"Extra" takes a closer look at this year's Academy Award nominees for Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow.
Best Supporting Actor Nominees 2012: Did You Know?
Nominated for: "My Week with Marilyn"Award-Worthy: Branagh has been all over the Oscar nomination map, receiving his fifth nom this year. He received a Best Actor and Director nod in 1990 for his film "Henry V"; one for Best Short Live-Action film "Swan Song" in 1992; and an Adapted Screenplay nod for "Hamlet" in 1996. He has yet to win the elusive golden statuette.Interesting Fact: While researching Laurence Olivier's life, Branagh told EW, "He was unbelievably thrilled about the fact that he had a pack of cigarettes named after him. They were called Oliviers, and you couldn't cough anywhere in Pinewood [Studios] before he would offer you a pack of his own cigarettes."Quote: "My first appearance as Olivier was watching Marilyn walk away. So my first sight of Michelle [Williams'] performance was her undulating behind shimmying in this beaded white dress. It was intoxicating. I thought, "Well, if she's Marilyn Monroe - and by God, with that walk it seems that she is - I think I ought to start being Laurence Olivier."
Nominated for: "Moneyball"Award-Worthy: This is Hill's first Oscar nomination.Interesting Fact: He has a tattoo on his left forearm that reads "Nancy Rules." It is a tribute to his grandmother.Quote: On going from his usual comedic roles to a more dramatic one in "Moneyball," Jonah told EW, "I just like having the underdog complex. In comedy right now, I'm not really the underdog anymore, so that means it's time to be the underdog in something else... for me it was great to fight for this part."
Nominated for: "Warrior"Award-Worthy: This is Nolte's third Oscar nomination. He received two Best Actor nods; for "The Prince of Tides" in 1991 and "Affliction" in 1997.Interesting Fact: In 1992, he was chosen as People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.Quote: "Warrior" co-writer/director Gavin O'Connor wrote the role of Paddy, the recovering alcoholic trying to reconnect with his estranged sons, specifically for Nolte. The actor told EW, "In some ways, that's really great. In some ways, that's really terrifying. [Gavin] knows me well enough that when I looked at the role, I was like, 'Oh my God, what do I have to go through now?'"
Nominated for: "Beginners"Award-Worthy: Despite a long and successful career, this is only Plummer's second nomination. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2009 for "The Last Station."Interesting Fact: "Beginners" director Mike Mills marveled at the 82-year-old's energy. Mills said to EW, "Christopher's very funny and subversive. We should all be so lucky to be so hungry and alive as he is."Quote: On being asked whether he'd made his peace with his most famous film, "The Sound of Music," Plummer once replied, "Oh, God no."
Max von Sydow
Nominated for: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"Award-Worthy: Like his colleague Christopher Plummer, this is the distinguished 82-year-old actor's second nomination. The first was a Best Actor nod for "Pelle the Conquerer" in 1987.Interesting Fact: Von Sydow told EW that ever since his first American role as Jesus in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" in 1965, he has been offered, "I don't know how many priests, bishops, popes, cardinals, and religious figures, although I guess it's always a step down from Christ." Coincidentally, von Sydow's other most memorable U.S. role was Father Merrin in "The Exorcist."Quote: On playing a mute character in "Extremely Loud," von Sydow explained, "People have asked me if it is difficult to do a non-speaking character. The answer is no. The only difference between The Renter and other people is that he doesn't speak. Apart from that, his reactions are just as they would be otherwise."