Thursday morning, the Oscar nominations for 2012 were announced, and if you haven’t seen the films that were nominated for Best Picture (Amour, Argo, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Zero Dark 30, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild), you still have time before the ceremony in February.
You do not, however, have to watch these films to glean some career advice from the Oscar nominees’ work ethic and performances. And the nominees with career lessons are…
Be like Ben and try something new if your current career isn’t going so hot. After his Chasing Amy/Good Will Hunting/Armageddon/Dogma/Shakespeare in Love phase in the late 1990s through early 2000s, Benny boy’s career saw a bit of a slow down. Actually, not really a slow down. Ben was making tons of films, it’s just that no one wanted to actually see them. (Hello Reindeer Games and Gigli!) I believe the term box-office poison may have been thrown around.
But Affleck, who won an Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1998 with buddy Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting, had always been interested in more than acting. He has decided to pursue directing more, and it seems he really found his calling. Gone Baby Gone got great reviews and he directed Amy Ryan to an Oscar nomination. The Town (which is just so awesome) also earned a Best Actor nod for Jeremy Renner. And though he got snubbed for Best Director with Argo, the film was nominated for Best Picture and has earned rave reviews.
If you love the industry you work in but are interested in pursuing other roles, educate yourself on those career paths and then go for it! You can thank Affleck in your job acceptance speech.
Hathaway’s transformation into a poverty-stricken diseased French prostitute in 19th century France has been well documented, and is good inspiration for how you should throw yourself into work you really love, or a job you really want. To look the part, she lost 25 pounds off her already thin frame even though the director said she didn’t have to. She also cut off her gorgeous (and signature) long locks for this role.
Her appearance in the film is shocking, but it paid off. She is only on screen for about 30 minutes, but the work she put into this role (in which she sings the whole time) is terrific. Clearly when she got the part, she proved to the director and crew she was the only one for the role.
The Oscars are a real time for underdogs to shine and we see that with Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s 9-year-old Wallis. The film is your classic, critically acclaimed Oscar dark horse but Wallis could pull it off. Even if she doesn’t win, she should be thrilled as she is now the youngest Best Actress nominee in Oscar history, and if she wins, she would be the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award in an acting category.
So even if the odds are against you, know that you could still come out on top if you give it your all.
Day-Lewis, who got nominated for his fifth Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, could earn his third statuette for this film. Day-Lewis is notoriously selective about the projects he participates in, and obviously it pays off. (Well, except for Nine.)
Follow Day-Lewis’ cue and make sure you are investing your time in something you really believe in, whether it’s in work or life.
Waltz is up for his second Oscar for Django Unchained, and he previously won for Inglorious Bastards back in 2011 — both of which were directed by Quentin Tarantino. Clearly these two work well together and their final results are very successful.
If you know you work well with someone, why not collaborate with them on multiple projects? This is very common in the film industry (Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson.)
Jennifer Lawrence has become a darling of the Academy Awards (this is her second nomination for Best Actress in three years) but she doesn’t go around promoting the film industry. In fact, she does the opposite. She told Entertainment Weekly:
“I’m so aware of all the b.s. that surrounds Hollywood and how everyone gets on this high horse and thinks that they’re curing cancer and it makes me so uncomfortable every time I see it. So I go in the exact opposite direction and end up saying something like ‘I’m pregnant!’ when I’m in two franchises.”
Jennifer, who in addition to this Oscar nod, just saw a huge pay raise for the second film in the Hunger Games series, is clearly seeing the benefits of not following the line. Take inspiration from Lawrence by finding the confidence to speak your mind, and know that it can pay off.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.