Steve Carell Will Campaign in the Best Actor Category for ‘Foxcatcher’ at the Oscars


Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

I believe there have been only a couple test screenings of Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher, and no real buzz is circulating just yet. As a result, there was no word on where to place the film’s two, assumed lead actors, Channing Tatum and Steve Carell, when it came to the Oscar race. Some were assuming Sony Classics may try and shoehorn Carell into the supporting category so as not to create a competition between himself and Tatum, but Gold Derbyhas learned Carell will campaign in the Best Actor category, leaving Mark Ruffalo to compete for Supporting Actor.

The film is based on the true story with a screenplay by E. Max Frye (Something Wild) and Dan Futterman (Capote) telling the story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder.

The site says that “[w]hile the story is told from the point of view of Tatum’s character, Carell — as the mentally unstable DuPont — has the showier part.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean Carell won’t still find his way into the Supporting category if Academy members don’t pay heed to Sony Classics’ campaign, but by getting this far out in front of the conversation it should work out just fine as the film doesn’t hit theaters until December 20.

This is already the second time a clarification such as this has been announced this season after it was confirmed Meryl Streep would campaign for Best Supporting Actress for her role in August: Osage County, a decision that left fans of the play scratching their head and one that would seem to suggest category fraud is alive and well.

As a result of this news I have updated my Best Supporting Actor predictions to remove both Carell and Tatum from the mix and I think this opens a big door for Ruffalo to get his second nomination… providing the film and his performance are any good of course.

Here’s my current top five, you can find the complete ranking update for the field of 34 contenders right here:

  1. Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)
  2. Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  3. Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
  4. Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  5. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)