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Oscars: Supporting Actor – Could ‘Hulk’ Defeat ‘Iron Man’ or Will Ken Avenge the Snub of His ‘Barbie?’

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2024 Oscars Predictions:
Best Supporting Actor

Sterling K. Brown stars as Cliff Ellison in writer/director Cord Jefferson’s 

AMERICAN FICTION

An Orion Pictures Release

Photo credit: Claire Folger

© 2023 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Sterling K. Brown as Cliff Ellison in “American Fiction”

Weekly Commentary (Updated Feb. 1, 2024): After various showings for the two “Poor Things” men — Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo — at televised ceremonies, it was the latter who secured enough votes for his fourth Oscar nod for his turn as a sleazy lawyer in Yorgos Lanthimos’ sci-fi fantasy. With the help of his former bids for “The Kids Are All Right” (2010), “Foxcatcher” (2014) and “Spotlight” (2015), he’s now tied for the actor with the most nominations in this category’s history alongside seven legendary thespians: Walter Brennan, Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Arthur Kennedy, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Claude Rains. Only Kennedy and Rains could never pick up trophies in any acting category.

While Ruffalo is a well-respected actor, he also has the most limited opportunities to pick up the momentum of his four competitors, as he’s not nominated at the BAFTA or SAG Awards. In the modern era, only two people have won acting Oscars without a nomination from both major organizations: Marcia Gay Harden for “Pollock” (2000) and Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018). The former “Incredible Hulk” actor will hope his film, which garnered 11 nominations, can pick up momentum that could bring him into the fold.

Another Marvel Studios hero, Robert Downey Jr. has been coasting to multiple stages for his acclaimed work as the slimy politician in Christopher Nolan’s best picture frontrunner “Oppenheimer,” which scored a leading nom tally with 13. With CCA and Globes in hand, SAG could wrap it up for the actor, no matter what happens at the BAFTA Awards (but he’s likely to pick that one up, too). At that point, his win will be nearly cemented, as shown in history. No supporting actor has lost an Oscar when walking in with BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globe, and SAG prizes.

And then there’s Ken. Ryan Gosling’s scene-stealing turn in “Barbie” has been a fan-favorite, and with the social media firestorm that’s pulsating with the snubs of director Greta Gerwig and lead actress Margot Robbie (who are still individually nominated in adapted screenplay and best picture), that could rally support, especially in the mass populist SAG community. I’d watch out for a Gosling upset at SAG. That could make this race even more attractive to follow.

While ecstatic for the inclusions of Sterling K. Brown for “American Fiction” (long overdue in this realm) and Robert DeNiro for “Killers of the Flower Moon” (who I’d argue would be winning if he hadn’t won two Oscars already), their mentions seem to be the reward. But a lot can change over the next seven weeks.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.


And the Nominees Are:


  1. Robert Downey Jr. — “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)

  2. Ryan Gosling — “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

  3. Mark Ruffalo — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  4. Sterling K. Brown — “American Fiction” (MGM)

  5. Robert DeNiro – “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)


Eligiblities From 2023 (Alphabetized by Studio)**


  • Kyle Allen — “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  • Jamie Dornan — “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  • Jude Hill — “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  • Ali Khan — “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  • Riccardo Scamarcio — “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  • Nathan Lane – “Beau is Afraid” (A24)

  • Ken Watanabe — “The Creator” (20th Century Studios)

  • Nathan Lane — “Dicks: The Musical” (A24)

  • Harris Dickinson — “The Iron Claw” (A24)

  • Stanley Simons — “The Iron Claw” (A24)

  • Jeremy Allen White – “The Iron Claw” (A24)

  • John Magaro – “Past Lives” (A24)

  • Jacob Elordi – “Priscilla” (A24)

  • Ben Affleck – “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Jason Bateman – “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Matthew Maher — “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Chris Messina – “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Jay Mohr — “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Julius Tennon — “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Chris Tucker — “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Marlon Wayans — “Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Tommy Lee Jones – “The Burial” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Raúl Castillo — “Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Joaquín Cosío — “Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • El Hijo Del Santo — “Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio — “Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Aaron Pierre – “Foe” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Chinaza Uche — “A Good Person” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Josh Hamilton — “Landscape with Invisible Hand” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Michael Gandolfini — “Landscape with Invisible Hand” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • William Jackson Harper — “Landscape with Invisible Hand” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Julio César Cedillo — “A Million Miles Away” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Garret Dillahunt — “A Million Miles Away” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Bobby Soto — “A Million Miles Away” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Jacob Elordi – “Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Richard E. Grant – “Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Archie Madekwe – “Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Riz Ahmed – “Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – “Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films)

