5 Oscar Nominees Reveal Their Most Embarrassing Roles

Before they got famous
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The 89th Academy Awards are just around the corner, and for the celebrities nominated in the acting fields, there is no greater honour.

A nomination is a validation of excellence from the Hollywood community, and marks the height of achievement in the acting profession.

However, careers are marathons, not sprints, and for many actors and actresses, paying-your-dues means cheesy dialogue, poor production quality or sub-par roles.

In recognition of their outstanding work, let’s look back at the careers of five of this year’s Oscar nominees, to unearth the roles that they certainly won’t be mentioning in their acceptance speeches.

Ryan Gosling

(Credit: Nickelodeon)

This year, Ryan is nominated for a Best Actor award for his role in La La Land. But before he was tap-dancing across the silver screen, he was cutting his teeth on the set of campy, ’90s children’s show, Goosebumps. Ryan rocks a bowl-cut and flannelette shirt for his starring turn as Greg Banks in the 1996 episode ‘Say Cheese & Die’, which featured a cursed camera that takes creepy, future-predicting photographs. It’s a far cry from the glossy productions you will typically find him in nowadays, but hey, everybody has to start somewhere.

Michelle Williams

The 1999 teen comedy film, Dick, is actually an amazing movie with a fantastically ridiculous plot and incredible, ’70s costumes, but it’s a world away from the serious dramas that Michelle now prefers. Alongside Kirsten Dunst, Michelle stars as a ditzy schoolgirl inadvertently caught up in the Watergate scandal. Along the way, she develops a crush on President Nixon, played by Dan Hedaya (better known as the angry dad from Clueless). Michelle is nominated this year for her turn in Manchester By The Sea, but sadly, we don’t think Dick will get much love for contributing to Michelle’s acting growth.

Nicole Kidman

Sorry, we know that this Aussie film is a cult classic, and we know that it basically catapulted Nicole Kidman’s career, but BMX Bandits is a total mess of the so-bad-it’s-good variety. Just take a look at this synopsis from IMDB and admit that you didn’t cringe: ‘Three BMX bikers become entangled with a group of bank robbers after discovering a carton of walkie-talkies.’ Um, what? Nicole played a precocious check-out chick named Judy in the 1983 film, though she usually opts for roles of a higher calibre these days. However, without BMX Bandits on her resume, Nicole may never have been offered the role in Lion, for which she is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award at this year’s Oscars.

Dev Patel

(Credit: BBC)

Before he was being celebrated for his Best Supporting Actor-nominated turn in Lion, Dev Patel played a rebellious young chav in the first two seasons of the controversial British TV show, Skins. Dev had zero professional experience before scoring the role of Anwar Kharral, and has admitted he had no idea what to do on set. “The teachers didn’t approve of Skins,” Dev recently divulged, “and my drama teacher hated me after I got on to it.” Luckily for us, Dev’s teachers weren’t able to derail his acting ambitions, and he’s gone from playing Ali G-inspired schoolboys to turning in incredible performances on the silver screen.

Emma Stone

Emma Stone is a critical darling, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune to controversy. In a role we’re sure she’d rather erase from her IMDB page, Emma played a half-Chinese, half-Hawaiian woman in the 2015 bomb, Aloha. Let’s be clear here: Emma Stone is blindingly white, and it’s casting choices like these that contribute to Hollywood’s frustrating issues with diversity. Emma later admitted that she regretted her role in the film, and that playing the part opened her eyes to “the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood, and how prevalent the problem truly is.” Everyone experiences the odd career-misstep on their journey to success, and fortunately for Emma, it would appear as though all is forgiven, as she is up for the coveted Best Actress gong for her performance in La La Land.

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