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WORKING WONDERS

Weird Oscars: The busiest actors of 2018

By Adam Epstein

This is the fifth entry in Quartz’s Weird Oscars series, honoring the moments, characters, and performances of this year’s film and television that the actual Oscars (and Emmys) are not cool enough to award. Check back later for many more categories, including “Best Movie Dog,” “Best Jump Scare,” and “Best Dance Sequence.” (For a full list of upcoming categories, scroll to the bottom of this post.) All the Weird Oscars announced so far can be found here.

The Oscars and other prestigious award shows typically reward quality over quantity—and rightfully so. But why not try to do both? Why not honor some performers who had extremely busy years, but were also really good in the many things they each appeared in? There’s a Weird Oscar for that.

To qualify for this award, actors must have a supporting or featured role in at least three Hollywood productions in 2018 (films or TV shows). Actors who are already major movie stars are not eligible for this award, which disqualifies a number of big names, including Nicole Kidman (Aquaman, Boy Erased, Destroyer) and Steve Carell (Vice, Beautiful Boy, Welcome to Marwen). They have enough awards already.

This Weird Oscar category is meant for the players who don’t always get the recognition they deserve. (Feel free to call it the James Rebhorn Memorial Award for Hardest-Working Star.) Still, don’t be surprised if you see a few of these names pop up this awards season, as many of them are on the cusp of superstardom.

These were the best of Hollywood’s busy bees in 2018:

The nominees are…

Julia Garner

Netflix
  • The Americans
  • Ozark
  • Waco
  • Dirty John
  • Maniac

Tessa Thompson

HBO
  • Creed II
  • Sorry to Bother You
  • Annihilation
  • Westworld
  • Little Woods

Brian Tyree Henry

FX
  • Atlanta
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Hotel Artemis
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • Widows
  • Irreplaceable You
  • White Boy Rick

Bill Camp

Hulu
  • Vice
  • The Looming Tower
  • Skin
  • Wildlife
  • The Land of Steady Habits
  • The First
  • Red Sparrow

Sonoya Mizuno

Netflix
  • Annihilation
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Maniac
  • The Domestics
  • All About Nina

Florence Pugh

AMC
  • Outlaw King
  • The Little Drummer Girl
  • Malevolent
  • The Commuter

Lucas Hedges

Focus Features
  • Boy Erased
  • Mid90s
  • Ben Is Back

Joe Alwyn

Fox Searchlight
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • The Favourite
  • Operation Finale
  • Boy Erased

Claire Foy

Universal Pictures
  • Unsane
  • First Man
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Shea Whigham

Amazon Video
  • First Man
  • Vice
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Homecoming
  • Beirut
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado
  • Waco

And the winner is…

Brian Tyree Henry

Perhaps 2018’s biggest breakout star was also one of the year’s busiest. In addition to his regular role in the critically acclaimed TV series Atlanta, Henry appeared in six different films, including Oscar contenders Widows and If Beale Street Could Talk. His brief but devastating role in the latter film was one of the highlights of Barry Jenkins’ drama. Henry, along with a few others on this list, is going to be a star, and at some point he’s going to add a real Oscar to his trophy case to go along with this Weird one.

Upcoming categories:

Best Stunt | Best Hair | Best Trailers | Best Assassin | Best Movie Dog | Best Line Reading | Best Dance Sequence | Best Jump Scare | Best Eyewear | Best Monster | Best Scottish Accent | Best Rich Asshole | Best Historical Figure | Best Dream Sequence | Best Speaking Voice | Best Act of Vengeance | Best Montage