In order to avoid splitting votes and allow for the possibility of netting two acting nominations this year, Searchlight Pictures will campaign Andrew Garfield’s performance as televangelist Jim Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” for supporting actor consideration, based on an invite that was sent to BAFTA voters for an upcoming virtual screening of the film.
Following the biopic’s bow at the Toronto International Film Festival and modest box office receipts, its Oscar prospects have been seemingly on the fringe, but the film, directed by Michael Showalter, could make a roaring comeback during the season. Garfield’s co-star Jessica Chastain, who plays his wife Tammy Faye, will angle for lead actress, and could become a central piece of a competitive race that includes Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”) and Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”).
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The 38-year-old actor, who graced the cover of Variety‘s TIFF issue last month, is embarking upon one of the most exciting years of his career. Starting the year off in Gia Coppola’s independent feature “Mainstream” and “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” he’ll be taking on the role of composer and playwright Jonathan Larson in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” (Also maybe a possible role in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”)
Early buzz (and a new trailer) is positive for his role in Miranda’s upcoming Netflix musical, suggesting he could factor into an already competitive best actor race that includes Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”), Peter Dinklage (“Cyrano”) and Will Smith (“King Richard”). If he manages to make the cut for both films, he could join an elite list of 12 actors to receive two acting nominations in the same year, in the last 93 years.
1938: Fay Bainter – “White Banners” and “Jezebel” (won)
1942: Teresa Wright – “The Pride of the Yankees” and “Mrs. Miniver” (won)
1944: Barry Fitzgerald – “Going My Way” (won in supporting; the only instance of an actor nominated in two categories for the same role)
1982: Jessica Lange – “Frances” and “Tootsie” (won)
1988: Sigourney Weaver – “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Working Girl”
1992: Al Pacino – “Scent of a Woman” (won) and “Glengarry Glen Ross”
1993: Holly Hunter – “The Piano” (won) and “The Firm”
1993: Emma Thompson – “The Remains of the Day” and “In the Name of the Father”
2002: Julianne Moore – “Far from Heaven” and “The Hours”
2004: Jamie Foxx – “Ray” (won) and “Collateral”
2007: Cate Blanchett – “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “I’m Not There”
2019: Scarlett Johansson – “Marriage Story” and “Jojo Rabbit”
No stranger to the awards circuit, he received critical praise for his role as Eduardo Saverin in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” (2010), for which he earned noms from BAFTA, Critics Choice and the Golden Globes, ultimately coming up short at the Oscars. After his brief stint in the “Spider-Man” franchise, he wrestled back into the fold for his turns as Catholic priest Rodrigues in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “Silence” (2016) and as conscientious objector Desmond Doss in Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016), for which he earned his first Oscar nomination for best actor. Chastain has nabbed two Oscar nominations over her career — supporting actress for “The Help” (2011) and actress for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012). She also produced “Tammy Faye,” along with Kelly Carmichael, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane.
Will the campaign strategy pay off for Garfield in the end? Only time will tell.
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” have also listed the following categories for BAFTA consideration: director (Showalter), adapted screenplay (Abe Sylvia), supporting actress (Cherry Jones), supporting actor (Vincent D’Onofrio), cinematography (Michael Gioulakis), editing (Mary Jo Markey, Andrew Weisblum), production design (Laura Fox, Barbee S. Livingston), costume design (Mitchell Travers), makeup and hair (Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, Justin Raleigh), original score (Theodore Shapiro), and sound (Michael Cavell, Derek Vanderhorst, Wayne Lemmer, Eric A. Norris, Russell Farmarco).
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