Natalie Portman: Does pregnancy help her Oscar chances?
Image Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesYes, I know, it’s kind of a ridiculous question. But as we all well know, winning an Oscar isn’t just about delivering a worthy performance. It’s about how a performer is perceived within the industry. So on the heels of Black Swan star Natalie Portman’s announcement that she’s expecting her first child, I was curious: How have pregnant nominees fared over the years?
Rachel Weisz was noticeably pregnant when she won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Constant Gardener. Catherine Zeta-Jones was too when she won the same category for Chicago. Same with Eva Marie Saint for On the Waterfront. And Meryl Streep had the future Mamie Gummer in her belly when she won Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice, though no one knew at the time. It’s been well documented that younger women have better luck with the Academy than their more mature counterparts. Could being pregnant only help an actress’ case?
Not always. Cate Blanchett was eight months along in 2008, when she lost in both the lead and supporting categories. Marcia Gay Harden also lost while pregnant, the year she was up for Mystic River. Same with Glenn Close for Fatal Attraction. Most interestingly, The Kids Are All Right‘s Annette Bening, who is Portman’s biggest competition this year, was almost nine months pregnant when she lost the Best Actress prize 11 years ago for American Beauty. With Black Swan now past the $30 million mark at the box office, Portman certainly has the momentum right now. Bening’s fans must surely hope Portman joins the list of Oscar’s pregnant also-rans come February.