These 2021 Golden Globe Nominees Are Regulars on the Theater Stage
This week, the 2021 Golden Globe nominations were announced — and it’s no surprise that so many of the best actors we watched onscreen this year are thespians. Before the ceremony on February 28, take a look at the theater creds of some of your fave nominees below.
Nominated for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture and Best Director – Motion Picture, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Aaron Sorkin’s conquered television (hello The West Wing and The Newsroom) and film (what’s up Moneyball and The Social Network), but did you know he’s written for the stage too? His first Broadway play was A Few Good Men in 1989 and his most recent theater project was the star-studded adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird with Jeff Daniels as the show’s original Atticus Finch.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, The Father
Name a classic stage show and Anthony Hopkins has probably been in it. The acting legend’s career was jumpstarted when the Laurence Olivier spotted him as a student and asked him to join the Royal National Theatre. Since then — and in between winning Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and being knighted by the Queen — Hopkins has graced stages across England in everything from As You Like It to Coriolanus to M. Butterfly. The Father is even based on the Florian Zeller play, which earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play when it was on Broadway and a win for Frank Langella who originated the title role on stage. Maybe Hopkins will follow in his footsteps?
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Your Honor
It’s not awards show season without Bryan Cranston, now is it? Walter White isn’t the only role that’s gotten the multi-medium talent acclaim. In 2014 Cranston won the Tony Award for his portrayal of President Johnson in the play All the Way. Most recently he captivated sold-out audiences on both sides of the pond in Network, a performance that won him both an Olivier and a Tony. What can’t this man do?
Nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Promising Young Woman
The stage was the first place Carey Mulligan’s star power was spotted. Her acting debut was in 2004 in the play Forty Winks at the Royal Court Theatre. Amidst her onscreen roles in Pride & Prejudice, An Education, The Great Gatsby, and more — she’s never left the stage for too long.
In 2007 she starred in The Seagull on both the West End and Broadway, and the same goes for Skylight in 2014 (a role that earned her a Tony nomination). Most recently in 2018, she was the sole cast member in the one-woman show Girls & Boys at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village.
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Mrs. America
How’s this for a full-circle moment: Cate Blanchett’s first stage role was at the Sydney Theatre Company in David Mamet’s Oleanna in 1992 and from 2008 to 2013, she was the artistic director at the Sydney Theatre Company. During that time she performed in productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Uncle Vanya, and more.
In 2015 she returned to the Sydney stage in a critically-acclaimed adaptation of The Present; the production then transferred to New York where Blanchett made her Broadway debut and was nominated for a Tony Award.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Black Panther’s a thespian. Before Chadwick Boseman became a household name — he was a drama instructor in Harlem, a member of the National Shakespeare Company of New York (where he played Romeo, no surprise), and an up-and-coming playwright and director of the hip-hop theater movement.
His works Rhyme Deferred, Hieroglyphic Graffiti, and Deep Azure were performed in New York, Chicago, and at various theater festivals around the country. Wouldn’t it be cool to see one of his shows revived when theater returns?
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Ratched
She’s a politician, she’s an HBO legend (see you in the revival soon, Miranda), she’s a Broadway star: Cynthia Nixon can do it all. She made her Broadway debut in the 1980 revival of The Philadelphia Story and has since starred as Harper in Angels in America, won a Tony Award for Rabbit Hole, and won another Tony Award for The Little Foxes. Nixon has spent thousands of hours on a Broadway stage and we’re all absolutely better for it.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Normal People
You may not have known the name Daisy Edgar-Jones for long, but now that you do, we doubt you’ll forget it soon. Those in London got a sneak peek into her otherworldly abilities before the rest of us normal people (get it, ha ha); before her breakout TV role, Edgar-Jones was onstage in The Reluctant Fundamentalist in 2017 and the revival of Albion in 2020.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture, Judas and the Black Messiah
Daniel Kaluuya appears to be one of the coolest people ever, so when we learned he got his acting start in improvisational theater, we were like, makes sense, of course he did. His biggest stage role came before Get Out or Black Panther or Queen & Slim (but it was after is role in Skins, remember Skins).
Kaluuya led a play called Sucker Punch at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2010. Since his Hollywood success, he’s come back to the London stage in the shows Trelawny of the Wells, A Season in the Congo, and Blue/Orange.
