A Second Win: Lead vs Supporting

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  • Blacktie
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    #75154

    Awardzilla’s comment inspired this thread:

    “Unless Viola Davis is very baity in her supporting role, I’d wait till her Barbara Jordan biopic, she has a real big chance there.”

    From time to time a poster will mention the need for Cate Blanchett to win in the lead category, then another will mention that if she wins again in the Supporting category that she will never take home a Best Actress statuette. Or someone may comment that [insert Oscar-less actor’s name here] will never win in the lead category if s/he wins in the Supporting race. But why not?

    The question is as follows: How probable is the Academy to award an actor in a lead category if s/he has already won in the supporting category and vice versa? Is one scenario presumably easier to accomplish than the other? What factors would need to be in place?

    Granted they are relative legends but consider the following:

    Denzel Washington won the Supporting Actor Oscar, and then picked up his second Oscar in the Lead category 12 years and three nominations later.

    Meryl Streep won her first Oscar in the Supporting Actress category and later picked up two Oscars for Best Actress.

    Jack Nicholson won his first Oscar in the Best Actor category, picked up another in the Supporting Actor category, and then snagged his latest statuette in the Best Actor category once again.

    Ingrid Bergman won her first two Oscars in the Best Actress category and then picked up another in the Supporting Actress category.

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    GhostOrchid
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    #75156

    Jessica Lange also won her first Oscar in Supporting and the second in Leading.
    Maggie Smith won first in Lead and the second in Supporting.
    Dianne Wiest won both in Supporting. Walter Brennan even three.
    Katherine Hepburn won all her four Oscar in Leading.

    Some actors and actresses won two Oscars in lead, like Jodie Foster, Sally Field, Sean Penn, Tom Hanks or Hilary Swank.

    It is possible to win from Supporting into Lead (and even the other way round).
    But, for example, I don’t think Renee Zellweger will ever win a Lead Oscar. I also doubt Jennifer Hudson will….

    I don’t know, but there are rare real Oscar “legends” nowadays, although DDL and Washington this year are in a good position to win a third trophy. If DDL wins, he’ll set up a new record, if Washington wins, he’s in the same club as Meryl and Jack.

    Renée Zellweger is the sad case for getting a kind of “make up” Oscar in Supprting, because she could not win in Lead the year before. Well, that’s at least the feeling I had…

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    Madson Melo
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    #75157

    Judi Dench won a ”makeup” Oscar after losing for Helen Hunt and was never able to win a lead one lol

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    Gabriel
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    #75158

    When it comes to consolation Oscars, I don’t think The Academy cares whether they are for lead or supporting. An Oscar is an Oscar.

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    Anonymous
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    #75159

    Exactly, a Golden Dildo is a Golden Dildo. Category isn’t important. After all you won it, that’s important.

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    Awardzilla
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    #75160

    The question is as follows: How probable is the Academy to award an actor in a lead category if s/he has already won in the supporting category and vice versa? Is one scenario presumably easier to accomplish than the other? What factors would need to be in place?

    People often talk in terms of an ‘Oscar upgrade’. I think that this phenomena is becoming more rare, so where we had expected George Clooney to be in with The Descendants that obviously turned against us. I think to gain a second or third oscar, be it lead or supporting, each time the perfomance has to be deemed as the ‘best to date’ of that actor, look at Meryl Streep. Add to that your character probably needs to have some ground-breaking or highly baity element, like a biopic. Some are IOU’s, such as Denzel’s lead, which he was truly indebted for from his perfomance in Malcolm X.

    I do however think there are certain actors we’d brand as lead or supporting, regardless of the perfomance they’re winning for. For example Renee Zellweger is a true leading lady for me, yet Reese Witherspoon isn’t. But if the perfomance hits a peak for an actor, they’ll award them whether they’re lead or supporting, so although I’d expect Leo, a true leading actor, to win in lead, he could win in supporting this year if Django is his best perfomance to date.

    My comment made about Davis is that I feel she is a lead waiting to happen, add to that I don’t believe beautiful creatures could get her near a nomination, Won’t Back Down is more likely and we know how reviews are on that front. The Barbara Jordan biopic has Davis’ IOU, her respect amongst actors (SAG), and a biopic, even better still is that character being played is one of histories lesser known but profound additions, so that un-turfing could help her.

    At the end of that day though, like people have said, a Golden Dildo is a Golden Dildo, size doesn’t matter.

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    Blacktie
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    #75161

    My comment made about Davis is that I feel she is a lead waiting to happen, add to that I don’t believe beautiful creatures could get her near a nomination, Won’t Back Down is more likely and we know how reviews are on that front. The Barbara Jordan biopic has Davis’ IOU, her respect amongst actors (SAG), and a biopic, even better still is that character being played is one of histories lesser known but profound additions, so that un-turfing could help her.

