With the 2014 Academy Awards just around the corner, time is just plain old running out. It’s running out for you to see all of the movies that are nominated and it’s running out for you to mentally prepare yourself for one of the most perfect hosting experiences ever. But, more than anything, the hourglass is low on time for you to prepare your Shock Face when other actors steal awards from the actors you thought deserved them most. (Also, will someone tell the Oscars to stop hanging out around that corner? It’s creeping out passersby.)
But before this year’s Oscars take over every news feed, I’d hate for this year’s surprising winners to be thrust upon you before you got a chance to be properly shocked about all of the ones from the past. These 10 actors may have already given their acceptance speeches years ago, but I’ve just re-discovered their wins and my brain is having trouble processing them because they sort of don’t make any sense.
1. Anna Paquin
(Photo: Thomas Janssen/Pacific Coast News)
The Award:Â Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The PianoÂ (1993)
Why It’s Shocking:Â Cross the line if you’ve found yourself trying to explain to someone whyÂ True BloodÂ is entertaining and not being able to. Now that we’re all across the line, let’s just call it what it is, which is a ridiculous (albeit sexy) show. And that’s all that I can think of when I think about Anna’s acting career. Paired with the fact that she won it while she was still a child-star so it feels like an entirely different person, and I can totally see why it doesn’t reallyÂ feelÂ like she ever did.
2. Nicholas Cage
Â (Photo: Darla Khazei/Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Actor forÂ Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Why It’s Shocking:Â Through magic and the acceptance of every role offered to him, Nic Cage managed to become extremely famous, while only having done a handful of truly good films. You’ve seenÂ The Wicker Man, you know what I’m talking about. And it’s movies like that which make me forget that he’s a real live actor who can produce Oscar-worthy stuff.
3. Reese Witherspoon
(Photo: DLM Press/Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Actress in a Lead Role forÂ Walk The Line (2005)
Why It’s Shocking: Unless we’re talking matters of the groundbreakingÂ bend-and-snap, then I don’t know in what universe Reese would be Best Actress. Over all of the other actresses, and everything? Like, obviously it’s this universe. But I’m never really blown away by her, so learning about her secret statue for one of the Big Five categories was really weird.
4. Angelina Jolie
(Photo:Â Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Supporting Actress forÂ Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Why It’s Shocking: Okay, I think the problem with Angelina “Is She Or Isn’t She A Vampire” Jolie is that she’s such a celebrity apart from her acting. So the millions of pictures of the Jolie-Pitts takes away from my memory that she’s even an actress. Every so often, she’s like “hey, remember me!” But mostly, I store her entire career in a manilla folder somewhere in my brain.
5. Jim Rash
(Photo: WMTV/Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Adapted Screenplay forÂ The Descendants (2011)
Why It’s Shocking:Â Wait, what? It’s not even for acting in a movie, but is instead for writing one, you say? Crazy.
6. Kevin Costner
Â (Photo: DLM Press/Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Director AND Best Picture forÂ Dances With Wolves (1991)
Why It’s Shocking: Kevin just dominated the Best’s section in 1991, didn’t he? And yet he’s such an under-the-radar actor that I didn’t even know about it. Mr. Costner, the A List two-time Oscar winner? Nah, that’s just Kev, the dude from that one movie with Whitney Houston!
(Photo:Â Felipe Ramales/PacificCoastNews)
What For?:Â Best Actress forÂ Moonstruck (1988)
Why It’s Shocking: Is Cher even an actress? Cite your sources and format MLA style, because I need legit proof of this. I was wholly convinced that she was too busy being iconic to have time to memorize a script or wake up at 4 AM to have her hair and makeup done in a trailer. And yet, she won a huge award for doing just that!
8. Marisa Tomei
(Photo: Darla Khazei/Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Supporting Actress forÂ My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Why It’s Shocking: Marissa is another one of those actors who seems like they’re really famous but I can’t really figure out why. Maybe it’s her unique last name? No, well, it’s obviously because she’s a kickass supporting actress. But, the last name thing couldn’t have hurt.
9. Ron Howard
(Photo: Alter Photos/Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Best Director forÂ A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Why It’s Shocking:Â Because who even knew that, before he was our narrative BFF on Arrested Development, he was an actor? And a legit one, too. He even has that shiny hunk of gold to prove it.Â
10. Oprah Winfrey
(Photo: Pacific Coast News)
What For?:Â Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2011)
Why It’s Shocking:Â The funny thing is that Oprah did have a career as an actress, but the Academy was like, “yawnnn, we’ll hold onto little Oscar until you do something really awesome.” And so she built a few schools and held a car giveaway here and there and now she’s a winner too. It truly is a rags-to-riches story for the ages.