A Best Actor Oscar: The Kiss Of Death?


Think winning an Oscar for Best Actor will guarantee you a future of awards-calibre roles and boffo box office success? Think again.

Despite the instant acclaim and YouTube popularity of your acceptance speech if you pull an Adrien Brody or a Roberto Benigni, a win could be the most attention your career garners for years. After all, whatever happened to Adrien Brody?

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Steven Zeitchik explains: [I]t’s precisely because these races are so public that they often work as much against an actor as they do for him or her. Two years ago, Forest Whitaker, a talented thesp who can be great in a spontaneous news conference, looked uncomfortable when making acceptance-speech rounds for “The Last King of Scotland.” Producers taken by his performance suddenly had a chance to see another side of him.

An Oscar winner with ironclad credentials doesn’t see much of an effect, one way or the other: Russell Crowe and Penn (“Gladiator” and “Mystic River,” respectively) landed meaty roles before they won statuettes and continued to do so afterward.

But a look at other recent winners shows that winning an Oscar not only is no guarantee of success.

Jamie Foxx, Adrien Brody and Whitaker celebrated watershed career moments during the past six years when they won their first statuettes, but eye-catching roles haven’t exactly flowed since then.

This should offer cold comfort for those actors who probably won’t win this year, like Brad Pitt and The Visitor‘s Richard Jenkins, and those who are frequently overlooked, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise.