By Maureen Lee Lenker
February 06, 2020 at 10:54 PM EST
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12 Years a Slave

type
  • Movie
genre

Brad Pitt appears primed to win his first acting Oscar on Sunday night. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star is heavily favored to take home Best Supporting Actor at the 92nd Academy Awards after sweeping the category in previous awards shows this season. Yet it wouldn’t be the first piece of Oscar hardware to his credit: Pitt already has a Best Picture Oscar, which he won back in 2014 for producing 12 Years a Slave.

Not only that, Pitt’s name was the first one read aloud by presenter Will Smith when the film won, and he was the first person to speak on behalf of the winning team. “Thank you all, thank you for this incredible honor you’ve bestowed on our film tonight,” he said. “I know I speak for everyone standing behind me that it’s been an absolute privilege working on Solomon’s story, and we all get to stand up here tonight because of one man who brought us all together to tell that story, and that is the indomitable Mr. Steve McQueen.”

The McQueen-directed historical drama tells the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man who was abducted and sold into slavery in 1841 and fought for 12 years to return to his family.

Pitt was integral to the producing team, backing the project in development and beyond through his production company Plan B Entertainment. So much so that while accepting Best Picture, McQueen thanked him, saying, “Without him, this film just would not have been made.” (Pitt also appears in the film in a small supporting role.)

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12 Years a Slave marks Pitt’s only Oscar victory thus far, but he’s been nominated a total of six times. He once again shared the Best Picture nomination with his Plan B associates Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner for 2015’s The Big Short. In 1996, he scored his first acting nod for his supporting role in Twelve Monkeys, and he’s been nominated for Best Actor twice, for 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 2011’s Moneyball. He also shared a Best Picture nomination with the team behind Moneyball.

A win for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would cap a spectacular awards season for Pitt, during which he’s been honored for his work by his peers and beloved by audiences for his hilarious acceptance speeches.

Rick Dalton’s booze might not need no buddy, but Pitt’s Best Picture Oscar sure could use one.

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12 Years a Slave

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 134 minutes
director
  • Steve McQueen

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