These Actors Are All First-Time Nominees at the 2022 Oscars
“I am speechless and humbled…I am bowled over by this.”
With the Oscars less than a day away, it’s an exciting time for all of the nominees — especially those who received their first-ever nod from the Academy this year. While the list of first-time nominees includes a few young, rising stars, it also features quite a few entertainers who have been waiting their entire career for this moment.
From two music superstars to a married couple to the first-ever deaf male nominee, this group of never-before awarded stars is totally ready for their moment in the Oscars spotlight.
You can tune into the Oscars on Sunday, March 27 at 8 PM EST on ABC.
Here’s everyone who may take home an Oscar for the first time…
Beyoncé might need to make space on her award shelf (which already holds 28 Grammys) after the Academy Awards this weekend. The musician is up for her first Oscar for her work on Best Picture nominee “King Richard.” Beyoncé is nominated in the Best Original Song category for her song “Be Alive,” which she co-wrote with songwriter Dixson after watching an early screening of the film. Star Will Smith says Beyoncé called him after the viewing to tell him she had been inspired to write a song.
“The marriage of a movie and a song is a kind of magic that’s unmatched in entertainment. I was so happy when Beyoncé called,” Will told EW.
Up against Beyoncé in the Best Original Song category is another first-time nominee, Billie Eilish. The musician was given a nod for her song “No Time To Die,” which was featured in the “James Bond” movie of the same name. Billie says that being recognized for the song, which she wrote with her brother Finneas, is a “lifelong dream.”
“Words cannot describe how honored and excited we are to have been nominated for an Academy Award for our song ‘No Time To Die.’ It was a lifelong dream of ours to write a Bond theme, and one we never thought would ever come true. It’s completely unbelievable that we are here being recognized for this song, and this is a peak life experience for us as songwriters and artists,” they said in a statement.
Kristen Stewart has become a household name thanks to her roles in major motion pictures but this year she received her first nomination from the Academy. Kristen is up for Best Actress for her role as Princess Diana in “Spencer,” which she says she celebrated with a game of golf with some of her closest friends.
“I am speechless and humbled…I am bowled over by this. I never thought in a thousand years I’d be in the company of these four incredible women. I would pay to make movies. I would make them if it was illegal. This is [a] dream state, to share on this level,” Kristen told ET.
4. Jesse Plemons
Jesse Plemons is up for his first Academy Award this year for his role in “The Power of the Dog.” The actor, who is nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, is among several other nominees from the film — including his fiancee Kirsten Dunst. In total, the movie received 12 nods from the Academy, including Best Picture.
“I was the first person to tell him, and he was a little shell shocked. I mean, it’s just so crazy to be a couple and have our first nominations together,” Kirsten said of giving Jesse his nomination news.
Jesse’s fiancee Kirsten Dunst is also nominated for her role in the film, receiving her first nod in the Best Supporting Actress category. Although she’s been acting for most of her life, it’s the first time she’s been nominated by the Academy, which she says has only been made more special by sharing the accomplishment with Jesse.
“I mean, it’s just so crazy to be a couple and have our first nominations together. It’s like a storybook. You know what I mean? It’s so weird. It’s amazing,” Kirsten told Variety.
Not only did Questlove make his directorial debut with “Summer of Soul” but it also made him a first-time Oscar nominee. The musician’s film is up for Best Documentary Feature, which is more than Questlove says he ever dreamed of.
“I’m still feeling the high, and I hope it never stops. This is great. There’s no way you can take on something of this magnitude and think, ‘Maybe I’m making an Oscar-caliber film.’ I just wanted to make a beautiful film and restore history. And all that’s happening now after the film has come out, it’s just the cherry on top,” he said to Variety.
Ariana DeBose isn’t the first woman to be nominated for playing Anita in “West Side Story” but it is the first time she’s been given a nod from the Academy! The actress is up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film and says the whole thing has been “surreal.”
“I am absolutely overjoyed…To be recognized alongside such incredible women for their inspiring performances is surreal enough, but to share this celebration with Steven, Kristie, and the entire team that made our beautiful movie is a dream come true. I’m so thankful to the Academy for this acknowledgement and am beyond grateful to Steven, Kristie, and everyone at Amblin and Disney. What a moment,” Ariana said in a statement.
8. Kodi Smit-McPhee
“The Power of the Dog” star Kodi Smit-McPhee is up for his first Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category. The Australian actor says he’s thrilled that the film was nominated in so many categories and is honored to be named among his esteemed peers.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic, to say the least. Obviously, I’m super honored to see my name up there, but I think I’m even more excited that I’m surrounded by my peers, my extended family — Jesse, Kirsten, Ari Wagner, which is a huge one for me. And, of course, Jane, Benedict. I’m absolutely over the moon,” Kodi said in an interview with Variety.
Jessie Buckley received her first-ever nod from the Academy in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in “The Lost Daughter.” The film, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, is based on Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name and is also up for Best Adapted Screenplay.
“I am in complete shock! ‘The Lost Daughter’ is so special to me. To be recognized for anything connected to it is just a wild dream come true. And to gorgeous Olivia Colman and our leader and legend Maggie Gyllenhaal, I’m so lucky to share this ride with you incredible woman,” Jessie said in a statement.
10. Aunjanue Ellis
Aunjanue Ellis’ first-ever nomination comes in response to her role in “King Richard.” The actress’ nod for Best Supporting Actress is among several awards the film is up for. Aunjanue says that on the day nominations were announced she was so nervous that she hid her phone and waited until that night to check. When she turned it on, she had more than 200 texts.
“People in my life were really rooting for me to get nominated, and I didn’t want to let them down. I was just so scared it wasn’t going to happen, more for their sake than my own. So I had to hide my phone. That Tuesday was actually a very productive day. I cleaned my house, watered my plants, did some reading,” Aunjanue told USA Today.
Ciarán Hinds has been an actor for the majority of his life but this year he received his first Academy Award nomination. The actor received a nod in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in “Belfast,” which he says was a big surprise.
“Having worked in this industry for nearly 50 years, I thought there wasn’t much that could surprise me still. Today, I can honestly say, I am astounded, thrilled and deeply grateful,” Ciarán told Reuters.
12. Troy Kotsur
“CODA” star Troy Kotsur is not only nominated for his first Oscar but he’s also the first deaf male performer to ever be nominated. Upon learning of his nod from the Academy, Troy actually fell out of his chair, which was captured on video.
“I forgot that my chair had wheels. So I slipped and lost my balance. I didn’t realize how viral that fall would go, all over social media…I couldn’t stop the momentum. So yes, so be it. I have to accept that that video is out there,” Troy told Today.