While these actors will likely not see their names announced on Nomination Day which is January 24th, I still wanted to do an early forecast of who we could see score their first Oscar nomination in the future. The near future. Here are ten actors that might be a role or two away from their first Oscar nomination. On a side note, I was tempted to include names like Andrew Garfield and Joel Edgerton on here. But because they are in contnetion this year and may likely get their first Oscar ticket, I decided to leave them off for now. Anyhow, let's take a look at my top 10:
10. Chris Pratt: The Guardians Of The Galaxy and Jurassic World films likely won't get him to the Dolby Theater. But given how he's currently at the height of his fame, if he lands the right revelatory serious role, we could see him join the Oscar club. Think back to when Tom Cruise was nominated for Born On The Fourth Of July and Harrison Ford for Witness. They scored their first nominations for a serious role at the height of their fame. That could do wonders for Pratt.
9. Adam Driver: Adam Driver is someone who already has a resume most actors probably dream of. He's involved in a billion dollar franchise with Star Wars, he's worked with the likes of Baumbach, Jarmusch, Scorsese, the Coens, and Soderbergh, and he's an Emmy nominee thanks to his work on Girls. So he's got plenty of box office and industry cred. Silence and Paterson might not do the trick for him this year but it'll likely happen soon I think.
8. Matthias Schoenaerts: He had a slight breakout with Rust and Bone back in 2012 but it was the more established co-star Marion Cotillard who had most of the acclaim. Still, he's been building a Hollywood profile ever since, dipping his feet in gritty indies like The Drop and Blood Ties and Oscar bait like The Danish Girl. While he wasn't given much to do in The Danish Girl, his involvement showed how he's picking the right projects to build a trajectory towards his first nomination and he's got a handful of projects on the horizon. One includes spy thriller Red Sparrow opposite Oscar club members Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Irons coming out later this year.
7. David Oyelowo: While Selma didn't quite do the trick for him due to bad timing since the film had such a late surge, at the very least, more people became familiar with his name. He still managed to garner an Emmy nomination for his work on Nightengale and while Queen of Katwe failed to garner a wider audience, the trajectory for his first Oscar nomination is still there. The biopic A United Kingdom is coming out next month and it might not garner much buzz due to coming out so early. But again, it shows how he's picking the right type of projects.
6. Channing Tatum: I have a feeling some may be fighting a gag reflux or scratching their heads over this one. But I believe it is bound to happen. While he may be known for his work in the Jump Street and Magic Mike, he's still been working with established directors like Tarantino, the Coens, Bennett Miller, and Steven Soderbergh. Steve Carell got all of the Best Actor attention for Foxcatcher and his films with Tarantino and the Coens, The Hateful Eight and Hail, Caesar!, didn't offer him much to do. But those directors often work with the same people. So maybe they'll return to him with bigger and better roles in the future.
5. Anthony Mackie: Anthony Mackie has been around since 2002 when he made his film debut as Papa Doc in 8 Mile. But his popularity has grown since then thanks in large part to his involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Falcon. He's also been involved in Best Picture winners like Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow who he will reteam with on the currently untitled film about the 1967 Detroit police riots. Depending on what kind of role he has, he could finally be given his due.
4. John Goodman: I think it's an absolute head-scratcher that John Goodman has not been recognized. He's been around forever, has worked with the right directors, and starred in the right projects. But thankfully, because he keeps so busy and even has about seven projects coming this year, they have plenty of chances to cite his talent. If he gets the right role and perhaps the right campaign to remind his acting peers that he's never been nominated, this will finally happen.
3. Ben Mendelsohn: He's been working steadily in Australia since the late 80's. But it was 2010 where he finally made his American breakthrough with Animal Kingdom. Since then, he's been seeking his years of dedication effort paying off thanks to his involvement in blockbusters like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the upcoming Robin Hood origin movie where he plays Sheriff of Nottingham, and his Emmy win for Bloodline which has amassed him plenty of industry goodwill. Now that Bloodline is coming to a close, it'll allow him to continue working in films and he's got plenty on the horizon like the film adaptation of Ready Player One for Steven Spielberg and the Oscar bait biopic Darkest Hour for Joe Wright where he plays a supporting role as King George VI.
2. Oscar Isaac: Another actor whose name has boosted in commercial popularity, thanks to his involvement in Star Wars, while building a trajectory towards his first Oscar nomination. Even though he's worked with the likes of the Coen Brothers and J.C. Chandor on Inside Llewyn Davis and A Most Violent Year, respectively, he has still come up short on Nomination Day. But with the projects he has set for release this year: Star Wars: Episode VIII, Annihilation where he reteams with Ex Machina director Alex Garland, the George Clooney-directed Suburbicon opposite Matt Damon and Julianne Moore, and The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Montara by a guy named Steven Spielberg, we'll probably see him at the Oscars soon.
1. Idris Elba: Right after his Oscar snub for Beasts Of No Nation, he still took home the Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actor as well as the award for Best Actor In A Miniseries Or TV Movie for Luther the same night. So he's amassed plenty of goodwill from his fellow actors and with his upcoming projects that show awards promise, he could end up getting his ticket. One project is a supporting role in Molly's Game from Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin who writes and makes his directing debut while the other film is the romantic drama The Mountain Between Us opposite Kate Winslet where they play survivors of a plane crash lost in the wilderness. He'll also play the lead role in the film adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Dark Tower to help boost his visibility.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this list in the comments section and who you think might be a role or two away from finally getting nominated. Thanks for reading!