Oscar 2013: Actors on Actors

Whoopi Goldberg on Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave”
Joel Edgerton on Cate Blanchett as Jasmine in “Blue Jasmine”
Laura Linney on Idris Elba as Seen in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Richard Jenkins on Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki in “Prisoners”
Val Kilmer on Will Forte as David in “Nebraska”
Oliver Platt on Daniel Bruhl as Niki Lauda in “Rush”
Candice Bergen on Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone in “Gravity”
Jason Bateman on Chris Cooper as Charles Aiken in “August: Osage County”
Ralph Fiennes on Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in “!2 Years a Slave”
Diane Lane on Bruce Dern as Woody in “Nebraska”
Mark Ruffalo on Ethan Hawke as Jesse in “Before Midnight”
Alfre Woodard on Berenice Bejo as Marie in “The Past”
Chris Rock on Julie Delpy as Celine in “Before Midnight”
Evan Rachel Wood on Adele Exarchopoulos as Adele in “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
Octavia Spencer on Barkhad Abdi as Muse in “Captain Phillips”
Julia Roberts on James Gandolfini as Albert in “Enough Said”
Andy Serkis on Sally Hawkins as Ginger in “Blue Jasmine”
Viola Davis on Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale Station”
Diane Kruger on Jared Leto as Rayon in “Dallas Buyers Club”
Paul Dano on Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly in “Her”
Benicio Del Toro on James Franco as Alien in “Spring Breakers”
Marion Cotillard on Kate Winslet as Adele in “Labor Day”
Emile Hirsch on Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodruff in “Dallas Buyers Club”
Beau Bridges on Margo Martindale as Mattie Fae in “August: Osage County”
Judy Greer on Shailene Woodley as Aimee Finicky in “The Spectacular Now”
Nicole Kidman on Miles Teller as Sutter Keely in “The Spectacular Now”
Jessica Chastain on Robert Redford as Our Man in “All Is Lost”
Ellen Burstyn on Melissa Leo as Holly Jones in “Prisoners”
James McAvoy on Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps in “12 Years a Slave”
Melissa McCarthy on Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Eva in “Enough Said”
Rachel Weisz on Oscar Isaac as Llewyn Davis in “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Jeff Bridges on Christian Bale as Russell Baze in “Out of the Furnace”
Steve Martin on Tom Hanks as Capt. Phillips in “Captain Phillips”
Colin Farrell on Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers in “Saving Mr. Banks”
Amanda Seyfried on Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover in “Prisoners”
Whoopi Goldberg on Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave”

Every now and then when watching a film, an actor appears who causes you to gasp at the ease of their artistry that is revealed throughout the film. You find yourself sitting straight up in your seat because so much that is passed off as acting is just accepted. When you watch “12 Years a Slave,” you are seeing some of the best art has to offer. Some actors you will know, and some you won’t and one, Lupita Nyong’o, makes you want to go grab folks off the street and say, “Watch this young woman!”

She is fresh from Yale and this is her first film gig. In her art, the gamut is run. She finds so much in this script, and somehow in her youth and newness you see the invisible dust of ages and strength beyond her age and reason. She does what we are supposed to do as actors: Take you, then return you, and when finished, make you feel like we have held off time. And I would be remiss if I didn’t also tell you that she is achingly beautiful outside of character, which I think will be new for Hollywood. This young lady is one of a kind.

Goldberg won the supporting actress Oscar for “Ghost,” in 1990.

Variety Special Issue