As I have a pretty good track record of helping my clients to win awards and because I spent over 30 years doing PR in films and TV, I think I’m well placed to give the benefit of my extensive knowledge and experience to all those thespians who fancy claiming one of those much coveted golden gongs in 2020, as this year’s nominations loom shortly.
Although you might get a heads up with a famous director like Scorcese, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Steve McQueen or Mr Spielberg, you don’t have to rely on the renown of the director or even the producer to grab a golden statue.
A good script obviously helps, but the road from a good script to a decent film is a long one and there are no guarantees of a success even if the words are a gem. The mysterious magic that turns a mediocre film into an arthouse sensation or a box office blockbuster cannot be defined or mass produced.
Usually for all actors and actresses, it’s best not to expect Oscar to come knocking if you’re in a prequel or sequel, although that didn’t hurt Godfather !!. Don’t ask what happened with Godfather lll, one of the worst sequels of all time. Also, all those Marvel comic superhero/heroine movies that make billions aren’t necessarily a route to awards, although it can give you a straight road to deposit your massive cheque and subsequent percentages of box office takings in the bank and buy that marvellous mansion by the pool in Beverly Hills. Or a yacht if you already have at least one of the above.
So, how do you win an Oscar? Firstly, and probably most of all, choose a role where you have to gain at least 2 stone, or lose the equivalent and look as ugly as possible. I am talking here about a bunch of usually the most narcissistic professionals in the world, so their immense bravery in choosing to not only be paparazzi or Instagram unready, but to actually decide to appear in a public setting on a big screen looking, well, shockingly unpleasant.
I have proof of this. In 1981 Robert De Niro, who gained masses of blubber for his role as boxing champ Jake LaMotta, won Best Actor. More recently Charlize Theron, former model and favourite of Dior’s drippy ads, won for turning herself into a Monster. Let’s not forget the redoubtable Anne Hathaway, who was upstaged in the Devil Wears Prada by the wonderful Emily Blunt who nicks every film she’s in, when she was stripped of hair, weight and dignity in Les Miserables to sing a plaintiff I Dreamed A Dream (maybe it was the song, as our own Susan Boyle Dreamed a Dream and went on to make £22million). Lily Collins, start thinking about your acceptance speech now at the TV BAFTAS, you’re a shoe in from your Les Mis tv series, even without the merry tune.
Leonardo di Caprio was willing to put himself through all kinds of physical torture and on screen ugliness to win for The Revenant and now the fabulous Olivia Coleman, who gained two stone for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite (not mine btw, think it’s over hyped, over rated and quite boring, but that’s just me apparently). She has always been a superlative actress but her willingness to have smudged eye make up (‘you look like a badger’ says Rachel Weisz’s character)several double chins and be a gobby lesbian/queen has helped her nab a Golden Globe and I hope she gets a golden Oscar too, because I like her. So there you have it, get a role that requires you to be fat/thin and most of all ugly = win Oscar.