Steve Carell is gaining more Oscar buzz for Best Actor after his most recent win at the Santa Barbra International Film Festival. His work in the much-anticipated Oscar-buzzed film Foxcatcher, which also stars Channing Tatum (Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL), is receiving high praise from both critics and the film industry alike. Foxcatcher is directed by Bennet Miller and also stars Mark Ruffalo along with Tatum. Carell is not the only comedian to gain Oscar buzz. He is, in fact, continuing a long tradition of comedians, who have switched from on-screen comic relief to giving iconic, dramatic performances. If Carell is nominated, he will join the Oscar-nominated comedian circle. Here are six other Oscar-worthy comedians that proved they are more than just a laugh track.
Mo’nique–Mo’nique shocked audiences and the film industry in her powerful turn as an abusive mother in the dramatic film, Precious. Mo’nique is known for her comedic talents in such films as Phat Girls and Soul Plane, as well as in comedy specials like Queens of Comedy. Precious proved that the comedienne has a versatility that is suitable for an Oscar. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 82nd annual ceremony.
Jonah Hill–Not once, but twice did Jonah Hill prove that he is capable of bringing Oscar power to the screen. He has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor twice in a two-year period for 2011’s Money Ball and 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Hill is not a traditional stand-up comic, but he has appeared in cult comedies, such as Super Bad and This Is the End, and has also gained a reputation as one of the best funny men in Hollywood.
Jamie Foxx–The year 2004 in cinema belonged to Jamie Foxx. Jamie charmed audiences when he appeared in the comedy variety show In Living Color, as well as his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show. Moreover, 2004 was also the year Foxx proved he was an Oscar force to be reckoned with when he was nominated and won Best Actor for Ray. Furthermore, the same year he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Collateral.
Bill Murray–Saturday Night Live (SNL) and classic films, such as Ghostbusters and Caddy Shack, show that there is nothing Bill Murray will not do for a laugh. In Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, Murray gave a subtle passive aggressive performance that garnered him a nomination for the Best Actor Oscar in 2003.
Eddie Murphy–No one ever knew that Eddie Murphy could bring a dark side to the silver screen. However, in Dreamgirls, he did just that. Murphy is a comedic legend and some people will say that his Oscar nomination had been long overdue. Alas, comedic performances are often ignored by the Academy. Murphy has put forth buzz worthy performances in films such as Coming to America and The Nutty Professor. In 2006, Murphy played a drug addicted superstar in Dreamgirls. In the film, the actor showed audiences how dark he can go with his characters without making it a caricature. Moreover, his portrayal gained him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
As Steve Carell is gaining more Oscar buzz for Best Actor after his most recent win at the Santa Barbra International Film Festival, he is continuing a long tradition of comedians who have switched from on-screen comic relief to giving iconic, dramatic performances.
Blog By James Rockefeller Gray