hope to be.
Focus Features via Everett Collection
If a film called The Martian is looking for a director, it only makes sense to run to the man behind Alien. Ridley Scott is in talks to helm the Matt Damon film now that Drew Goddard has left the project to direct the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six. Based on the book by Andy Weir, the story follows an astronaut who is stranded on a Martian colony and must survive until NASA can mount a rescue mission. The Martian marks a significant turning point in Damon’s career: his first stranded-somewhere-all-by-himself movie.
A longtime staple of the thriller genre, almost every big star in Hollywood has made a film in which they must survive on their own in the wilderness, outer space or a confined space, often to great acclaim. In honor of Damon’s first foray into the genre – which, thanks to the involvement of two Oscar winners is already receiving some awards speculation, despite it still being in the early stages of production - we’ve rounded up some of the most famous stranded-alone films and how things worked out for their stars. Awards-wise, we mean. They're all relatively straightforward, plot-wise.
Movie: GravityStar: Sandra BullockWhere She Was Stranded: Outer SpaceWith: George Clooney, for a short whileHow It Worked Out: The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress and won seven of them, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron
Movie: Cast Away Star: Tom HanksWhere He Was Stranded: A deserted islandWith: A volleyball named WilsonHow It Worked Out: Hanks was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar
Movie: BuriedStar: Ryan ReynoldsWhere He Was Stranded: Buried alive in a coffin that's slowly losing airWith: Close-upsHow It Worked Out: No Oscar nominations, although it did earn Reynolds some of the best reviews of his career
Movie: 127 HoursStar: James FrancoWhere He Was Stranded: In a narrow canyon, with his arm trapped by a boulderWith: A video cameraHow It Worked Out: It was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and was the basis for an endless stream of jokes about Franco's career
Movie: MoonStar: Sam RockwellWhere He Was Stranded: In a spacecraft orbiting the moonWith: An awkward teenaged water park visitor who just needs some confidence... oh, wait, that was a different movieHow It Worked Out: Was nominated for two BAFTA awards, and won for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for director Duncan Jones
Movie: Panic RoomStars: Jodie FosterWhere They Were Stranded: A panic room in their home as robbers attempt to force them outWith: Her diabetic daughter Kristen StewartHow It Worked Out: No major awards, but it did get very good reviews
Movie: Man on a LedgeStar: Sam WorthingtonWhere He Was Stranded: On the window ledge of a 21st floor hotel roomWith: A lot of press attentionHow It Worked Out: It got mostly negative reviews and everyone promptly forgot about it
Movie: Phone BoothStar: Colin FarrellWhere He Was Stranded: In a phone boothWith: A remarkably poor conversationalist on the other lineHow It Worked Out: No awards, but generally positive reviews
Movie: Life of PiStar: Suraj SharmaWhere He Was Stranded: On a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean With: A tiger named Richard ParkerHow It Worked Out: The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 4, including Best Director for Ang Lee
Movie: Snow DogsStar: Cuba Gooding Jr.Where He Was Stranded: In a cave out in the Arctic With: A pack of lovable huskiesHow It Worked Out: The less said about this one, the better
It’s a brand new year! A fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to turn things around. So what do we need? Resolutions of course! From changing our diet, to embracing life's little moments, or mending strained relationships, resolutions are a wonderful way to make you feel amazing for the first two weeks of the year. And for our favorite pop culture characters, this new beginning is the perfect way to fix the messes they made in 2012. As the winter TV premieres draw closer, we at Hollywood.com have channeled the thoughts of our most beloved (and flawed) characters to share with you their resolutions for 2013. Read on for all the confetti-filled commitments from Leslie Knope, Jack Donaghy, Mariah Carey and many more!
Leanne Aguilera's Picks:
Rachel Berry (Glee): I resolve to stop acting like an overly sexual wannabe, fighting with my teachers, and flirting with Brody. I resolve to call Finn more and realize that I can achieve my big city dreams and have a wonderful relationship at the same time. I also resolve to bring back knee socks.
Oliver Queen (Arrow): I resolve to continue making my father proud and take down the criminals of Starling City. But more importantly, I resolve to continue making millions of women swoon with my chiseled abs, huge biceps, and sexy man-scruff.
Penny (The Big Bang Theory): I resolve to realize that Leonard is the greatest boyfriend I am ever going to have and to tell him I love him at least once a week. Okay maybe once every two weeks. Oh and I resolve to (eventually) stop working at The Cheesecake Factory.
Kate Ward's Picks:
Mariah Carey (American Idol): "I will not encourage Nicki Minaj, I will not encourage Nicki Minaj, I will not encourage Nicki Minaj." Mariah Carey, please tell yourself this every day and promise us that you will not provoke your hot-headed fellow American Idol judge into another televised screaming fit in 2013. All we want for Christmas is for you to help American Idol continue to be the only singing reality series left about the contestants, not the judges.
Abbey Stone's Picks:
Walter White Jr. (Breaking Bad): In 2013, I resolved to eat three square meals a day. All foods cannot be breakfast foods.
Leslie Knope (Parks and Rec): I resolve to renew my library card. Just kidding! I will never step foot in a library.
