Nine Actors to Know This Award Season

by admin

The Streeps and Clooneys and DiCaprios of Hollywood need no introduction, but 2011 saw so many breakout stars, there are sure to be a few unfamiliar faces accepting awards this year. Well, you won’t be very much fun at the office water cooler if your response to every Oscar- or Globes-related discussion is a meek, “I don’t know who that is.” Even if you never ventured into a multiplex in 2011, here’s everyone you need to know this awards season.


Viola Davis



_Why you should know her_: She’s up for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her lead role as Aibileen in _The Help_, and she’s on every critic’s short list for an Oscar.

_Where else you’ve seen her_: She was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 for her role in Doubt, and she’s appeared in _Traffic_, _Antwone Fisher_, _Solaris_, and _Syriana_. She has also won two Tony Awards for her work as a stage actress, so she’s seriously legit.


Jessica Chastain



_Why you should know her_: She’s nominated for a Globe and a SAG award for her portrayal of sweet-natured Celia in _The Help_, along with an Independent Spirit Award for _Take Shelter_.

_Where else you’ve seen her_: It was hard to see a movie in 2011 and not see her—2011 could be called “The Year of the Chastain” because of her appearances in _The Debt_, _The Tree of Life_, _Coriolanus_, and _Texas Killing Fields_, and each performance is nominated for some award or other.


Michael Fassbender



_Why you should know him_: He’s rushed to the top of Hollywood’s A-List with his performance as a sex addict in _Shame_, for which he’s also nominated for a Golden Globe. He’s also brutally attractive.

_Where else you’ve seen him_: As the ill-fated British spy in _Inglourious Basterds_, and as young Magneto in _X-Men: First Class_.


Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo



_Why you should know them_: They’re both nominated for SAG and Golden Globe Awards for the silent film _The Artist_, and the Oscar buzz around them is strong.

_Where else you’ve seen them_: Probably nowhere. Bejo had a bit part in 2001’s _A Knight’s Tale_, but both Bejo and Dujardin have primarily worked in France.


Octavia Spencer



_Why you should know her_: Given awards shows’ fondness for “feisty” actresses of color, Spencer is all but a shoo-in for a Globe, SAG Award, and possibly an Oscar for her portrayal of “feisty” Minny Jackson in _The Help_.

Where else you’ve seen her: Everywhere! Spencer is a ubiquitous comedic character actress who was a regular on _Ugly Betty_ and appeared in films like _Never Been Kissed_, _Being John Malkovich_, _Spider-Man_, _Bad Santa_, _Coach Carter_, and countless others.


Rooney Mara



_Why you should know her_: She plays Lisbeth Salander in the new adaptation of _The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo_.

_Where else you’ve seen her_: She had small parts in _Youth in Revolt_ and _The Social Network_, and starred in the 2010 remake of _A Nightmare on Elm Street_. What’s more notable is that her great-grandfathers Art Rooney, Sr. and Tim Mara founded the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants football teams.


Noomi Rapace



_Why you should know her_: She starred as Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish film versions of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy.

_Where else you’ve seen her_: Unless you fancy Swedish cinema, probably nowhere else other than her current co-starring role in _Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows_.


John Hawkes



_Why you should know him_: His performance as a charismatic cult leader in _Martha Marcy May Marlene_ has earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination and sparked Oscar buzz.

_Where else you’ve seen him_: He was nominated for an Oscar last year for playing Jennifer Lawrence’s meth-addicted uncle in _Winter’s Bone_. He was also a regular on _Deadwood_ and _Eastbound & Down_, and has played various character parts in dozens of movies, perfecting the art of playing both consummate nice guys and creepy villains.

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