Do you want an Oscar?
There are not many actors, actresses, or any other type of person that works in the movie industry that would answer “No” to that question.
Throughout Sunday night’s broadcast of this year’s Oscars award ceremony, quite a few people around the world were undoubtedly reminded of their own dreams of having their names printed in those special envelopes one day.
While it is true that some of the most memorable performances of the year are the ones that walk away with an Oscar award, the theories of how to get an Oscar actually go much farther than just the quality of the performance.
If you want to win an Oscar, then you should play a person that has one of the following three traits.
- Suffers from a physical, mental or emotional disability
- Suffers from a physical, mental or emotional illness
- Gets shot to death at the end of the film
Even though this might seem a little far-fetched, all that you need to is pay attention to the growing list of Oscar winners and the movie roles that helped them to walk away with that accolade.
Here is a list of the leading actor and actress award winners from the past three decades that can be classified under at least one of those three categories, including this year’s winners.
2014: Eddie Redmayne — The Theory of Everything(ALS)
2013: Matthew McConaughey — Dallas Buyers Club(AIDS)
2012: Daniel Day-Lewis — Lincoln(Assassinated off-screen)
2010: Colin Firth — The King’s Speech(Speech impediment)
2009: Jeff Bridges — Crazy Heart (Alcoholism)
2008: Sean Penn — Milk(Shot to Death)
2004: Jamie Foxx — Ray(Blindness)
1997: Jack Nicholson — As Good As It Gets(OCD)
1996: Geoffrey Rush — Shine(Mental illness)
1995: Nicolas Cage — Leaving Las Vegas(Alcoholism)
1994: Tom Hanks — Forrest Gump(Learning disability)
1993: Tom Hanks — Philadelphia(AIDS)
1992: Al Pacino — Scent of a Woman(Blindness)
1991: Anthony Hopkins — The Silence of the Lamb(Psychosis)
1989: Daniel Day-Lewis — My Left Foot(Cerebral Palsy)
1988: Dustin Hoffman — Rain Man(Autism)
1983: Robert Duvall — Tender Mercies(Alcoholism)
2014: Julianne Moore — Still Alice(Alzheimer’s)
2013: Cate Blanchett — Blue Jasmine(Mentally unstable)
2012: Jennifer Lawrence — Silver Linings Playbook(Distress, bereavement)
2011: Meryl Streep — The Iron Lady(Dementia)
2008: Kate Winslet — The Reader(Illiteracy)
2004: Hilary Swank — Million Dollar Baby(Quadriplegic)
2002: Nicole Kidman — The Hours(Bipolar Disorder)
1999: Hilary Swank — Boys Don’t Cry(Shot to Death)
1994: Jessica Lange — Blue Sky(Mental Illness)
Keep in mind that this is just a short list of two categories. It does not include the awards for supporting actors and actresses, or best directors and pictures.
The theory of disabilities on the big-screen leading to Oscars was famously discussed by Robert Downey Jr.’s character in the 2008 satirical comedy, Tropic Thunder.
His theory focused on the need to never completely cross the line that separates intelligence and brilliance from disability. That is just one of the many theories that have circulated online and made headlines over the years.
It’s awful that whenever an actor wins an award for playing someone w/ a disability, I hear “never go full retard” from Tropic Thunder. smh.
— Piti (@peterican13) February 23, 2015
So the Tropic Thunder joke about ‘never go full retard man’ panned out 100% correct at the #Oscars2015
— Phil Taylor (@Naylor2006) February 23, 2015
Yes, it is true that Oscar nominees and winners are selected through an extensive and tedious voting process behind the scenes.
Therefore, signing up for a role of a person that is sick, disabled, or shot to death will never provide an actor or actress with a guaranteed Oscar.
However, if you want an Oscar, it is clear that those three categories will at least increase the odds of being seriously considered.
[Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images]