Aly Semigran's Picks:
The Walking Dead Cast: The cast of Walking Dead should revolve to stop eating their showrunners.
Michael Arbeiter's Picks:
Dave Rose (Happy Endings): I resolve to cut down my v-neck usage to only three v's per day.
Michonne (The Walking Dead): I resolve to work on my people skills.
Ted Mosby (HIMYM): I resolve to get to the end already. Sydney Bucksbaum's Picks:
Zoey Hart (Hart of Dixie): I will be happy in my relationship with Wade, and not think about George Tucker, or how much I love George Tucker, or how much I want to marry George Tucker, or how perfect I am for George Tucker, or George Tucker’s beautiful smile… wait, who’s Wade again? The CW: We will give our freshman series at least a full season before making the final judgment call so we won’t make the “Emily Owens MD” mistake again… (I’m not still bitter, or anything…)
Christian Blauvelt's Picks:
Troy Barnes (Community): I resolve to spend less time in the Dreamatorium.
Abed Nadir (Community): I resolve to spend more time in the Dreamatorium.
Shaunna Murphy's Picks:
Entire Miami Metro Dept (Dexter): We resolve to finally get good at our jobs and after seven seasons, catch a serial killer.
Britney Spears (The X Factor): I resolve to learn more adjectives that aren't "amazing" for next season of X Factor.
Carrie Matheson and Deborah Morgan (Homeland/Dexter): I will buy a "cuss jar" and put a quarter in it every time I say "f--k"
Lindsey DiMattina's Picks:
Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time): I swear not to use magic for evil ever again.
Dexter Morgan (Dexter): I will not murder anyone else that does not fit the code.
Alicia Lutes' Picks:
Ron Swanson (Parks and Rec): Ron Swanson does not make resolutions because he is a man run by rational thought, free of emotions (unless you're at a funeral, or the Grand Canyon). Ron Swanson will eat all of the breakfast meats he likes in 2013 because big, grandiose ideas and declarations are as useful to him as big government.
Miami Citizens (Dexter): Similarly to Shaunna's, everyone in the fictional Miami of Dexter should resolve to move, because—damn, that's a lot of serial killers in your town.
Lady Edith (Downton Abbey): I resolve to take up knitting to prepare for my inevitable life of spinsterdom.
Jack Donaghy (30 Rock): I resolve to stay handsome and continue tailoring my suits.
Taylor Swift: I resolve to be less surprised when I win every single award on the planet.
What resolutions would your favorite pop culture characters have? Shout ‘em out in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: FOC (3), ABC, WENN]
New Year, New Rules: Our 2013 Celebrity Behavior Contract
Nora Ephron, Neil Armstrong, and Whitney Houston: In Memoriam for 2012
TEBabies Vs. Old Men — A New Year's Pop Culture ShowdownXT
You Might Also Like:
’American Idol’ Winner Hospitalized After Head-On Car Crash
20 Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2012: Katy Perry, Miley and More!
Ever since the news about Osama Bin Laden's death hit, some folks have been claiming the victory for President Obama and some have been handing it to President Bush. Well, Will Ferrell brought his Dubya impression back from retirement to give us an answer once and for all from the Canyon Ranch Sizzler. We find Ferrell-Bush enjoying his retirement by hunting pesky gophers and taco bars at all-you-can-eat buffets, but it's his reaction to the Osama news that says it all.
President Bush Reacts to Osama Bin Laden's Death with Will Ferrell from Will Ferrell
It's no rarity to squabble over which is the best film ever made. If you call yourself a diehard movie geek, this debate is complicated by the myriad titles and categories you watch with regularity; whittling your innumerable choices down to one film becomes nearly impossible. But how often do we engage in dialogue over which is the worst film of all time? Personally, as a connoisseur of terrible cinema, I find myself in this debate as often as the one over cinematic superiority. While outwardly it may seem the antithesis of filmmaking to produce a movie worthy of entry onto the list of worst films of all time, there are instances when a certain amount of distinction is lavished upon the truly horrendous films of the world, and when those involved find themselves the unexpected heroes of the cult movie masses.
Such is the case with a little-known, and less regarded, horror sequel from 1989. The film was Troll 2, and it had absolutely nothing to do with its predecessor: 1986's Troll. Troll 2 is so awful that it actually invents new facets of filmmaking just to fail at achieving any proficiency in them. The story is about as slapped together as an Italian-produced, name-only horror sequel shooting in Utah could hope for, and to say its cast is lacking in thespian chops is to say that The Grand Canyon is a bit of a hole. There are moments in Troll 2 that are so inexplicably inept as to leave us scratching our heads in stunned disbelief. It was released to deafening silence and, with the inception of various internet rating sites years later, would garner a reputation as the worst film of all time.
But then something amazing happened. All over the country, decades after its release, reperatory and specialty theaters began screening the film to sold-out audiences. It seemed that Troll 2 had fostered a certain amount of ironic appreciation within the hardcore cult film lovers that had then blossomed into a full-scale love affair. My beloved Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin, TX was among the theaters celebrating this cinematic Hindenburg. Suddenly members of the Troll 2 cast were being contacted to attend screenings of a film most of them had tried to repress into oblivion, and were greeted as superstars.
