Silent Oscars: 10 nonspeaking roles nominated at Academy Awards — Will Sally Hawkins be next?

Sally Hawkins is currently at the top of Gold Derby’s Best Actress Oscar predictions for her role in Guillermo Del Toro‘s film “The Shape of Water.” The movie from the director of “Pan’s Labyrinth” tells the story of a mute young woman working as a janitor. Should Hawkins succeed in getting a nomination for this film, it wouldn’t be the first time that an actor has been nominated or even in some cases won an Oscar for a role in which they didn’t speak, or spoke very little. In the above photo gallery, Gold Derby looks back on 10 actors who have earned Academy Awards attention for such roles. Will Hawkins join this list?

These types of characters can be especially challenging for an actor to make an impact in, since they are forced to rely totally on gestures and facial expressions. Despite the challenges, early screenings at film festivals have pegged Hawkins as a likely nominee at the 2018 Oscars. This would be Hawkins’ second Oscar nomination after her Best Supporting Actress bid in 2013 for “Blue Jasmine.”

In “The Shape of Water” Hawkins pulls off the extra achievement of being able to create a full blown character without speaking a word. (Her character is a lonely woman who works in a government laboratory as a janitor.) This is a big change of pace for Hawkins who first came to American audience’s attention for her work in the Mike Leigh film “Happy-Go-Lucky.” She won the Golden Globe in 2008 for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical as the chatty, offbeat and rather irritating lead character of that film.

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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