Oscars Wild Cards: Award Season Underdogs



The Oscars are making their way again this March with nominees who are more than deserving of an award following a wonderful year in Hollywood, yet it feels like the same story we see every year. As talented and amazing as Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Julia Roberts and Cate Blanchett may be, it would be nice to see some new names getting some love.

Wouldn’t it be more of a thrill to hear a name called we haven’t seen in Oscar history for the award shows top honors? Amy Adams and Leonardo Dicaprio are two that come to mind, both with a great chance to take home a trophy for “Best Actor/Actress”, Adams for her roll in “American Hustle” and Leo for “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

So come on Meryl, with all of your awards and nominations, lets give someone else a chance, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind.

Since we’re on the subject, let’s take a look at ten actors and actresses who have the potential, though not necessarily this year, to win an Academy Award. Because everybody loves an underdog.

1) Amanda Seyfried

Amanda has definitely proved herself to be one of the most versatile actresses since Reese Witherspoon.  She went from ditzy Karen in “Mean Girls”, to dorky sidekick Needy in “Jennifer’s Body”, to the seductive femme fatale in “Chloe”. Not only can she play different characters, but she also proved herself to be a great singer in “Mamma Mia!” and “Les Misérables”, and let’s not forget her unforgettable performance in “Lovelace”.

2) Jessica Chastain

This lovely young woman has some of the most sparkling energy that one would see in a Broadway musical. Perhaps that just comes from her attendance at Juliard before she became big. So far, she managed to get two nominations: for “The Help” in 2012, and “Zero Dark Thirty” in 2013, which was the year Jennifer Lawrence won for her performance in “Silver Linings Playbook”. If Chastain had won last year, then Lawrence would be on this list, and even though Chastain isn’t horror movie material, she was surprisingly believable as a tattooed rocker in “Mama”.

3) Chloe Grace Moretz

She is only 16 and has already making her way to the top, and rather than performing in cliche teen flicks, Moretz chooses more daring, mature roles that are fun instead of boring. “Carrie” wasn’t exactly her cup of tea, but “Hugo”, “Kick-Ass” and “Let Me In” showed her potential.

4) Lindsay Lohan

Yes, I know, it doesn’t take a genius to say the girl has issues, and if you think about it, her issues kind of make her a better actress. Before she turned into an addict and an active court member, Lohan performed in cult favorites “Mean Girls” and “Freaky Friday”, and her acting was just so-so at that point. There have been some other more recent roles that Lohan was up for, proving the continued acknowledgement of her potential, including Amanda Seyfried’s part in “Lovelace” and Rooney Mara’s part in “Side Effects”. You have to admit that Lohan would have been a decent choice to play an abused porn star or a psychotic drug addict, and perhaps if the girl ever gets her act together, maybe we can rely on her for an Oscar-worthy role.

5) Ryan Gosling

It’s hard to think of another male in Hollywood who is more deserving of winning an Oscar than Ryan Gosling. This actor has talent, good looks and this magical charm that makes everyone fall in love with him and/or want to be him. He was nominated once for “Half Nelson”, and somehow missed out on a nomination for “Blue Velvet”.

6) Emma Stone

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone as thoughtful and open-minded as Emma Stone would take home an Oscar someday? Stone is selfless in the sense that she aims to be original, and she encourages people to embrace what sets them apart from others (If you’re unfamiliar with that moment, check out the MTV Movie Awards in 2012).

7) Michelle Williams

Now this is an actress deserving of her critics’ praise. Who would’ve thought that the girl from Dawson’s Creek (the one who didn’t marry Tom Cruise) would become such a motivational actress and human being? She’s had three nominations so far (“My Week With Marilyn”, “Blue Velvet”, “Brokeback Mountain”), and she was deserving of each one. Honestly, I didn’t expect her to be believable as Marilyn Monroe, but she took on her voice and facial features so well that it was like watching a documentary.

8) Johnny Depp

Depp, 50-years-old, has starred in some of the most iconic films of all-time, and surprisingly, has yet to win an Oscar. He’s been nominated for three (“Sweeney Todd”, “Find Neverland”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”), but we’re still waiting for the day when he’ll swipe that award.

9) Kristen Bell

This unique actress makes rather interesting choices when it comes to films and television. “Veronica Mars” was her trademark, but when that got cancelled, many felt she would fade with it, and instead she proved that she was better than we could have imagined. You could speculate her talent is the main reason ‘Mars’ is getting a chance at the big screen this year. Her voice work in “Frozen”, the Walt Disney Animation Studios musical that has collected two Oscar nominations, will hopefully make the people at the academy turn in her direction wanting more.

10) Rooney Mara

One nomination down for Mara, and hopefully many more to go. Her performance as Lisbeth in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was electrifying, showing bravery in scenes involving rape, nudity, thick Swedish accents and countless different hairstyles. Not to mention, she was pretty great in “Side Effects” as well.

Sam Machado

Sam Machado

Pop culture fanatic, stage performer, college graduate from Humboldt State University, lover of all things artistic, dedicated to physical activity.
Sam Machado

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