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Oscar Nominees’ First Notable Roles

By Nadia Chaudhury | Seriously Random Lists | February 28, 2014 | Comments ()


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Before you can become an astronaut and go into space with George Clooney, you have to be stuck on a bus that can’t go faster than 50 MPH. Or that’s at least what Hollywood has taught me. I didn’t include bit parts, television show appearances, or theater roles, and it’s worth nothing that two first-time nominees, Lupita Nyong’o and Barkhad Abdi, have never really been in anything before their stunning performances in 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips, respectively, so kudos to them. You’ve come along way, babies. Except you, Lupita and Barkhad. You were great from the start.

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, nominated for Irving Rosenfeld, American Hustle
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First known for: Jamie Graham, Empire of the Sun
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Bruce Dern, nominated for Woody, Nebraska
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First known for: Captain Bob Hyde, Coming Home
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Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated for Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street
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First known for: Arnie Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
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Chiwetel Ejiofor, nominated for Solomon Northup, 12 Years a Slave
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First known for: Peter, Love Actually
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Matthew McConaughey, nominated for Ron Woodroof, Dallas Buyers Club
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First known for: David Wooderson, Dazed and Confused
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BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, nominated for Sydney Prosser, American Hustle
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First known for: Ashley, Junebug
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Cate Blanchett, nominated for Jasmine, Blue Jasmine
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First known for: Elizabeth I, Elizabeth
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Sandra Bullock, nominated for Dr. Ryan Stone, Gravity
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First known for: Annie Porter, Speed
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Judi Dench, nominated for Philomena, Philomena
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First known for: M, Golden Eye
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Meryl Streep, nominated for Violet Weston, August: Osage County
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First known for: Linda, Deerhunter
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BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Barkhad Abdi, nominated for Muse, Captain Phillips
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First known for: n/a

Bradley Cooper, nominated for Richie DiMasio, American Hustle
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First known for: Jeff, Wet Hot American Summer
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Michael Fassbender, nominated for Edwin Epps, 12 Years a Slave
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First known for: Bobby Sands, Hunger
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Jonah Hill, nominated for Donnie Azoff, The Wolf of Wall Street
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First known for: Seth, Superbad
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Jared Leto, nominated for Rayon, Dallas Buyers Club
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First known for: Angel Face, Fight Club
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BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Sally Hawkins, nominated for Ginger, Blue Jasmine
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First known for: Poppy, Happy-Go-Lucky
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Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for Rosalyn Rosenfeld, American Hustle
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First known for: Ree, Winter’s Bone
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Lupita Nyong’o, nominated for Patsey, 12 Years a Slave
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First known for: n/a

Julia Roberts, nominated for Barbara Weston, August: Osage County
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First known for: Shelby Eatenton Latcherie, Steel Magnolias
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June Squibb, nominated for Kate Grant, Nebraska
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First known for: Helen Schmidt, About Schmidt
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Nadia Chaudhury will always associate Christian Bale with Newsies.

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