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, The Good Lord Bird
Ethan Hawke’s stage career started with Anton Chekov, which feels like a very Ethan Hawke-y thing to have happen to an actor. After his Broadway debut in The Seagull, he switched from Chekov to Tom Stoppard. For his performance in Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia in 2007, Hawke was nominated for a Tony Award. He’s also directed a production of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind in 2010 (for which he received a Drama Desk nomination) and more recently starred alongside Paul Dano in the Broadway revival of Shepard’s True West.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Nomadland
This is just a reminder that Frances McDormand wore a jean jacket to the 2011 Tony Awards. Okay now that that’s out of the way we can talk about other stuff we guess. When she’s not giving the most ~iconic~ awards acceptance speeches of all time, McDormand is acting in roles that allow her to give the most ~iconic~ awards acceptance speeches of all time. On the stage she’s starred in A Streetcar Named Desire (Tony nomination), The Country Girl (Drama Desk nomination), Good People (Tony Award, hello jean jacket), and lots more.
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, The Crown
Gillian Anderson has been in The Vagina Monologues and that’s all we’ll be talking about for the rest of the year. Of course there’s her television credits (adopt me into your Sex Education family please) and movie roles, but Gillian Anderson is who she is because of the theater.
She went to school for stage acting and throughout her years onstage, has been nominated for Olivier Awards for her performances in A Doll’s House, A Streetcar Named Desire, and All About Eve. Basically, she’s acting royalty.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture, Hillbilly Elegy
We mean, it’s Glenn Close. In case you were busy watching her onscreen in everything ever and missed her three Tony Awards as a result, we’ve got you covered. After starting her acting career at the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York, Close received her first Tony nomination in 1980 for Barnum. Only four years later came The Real Thing and her first Tony Award win.
After that there was a 1992 Tony Award win for Death and the Maiden and just a year later (her biggest stage role ever) was Sunset Boulevard and yet another Tony Award. Since then she’s also been in A Streetcar Named Desire (like everyone else on this list apparently), Into the Woods, A Delicate Balance, and a 2017 production of Sunset Boulevard in which she reprised her role of Norma Desmond over 20 years after her first performance. An icon.
Nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
In a year without theater, it’s pretty sweet to see Hamilton at the Golden Globes.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, The Prom
Before he brought The Prom‘s beloved Barry to the screen, James Corden was a true Broadway star himself. The Late Late Show host let the comedy play One Man, Two Guvnors in 2011 both on the West End and in NYC and the performance won him a Tony Award. Before that breakout stage role and The Late Late Show success, he was also onstage in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Sydney in the show The History Boys.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, The Comey Rule
Sure, Jeff Daniels was Broadway’s original Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. Sure, he’s been nominated for a Tony Award three times. But what makes Jeff Daniels a true thespian — and arguably one of the greatest thespians on this list — is the fact that he’s the founder of Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan. Daniels is from Chelsea, lives in Chelsea, has written more than a dozen plays for the company, and is still an active member of the organization. We love regional theater and we love Jeff Daniels!
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Ozark
Laura Linney is everywhere and we will never complain about it ever. Beyond her never-ending list of onscreen credits and awards, she’s been nominated for five Tony Awards. Yes, you read that right. Here’s the list: The Crucible, Sight Unseen, The Little Foxes, Time Stands Still, and the one-woman show My Name Is Lucy Barton.
Leslie Odom Jr.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture, One Night in Miami
Leslie Odom Jr. is slowly but surely taking over Hollywood, Broadway, and beyond and we’re so excited about it. Before he won a Tony Award for originating the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Odom Jr. had already been on Broadway in Rent and another musical called Leap of Faith, an off-Broadway production of Venice, and in regional performances of Jersey Boys, Once on This Island, and more.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Hamilton
We hadn’t heard of this Lin-Manuel Miranda until this morning. Apparently he’s kind of a big deal? Something about musicals called In the Heights and Hamilton? Anyways, congrats to this guy!
Nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
We loved The Prom when it was on Broadway, we loved the Netflix adaptation, and we love getting to see a movie-musical nominated alongside the biggest titles of the year. Being a theater nerd is fun and you should go watch The Prom.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Another acting legend who got her start in the theater. We’re sensing a pattern? After graduating from Juilliard and performing on Broadway and in Central Park and off-Broadway for years, Viola Davis won her first Tony Award in 2001 for her performance in August Wilson’s King Hedley II. Nearly a decade later came her second Tony for Fences, a role she later portrayed onscreen. Although Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is based on an August Wilson play, Davis hasn’t been onstage since Fences (something about her taking over the film and television industries). We’ve got our fingers and toes crossed that she returns to theater when it’s back.