Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Empire & Sky Movies present coverage of the Academy Awards
How To Win An Oscar
The complete guide to landing an Academy Award

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4
Back 4 of 4  
BEST ACTRESS

What about all the single ladies? And the married ones? Well, slightly different rules apply here

1. Be An A-Lister
In the last few years, it has become a rite of passage for Hollywood’s leading ladies to win an Oscar. Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman: virtually every actress with the ability to open a film also has a lead or Supporting Oscar. It can be only a matter of time before Katherine Heigl and Cameron Diaz, the two biggest box-office names not already to have won, follow in their footsteps. In this category, the biggest name usually walks away with the prize, so build your box-office appeal first, then go serious.

2. Be under 40
The average age of a Best Actress winner is only 35 ½, almost a full decade less than the average male winner. There are many possible reasons for this – some of which we’ve previously discussed here – but it’s a definite advantage to get in there early. To enhance your chances, therefore, you need to start very strong in your teens or 20s and establish your star-power, and then turn serious by no later than about 33. Crikey – who knew the biological clock applied to winning an Oscar too?

3. REALLY don’t be in your 50s
Here’s a weird statistical blip: know how many Best Actress winners there are in their 50s? One. That’s compared to 11 Best Actor winners. When women talk about their being no roles for women at a certain age, they’re not kidding. The good news? There were 5 winners in their 60s, one in her 70s and one, Jessica Tandy, at 80. So if you miss out in your 30s, take 20 years off and give it another go; there’s bugger all point trying in the meantime.

4. Ugly up
You’re a Hollywood actress, so chances are you’re gorgeous. But if you want to win this one, think dowdy, think ugly. Eight of the last 20 winners have gone at least dowdy and at most donned a fake nose. Consider, if you will, Kate Winslet: up for Revolutionary Road and The Reader in the same year, she won for the latter – where she looked considerably worse than in the former. Basically, being plain is to actresses what being disabled is to actors. We’re pretty sure that says something not-very-nice about Hollywood’s gender attitudes.

5. Play a real person
Seven of the last 10 winners have been based on real people, so that’s (if anything) even more valuable advice for the ladies than it was for the gentlemen. Three of those are best described as leading tragic lives; the other four were either outright inspirational (Erin Brockovich, The Blind Side) or inspiringly strong characters (Walk The Line, The Queen). However, beware playing Elizabeth I: although actresses playing her have been nominated, only one has ever won.

6. Naff off and die
As with their actor colleagues, dying onscreen is a positive aid to awards success. Seven of the last 20 winners’ characters died in the course of their stories. Another – Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love – might have, or might as well have, depending on how you read that ending. Weirdly, hookers are also heavily represented among Best Actress nominees and winners. Again, let’s not reflect too closely on what this says about Hollywood.

Would you prefer money to artistic glory? Then read our guide on How To Make A Billion Dollars At The Box Office here.

1 2 3 4
Back
4 of 4
 

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon won Best Supporting Actor for MISTER ROBERTS in 1955, so I don't know that the Oscar for SAVE THE TIGER was a "tacit apologia." Jeff Bridges's Oscar was no consolation prize either. More

Posted by ebrown2112 on Saturday February 25, 2012, 11:19


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Barbarians And Battletrucks: The Weird World Of Mad Max Knock-Offs
20 diversions along the Fury Road

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)