The Irish on the Red Carpet

Some of the Irish and Irish-American Oscar nominees: Wexford resident Daniel Day-Lewis, and Bradley Cooper, Jessica Chastian and Anne Hathaway, all of whom have Irish roots.

By Adam Farley, Editorial Assistant
February 22, 2013

The Irish nominees in the 2013 Oscars.

With so many Irish and Irish Americans nominated for Academy Awards this year, it might not be too far of a stretch to redub the famous gilded effigy O’scar.

Leading the talk of tinseltown is Daniel Day-Lewis, nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the much acclaimed Spielberg biopic. Earlier this year Day-Lewis took home a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for the role, so expectations are high for the Wicklow resident at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Day-Lewis isn’t the sole Irish representative on the list of Best Actor nominees though. He is joined by Irish-American star Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for his role as a bipolar Eagles fan in Silver Linings Playbook. Both actors face fierce competition for the award, however, up against Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) and Denzel Washington (Flight).

Irish-American actresses Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain are both nominated – in the categories of Actress in a Supporting Role and Actress in a Leading Role, respectively. Hathaway, Irish on her mother’s side, is nominated for her musical performance as Fantine in the Christmas phenomenon Les Miserables. Chastain, who has come to prominence in recent years through films like Coriolanus, The Tree of Life, and The Help, is nominated for the controversial Zero Dark Thirty.

Both actresses won a Golden Globe for their respective roles, Hathaway in the category of Actress in a Comedy/Musical, and Chastain for Drama.

Flight also garnered another nomination for an Irish American. Screenwriter and New York native John Gatins received a nomination for Best Original Screenplay from the Academy for his 149-page script. Gatins’s nomination shows that patience does pay off; he had been working on the script since 1999.

Moving back into the realm of historical movies, Armagh native Seamus McGarvey is nominated for Best Cinematography for the adaptation of Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, and featuring acclaimed young Irishman Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brendan. McGarvey was also nominated in 2007 for Atonement.

The younger Gleeson also stars with fellow Irishman Michael Fassbender in the forthcoming Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, filmed in Ireland and New Mexico. Another movie starring Fassbender, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, is nominated for an Oscar in the Visual Effects category.

Rounding out the list of nominated Irish natives is producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly. O’Reilly has been nominated in the category of Short Animated Film for “Head Over Heals,” a comedy about an embittered married couple, one of whom lives on the floor, the other lives upside-down on the ceiling. O’Reilly’s short was also nominated at the Cannes Film Festival and took home the Audience Award for Animated Short at the Austin Film Festival in 2012.

The Oscars will be hosted this year by Seth McFarlane, of New England Irish stock, who came to prominence on the big screen this year with his Summer comedy Ted, starring Irish-American actor Mark Wahlberg. In addition to directing, McFarlane provided the voice for the vulgar, titular talking teddy bear. McFarlane is best known for his animated TV shows Family Guy and American Dad, but this year he’ll be stepping out of animation and is much-anticipated in his live-action role of comedic relief as Master of Ceremonies.

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