  • Jack Reynor – “Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films)

  • Robert DeNiro – “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)

  • Jesse Plemons – “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)

  • Liev Schreiber — “Golda” (Bleecker Street)

  • Adrien Brody – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Bryan Cranston – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Rupert Friend – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Tom Hanks – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Edward Norton – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Stephen Park – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Jake Ryan – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Jason Schwartzman – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Liev Schreiber – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Jeffrey Wright – “Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Dominic Sessa – “The Holdovers” (Focus Features)

  • Glenn Howerton – “BlackBerry” (IFC Films)

  • Dennis Haysbert – “Flamin’ Hot” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures)

  • Peter Sarsgaard — “Memory” (Ketchup Entertainment)

  • Luis Guzmán — “Story Ave” (Kino Lorber)

  • Benny Safdie – “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)

  • Dave Bautista — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Bradley Cooper – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Vin Diesel — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Will Poulter — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Sean Gunn — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Chukwudi Iwuji — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Nathan Fillon — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • Sterling K. Brown – “American Fiction” (MGM)

  • Nicholas Galitzine — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  • Miles Fowler — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  • Marshawn Lynch — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  • Peter Guinness — “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)

  • Jack Mulhern — “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)

  • James Wolk — “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)

  • Dar Salim — “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM)

  • Antony Starr — “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM)

  • Alexander Ludwig — “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM)

  • Sean Sagar — “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM)

  • Bobby Schofield — “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM)

  • Jonny Lee Miller — “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM)

  • Jonathan Majors – “Creed III” (MGM)

  • Ben Whishaw — “Passages” (Mubi)

  • Milo Machado-Graner — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)

  • Jon Bernthal — “Origin” (Neon)

  • Eddie Marsan – “Fair Play” (Netflix)

  • Arliss Howard – “The Killer” (Netflix)

  • Kevin Bacon – “Leave the World Behind” (Netflix)

  • Charles Melton – “May December” (Netflix)

  • Matt Bomer – “Maestro” (Netflix)

  • Rhys Ifans — “Nyad” (Netflix)

  • Chris Evans – “Pain Hustlers” (Netflix)

  • Andy Garcia – “Pain Hustlers” (Netflix)

  • Bill Irwin – “Rustin” (Netflix)

  • Glynn Turman – “Rustin” (Netflix)

  • Jeffrey Wright — “Rustin” (Netflix)

  • Rege-Jean Page — “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Justice Smith — “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Hugh Grant — “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Ving Rhames — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Simon Pegg — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Esai Morales — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Henry Czerny — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Shea Whigham — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Greg Tarzan Davis — “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Ray Romano – “Somewhere in Queens” (Roadside Attractions)

  • Jamie Bell — “All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Paul Mescal — “All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Marton Csokas — “Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Alex Fitzalan — “Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Oscar Kightley — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • David Fane — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Beulah Koale — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Uli Latukefu — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Chris Alosio — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Semu Filipo — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Ioana Goodhue — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Lehi Falepapalangi — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Hio Pelesasa — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • WIll Arnett — “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Christopher Abbott — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Jerrod Carmichael – “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Willem Dafoe – “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Mark Ruffalo – “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Ramy Youssef – “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Noah Galvin — “Theater Camp” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Omar Sy – “The Book of Clarence” (Sony Pictures) **

  • Vincent D’Onofrio – “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)

  • Nick Offerman – “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)

  • Anthony Ramos – “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)

  • Sebastian Stan – “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)

  • Oscar Isaac – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

  • Jake Johnson – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

  • Matthew Goode – “Freud’s Last Session” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Patrick Dempsey – “Ferrari” (Neon)

  • Matt Damon – “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)

  • Robert Downey Jr. – “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)

  • Josh Hartnett – “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)

  • Will Ferrell – “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

  • Ryan Gosling – “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

  • Colman Domingo – “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)

  • Corey Hawkins – “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)

  • Louis Gossett Jr. – “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)

  • Daveed Diggs – “The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  • Rowan Atkinson — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Mathew Baynton — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Jim Carter — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Hugh Grant — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Paterson Joseph — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Keegan-Michael Key — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Matt Lucas — “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

** This official list is incomplete, with all release dates not yet confirmed and subject to change.

2022 category winner: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

Oscars Predictions Categories

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | BEST ACTOR | BEST ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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