    I completely agree. But would a hypothetical win for either of those supporting performances hinder her taking home a lead Oscar for the Barbara Jordan biopic?

    Although not a split between categories, I could see that scenario aligning with the wins of Tom Hanks…winning an award for a great performance and then winning for a tour de force, iconic performance.

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    Awardzilla
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    #75162

    I completely agree. But would a hypothetical win for either of those supporting performances hinder her taking home a lead Oscar for the Barbara Jordan biopic?

    Although not a split between categories, I could see that scenario aligning with the wins of Tom Hanks…winning an award for a great performance and then winning for a tour de force, iconic performance.

    I’m in agreement. If she blew audiences away with a supporting (Won’t back down/Beautiful Creatures) or Lead (The Help) and then the next year she had the Barbara Jordan biopic, people wouldn’t say no to a double win. But the truth is Beautiful Creatures isn’t Oscar bait, Won’t back down opened to divisive reviews where Maggie appeared to steal the show and The Help was only overlooked because it was Meryl’s time. To do two in a row, or two within the space of 5 years, you have to have something huge helping you in Oscar #2, look at Jodie Foster, Hilary Swank and Tom Hanks, their second oscar perfomances were in best picture winners, so, hypothetically, unless Davis’ biopic is best picture frontrunner, if not winner, she can’t win her second oscar. Also don’t piss people off (Oh Russel Crowe)

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    Blacktie
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    #75163

    [quote=”Blacktie”]
    I completely agree. But would a hypothetical win for either of those supporting performances hinder her taking home a lead Oscar for the Barbara Jordan biopic?

    Although not a split between categories, I could see that scenario aligning with the wins of Tom Hanks…winning an award for a great performance and then winning for a tour de force, iconic performance.

    I’m in agreement. If she blew audiences away with a supporting (Won’t back down/Beautiful Creatures) or Lead (The Help) and then the next year she had the Barbara Jordan biopic, people wouldn’t say no to a double win. But the truth is Beautiful Creatures isn’t Oscar bait, Won’t back down opened to divisive reviews where Maggie appeared to steal the show and The Help was only overlooked because it was Meryl’s time. To do two in a row, or two within the space of 5 years, you have to have something huge helping you in Oscar #2, look at Jodie Foster, Hilary Swank and Tom Hanks, their second oscar perfomances were in best picture winners, so, hypothetically, unless Davis’ biopic is best picture frontrunner, if not winner, she can’t win her second oscar. Also don’t piss people off (Oh Russel Crowe)[/quote]

    Interesting factor…I hadn’t considered that.

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    allabout oscars
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    #75164

    H
    It’s a joke to discuss viola Davis, second Oscar..c’mon, really people..let her get the first Oscar..then speculate…

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    Awardzilla
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    #75165

    H
    It’s a joke to discuss viola Davis, second Oscar..c’mon, really people..let her get the first Oscar..then speculate…

    That’s why we were talking hypothetically, and that argument expands beyond Davis. Much like George Clooney this year, The Descendants just didn’t have enough support to carry him through.

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    Daniel B.
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    #75166

    Of the 276 actors and actresses who have won Oscars, here is a list of the 11 who have won Oscars in both lead and supporting categories:

    FEMALE
    Ingrid Bergman
     (lead 1944, lead 1956, supp. 1974)
    Helen Hayes (lead 1931, supp. 1970)
    Jessica Lange (supp. 1982, lead 1994)
    Maggie Smith (lead 1969, supp. 1978)
    Meryl Streep (supp. 1979, lead 1982, lead 2011)

    MALE
    Robert De Niro
     (supp. 1974, lead 1980)
    Gene Hackman (lead 1971, supp. 1992)
    Jack Lemmon (supp. 1955, lead 1973)
    Jack Nicholson (lead 1975, supp. 1983, lead 1997)
    Kevin Spacey (supp. 1995, lead 1999)
    Denzel Washington (supp. 1989, lead 2001)

    So the chanes of a previous recipient of an acting Oscar coming back and winning in another category is roughly 1/25, with a slight edge going to actors whose first Oscar was in the supporting category.

    It is worth noting that “upgrades” (supporting win to lead win) is more common with males, with 4/6 of them winning first in the supporting category.  With the ladies, only 2/5 have “upgraded” from supporting to lead wins. 

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    Anonymous
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    #75167

    Of the 276 actors and actresses who have won Oscars, here is a list of the 11 who have won Oscars in both lead and supporting categories:

    FEMALE
    Ingrid Bergman
     (lead 1944, lead 1956, supp. 1974)
    Helen Hayes (lead 1931, supp. 1970)
    Jessica Lange (supp. 1982, lead 1994)
    Maggie Smith (lead 1969, supp. 1978)
    Meryl Streep (supp. 1979, lead 1982, lead 2011)….

    ::sigh::  Perfection.

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