My Shameless Piece of Oscar Bait Failed and It’s Not Fair

This was supposed to be my time.

I followed the playbook step by step. I took a role so far apart from my usual characters and real-life background that the quality of my acting shouldn’t have even mattered. My agent’s words: Guaranteed. Oscar. nomination.

That dickhead is so fired.

It was a biopic, for God’s sake. What more do audiences want?! Just where do you fair-weather fans get off not spending your meager savings on tickets in a lice-ridden movie theater to see a multimillionaire’s vanity project?

I know my performance wasn’t the issue. I was brilliant, and I should be drowning by now in the number of times the phrase “tour de force” was thrown my way. Not only did I act my ass off, I promoted the shit out of this film (as much as I could—you’re not really allowed to plug stuff in Hall H if your character won’t be wearing spandex or leather).

Seriously though, I sat with all the late-night hosting dudes who still think interrupting is hilarious, the horny morning-show cougars who took turns feeling my biceps—I ran the motherfucking gauntlet.

I put in my time, and this was supposed to be my big payout. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make your answers sound fresh every time you’re asked about craft and inspiration? Do you know how many red carpets I’ve tirelessly trudged up in my career while being screamed at from every direction? Yes, they were positive screams, but it can still be jarring.

This is not how the game is played. There are rules. My popularity should have guaranteed butts in theater seats, not to mention every single accolade available. But not one. Not one damn accolade. The only positive review this film or my performance received was from some blogger in Omaha who I’m pretty sure is stalking me.

This whole movie was specifically written for me to bring in awards. I’m not wild about the term “star vehicle” (no, non-famous people, it doesn’t refer to limousines, Lamborghinis, or other expensive cars that you can’t afford), but if we’re getting real here, I was the star and it was supposed to transport me to the Dolby Theater stage. Instead, it was more like a broken-down jalopy that drove me to the middle-of-fuck-nowhere with critics’ scathing jokes rolling past me like tumbleweeds.

No Golden Globe nomination, no Saturn Award nod, zilch.

I love proclaiming “I don’t act for awards,” but it just doesn’t carry the same gravitas when you haven’t actually won any. “That the audience loved it is all that matters” doesn’t even work in this context since hardly anyone was willing to devote one evening of their destitute life to my art.

It was supposed to kill at Cannes, but it only earned a pathetic one-minute standing ovation. The only thing the dickwads there want to do all day is stand and clap for films until their feet give out and they can’t feel their hands anymore, so it was unbelievably humiliating. Our film’s publicist even ran around the crowd for a while trying to perform half-assed magic tricks to make it seem like we got longer applause, but it didn’t work.

I wanted that sexy, bald statue, damn it. I wanted to be taken seriously, and I wanted to be rewarded for finally taking a role whose preparation involved more time practicing my lines than working on my abs. Audiences today just don’t want to see anything that requires them to think. I personally didn’t care if they spent much time thinking about the actual historic figure I was portraying, but would it have killed them to at least think about my mastery of emotional range and dramatic yet nuanced delivery?

I’m too depressed to talk about this anymore. Denying someone at my level of fame of an expected amount of attention is its own type of trauma. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go prep for interviews by framing this as the fault of the director, producer, co-stars, writers, lighting technician, key grip, and craft service people without any of them consciously realizing it.