The Oscars are on tonight, and actors from Doctor Who are up for big awards
Today’s the highlight of the awards season calendar as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are handing out their coveted Oscars. And the world of Doctor Who is well represented with an unprecedented number of former guest stars nominated for major awards.
Carey Mulligan starred in one of most popular Doctor Who episodes of all, 2007’s Blink. As Sally Sparrow Mulligan was effectively the lead in the Doctor-lite episode which introduced the Weeping Angels. In the fourteen years since she has risen to global superstardom and the Hollywood A-list. Her breakthrough role came in 2009’s coming of age drama An Education. That awards season saw her win a BAFTA for Best Actress and her first Academy Award nomination. Since then she’s developed a remarkable body of work and gathered nominations from Golden Globe, SAG and Tony Awards. Her films have included the science fiction dystopian Never Let Me Go, as a clone created as an organ donor. While she’s also taken the lead roles in respected dramas such as Suffragette and The Great Gatsby.
Her second Oscar nomination is as Best Actress for Promising Young Woman. In the challenging drama she plays Cassie Thomas, a woman still determined to avenge the rape of her best friend. The film follows her determined mission to destroy the lives not just of the rapist, but of those in the education and legal system who failed her friend. Promising Young Woman also has nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing.
Daniel Kaluuya appeared in Planet of the Dead, the first of the 2009 specials and Doctor Who’s 200th story. As Barclay, Kaluuya was one of the unfortunate commuters aboard the 200 bus who becomes trapped on a dead planet beset by flying alien stingrays. But that was far from his last brush with genre television. He was the loyal sidekick on BBC Three supernatural drama The Fades. And his performance as a reality TV contestant in Black Mirror’s second episode helped make it a runaway hit. Meanwhile in horror comedy Psychoville, he was the home help to one of its grotesques.. He’s been no stranger to the big screen either. He followed up his Doctor Who role playing Rowan Atkison’s junior partner in spy comedy sequel Johnny English Reborn. While comic book adaptations made him supervillain Black Death in Kick-Ass 2 and the heroic W’Kabi in Marvel’s Black Panther.
But his standout role to date has been in harrowing psychological thriller Get Out. His performance as a young man lured into a nightmare of brainwashing and violence amid a community of racists earned him his first Academy Award nomination, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
Judas and the Black Messiah has landed Kaluuya his second Oscar nomination
Now his latest role, which has already seen him win a Golden Globe, has gained him a second Oscar nomination. In Judas and the Black Messiah he plays Fred Hampton, charismatic leader of the Black Panther Party in 1960s Chicago. The film tells the real life story of Bill O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), a young man recruited by the FBI to infiltrate and spy on the Black Panthers. But O’Neal becomes conflicted about his mission due to Hampton’s passion and rousing rhetoric. The Academy have nominated Kaluuya for Best Supporting Actor, alongside Stanfield, as well as nominating the film for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Original Song.
Finally, Olivia Colman has a nomination for her part as Anne, a woman dealing with a parent’s worsening dementia, in The Father. Back in 2010, Colman appeared in Matt Smith’s first episode The Eleventh Hour, as both a comatose patient in Leadworth Hospital and as Patient Zero, the shapeshifting alien snake which borrows her form. Unlike Mulligan and Kaluuya, however, she was already a well known face on British television before appearing in Doctor Who.
As a comic actress, she’d been a star of hits like Peep Show, Green Wing, Rev and That Mitchell and Webb Look, as well as guest appearances in everything from The Office to Black Books. She followed Doctor Who with more comedies like Twenty Twelve and Fleabag, but her reputation for dramatic roles grew too. In Broadchurch, from the mind of future Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall, she played DS Ellie Miller. And across three seasons Miller investigated disturbing crimes alongside David Tennant’s DI Alec Hardy. And she took over from Claire Foy in portraying Queen Elizabeth II for the middle two series of The Crown.
If she wins, The Father would be Colman’s second Oscar
On film her role as another queen elevated her to being one of the industry’s most respected actors. The Favourite told the story of the bickering and power games among the status hungry younger women determined to win the favour of the capricious Queen Anne. And it populated Colman’s awards cabinet with an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. It’s a cabinet heaving with gold, with even more Golden Globes and BAFTAs thanks to The Crown, The Night Manager, Broadchurch, Twenty Twelve and The Accused.
She’s now on the cusp of her second Oscar win, thanks to The Father. Told from the point of view of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) it reflects his deteriorating memory loss. The film forces audiences to experience his world of mysteriously disappearing objects, sudden changes of location and wildly inconsistent behaviour by his daughter Anne. Colman, nominated for Best Supporting Actress, is joined by nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor for Hopkins, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.