Every 2023 Best Actor contender is a first-time Oscar nominee
The old boys' club is, well, a new boys' club after the 2023 Oscar nominations.
For the first time in decades, this year's Best Actor category included all first-time nominees. The mix — revealed Tuesday morning — included respected industry veterans like Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Bill Nighy (Living), while younger breakouts like Austin Butler (Elvis) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) also appeared among the set.
Nighy and Mescal fronted lesser-seen movies on the prestige circuit, with Mescal earning the Charlotte Wells-directed drama's sole nod. Living, meanwhile, only saw one other nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay (Kazuo Ishiguro).
Fraser's The Whale — which follows the actor as a 600-pound recluse, Charlie, struggling to reconnect with his estranged daughter — was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Hong Chau) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Banshees and Elvis swept the list, with both projects landing Best Picture nominations in addition to the actors' work.
"I've kept myself busy. Careers go up and down on a valley-and-peak trajectory, but I believe that it's always in the ascendancy. I've never been that far away, is the short answer. Was I away, or was everyone away from me?" Fraser previously told EW about his career resurgence thanks to The Whale. "I'll give you the answer: It doesn't matter. What's important is that, either by design or accident, the amount of time it took for me to arrive at the place where I could faithfully play Charlie with the dignity, authenticity, and honesty that it demands, may not have been at my disposal had I not gone on that journey."
Elsewhere among the nominations list, The Academy also finally recognized other Hollywood staples with long-overdue first-time nominations in other categories, including Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin).
Angela Bassett also made history as the first star to receive an Oscar nomination for a performance in a Marvel movie, thanks to her work in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And Steven Spielberg extended his record as the Oscars' only filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director across six different decades with his most recent nomination for helming his semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans.
Jimmy Kimmel will host the 95th Academy Awards telecast on Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.
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Brendan Fraser plays a reclusive English teacher suffering from compulsive eating disorder who attempts to reconnect with estranged teenage daughter.