Oscar Actors: Hirsch, Judd==Supp. Role in “The Fabelmans” (Only 7 Minutes)

Judd Hirsch’s span between his two nominations — 42 years since 1980’s Ordinary People and 2022′ The Fabelmans— is the longest of any acting contender in Oscar history.

Before him, the record was held by Henre Fonda–41 years between 1940’s The Grapes of Wrath and 1981’s On Golden Pond (for which he won Best Actor).

His supporting performance is short (only 7 minutes), but impressive, as The Fabelmans‘ life-changing Uncle Boris ranks as one of the briefest to ever be nominated.

But in Hirsch’s eyes, his character is one seen before in Spielberg’s movies. “Steven likes to say that this is one of his only films that doesn’t have an alien in it,” Hirsch recently told EW, “Or an animal or a robot or whatever, a dinosaur. And I said, ‘No — I’m that! It does include one.'”

Judd Hirsh in 'The Fabelmans'
Judd Hirsh in ‘The Fabelmans’

The Fabelmans, nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, is one of its director’s most personal works, set in the American West of Spielberg’s 1950s and ’60s boyhood.

But Hirsch’s Boris, a shady Eastern European figure from his family’s past — an ex-circus performer and silent-movie-era survivor — sweeps into the household like a force of nature and leaves a young boy changed for good.

“I’m going to play an oracle,” Hirsch says, “a man who is somehow brought in. You don’t even know why or how or when. He’s brought in to do something to Spielberg as a child, as a teenager, and then leave.”

Boris sees in young Sammy (Gabriel LaBelle) a kindred spirit, another person crazed and obsessed with making art. Hirsch’s says that the theme of the movie is the impulse that makes a person leave home to follow their heart.