For many an actor, an Academy Award nomination (and, even better, a win) is the culmination of a career of very hard work — and often thankless work at that, doing bit parts and one-liners, background players in someone else’s scenes, dreaming of the day when they’ll be front and center. So on this, the eve of their celebration, we offer up a tribute to all that hard work: a brief glance at the first film and television appearances of the twenty acting nominees. Some (Dev Patel, Lucas Hedges) are brief and recent; some (Jeff Bridges, Isabelle Huppert) stretch clear back to the 1970s; some (Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Viggo Mortensen) spent more than a decade grinding it out as day players, before finally landing on the role they were waiting for. Here’s our toast to that grind.
Edited by Jason Bailey
“We Belong” Written by David Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro Performed by Emma Stone / Pat Benatar
“City of Stars” Written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul Performed by Ryan Gosling
“End Credits Suite (from Moonlight)” Written and Performed by Nicholas Britell