Enter Michael Stephenson, the now grown actor who played the little boy in Troll 2, with an idea. Michael decided to make a documentary about the colossal initial failure of Troll 2 and its Phoenix-like rise back to mainstream popularity. He assembled clips of several screenings of the film as well as interviewed nearly every single human being involved with the production of Troll 2 in an effort to understand what the film really meant to him and why it had found a new audience. The documentary essentially follows George Hardy, the actor who played the father in Troll 2 and who is one of the nicest guys on the planet as he deals with the roller-coaster of middling celebrity. The documentary is called Best Worst Movie, and it hit DVD shelves on Tuesday.
Though the assumed hyperbole here is doubly dubious considering the title of the film, I am not blowing smoke when I say that Best Worst Movie is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Do yourself a favor and go purchase it immediately. Even if you have no inclination as to what Troll 2 is and don't see yourself manifesting any interest in seeing it, Best Worst Movie is so much more than the chronicle of a terrible film. This is a documentary about the completely unbridled passion for all things film. It not only reaffirms the cinephile tendencies in all of us, but also speaks to the subjectivity and power of art in general. No matter how bad a piece of music, a film, a book, or a painting is, it will always register with someone in a very tangible way. That is a beautiful notion. Not to mention the fact that Best Worst Movie is downright hilarious and some of the interviewees are far more absurd and cartoonish than their antecedent characters in Troll 2.
Uplifting, well constructed, and thoroughly entertaining, Best Worst Movie is a near perfect documentary. I would recommend watching Troll 2 directly before seeing Best Worst Movie, but the documentary is so compelling that it isn’t entirely necessary.
The Borat star and his actress wife are swapping their current $3 million (£2 million) home for the palatial property in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles.
The mansion, located near the homes of Paris Hilton and George Clooney, boasts seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a movie screening room, a swimming pool, spa and gym.
The couple, who are parents to daughter Olive and are reportedly expecting their second child, are due to move into the house by the end of the summer (10).
A source tells Britain's Mail on Sunday, "Sacha and Isla decided it was time to move up, particularly as their family is expanding."
Shannen Doherty's ex-husband is being sued by Michael Cohen, who claims Hamilton acted "negligently, carelessly and recklessly" when he let his American Staffordshire Terrier off its leash in Runyon Canyon - allowing it to take a bite out of the plaintiff's mutt.
According to TMZ.com, Cohen further accuses Hamilton's dog of biting him on the hand and wrist as he held his injured dog, before attempting to run away - but he tripped and fell and caused more damage to his arm.
Cohen is suing for damages.
Hamilton - the son of veteran actor George Hamilton and model-turned-filmmaker Alana Stewart - was married to the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star for one year in 1993.
Attempting to delve into one of Tinseltown’s most curious scandals--the mysterious suicide (or was it?) of the original TV Superman actor George Reeves--the story begins after Reeves (Ben Affleck) is found dead of a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound during a late night party in his Benedict Canyon home. The case then unfolds through the eyes of Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) a street-smart publicity hungry private dick hired by Reeves’ grieving mother. As Simo slowly peels back the layers of Reeves’ seemingly glamorous life he discovers an actor of charm talent and sophistication whose every opportunity for a big break fizzled forcing him to lead a frustrated existence slumming in the superhero show he deemed beneath him. Gradually identifying with Reeves’ failed expectations for himself Simo discovers a host of candidates who may have actually pulled the trigger on the actor including his young party girl paramour (Robin Tunney) his longtime lover and patron (Diane Lane) and his lover’s husband a powerfully connected studio “fixer” (Bob Hoskins). It is Brody not Affleck who carries the bulk of the film on his shoulders and the Oscar winner delivers a finely etched turn as Simo who’s fractured potential mirrors Reeves’ but quite simply Simo’s story isn’t nearly as dark or engaging as Reeves’ life or the mystery surrounding his death. Affleck an actor who has had his share of ups downs duds and disappointments in Hollywood delivers one of his most charming and fully realized performances to date even if his spot-on recreation of Reeves’ speech pattern is a bit distracting. The luminous Lane’s acting talents remain in full blossom in a character she’s well-suited to play—the aging beauty fearing the road ahead—and she commands every scene she’s in. Unfortunately there should have been many many more of them. She’s almost criminally underused. Hoskins more menacing then ever and the reliable stable of supporting players like Joe Spano are all top-notch as well; only Tunney apparently trying to channel both Betty Boop and Bette Davis simultaneously seems a bit off her game as the wannabe femme fatale. Best known for his strong turns helming many of the best episodes of television series such as The Sopranos Sex and the City and Six Feet Under first time feature director Allen Coulter’s cool assured hand and meticulous recreation of Cold War Los Angeles are major bonuses here. Even when Simo’s story sags in comparison to Reeves’ Coulter keeps us interested particularly when staging the Rashomon-like sequences depicting the various theories behind Reeves’ demise. But by skimping on Reeves’ story in favor of a less compelling fictional framework built around a private detective investigating the case we never see one key suspect’s possible murder scenario enacted visually and it comes off as a glaring omission.