“Ha, shit, wait, I’ve been nominated for more Oscars than Burt Reynolds? Haha, what?”
We talk about the Academy Awards a lot around these parts (some might say to a “dangerous to our health” degree). Now, there are a lot of reasons for that. Movies take a lot less effort to get through than books, first of all. Also, as manufactured and imperfect as it is, the term “Academy Award nominee” lends a film or actor an impressive amount of prestige. But mostly, it’s the randomness.
Yes, being an Academy Award winner or nominee is an achievement that you can carry with you to your grave, but 80% of the time these nominations are extremely random and hardly make any sense. If you look at their history of work, it’s sort of strange that Charlie Chaplin and Angela Bassett have the same number of Oscar nominations as Andrew Garfield and Abigail Breslin, but that’s just how the Academy throws down, baby.
And we love it. We love it so much in fact that we went through a list of all the actors who have been nominated for acting’s highest honor to remind ourselves of a few actors whose nominations, in retrospect, seemed kind of bonkers. We’re not saying that these actors did not deserve the honor—in fact almost every one put up an award-worthy performance.
We’re just saying that if aliens landed on Earth, took in the entirety of our cultural history, and were told that Gary Busey was once nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, they would probably respond, “Wait you mean that toothy guy from Point Break? Is this one of those ‘pranks’ you Earthlings seem so fond of?”
Let’s dive in.