Oscar Speeches: Reynolds, Burt–Boogie Nights (1997)

Burt Reynolds, a popular movie star, received wide critical acclaim and his first and only Best Supporting Actor nomination for Boogie Nights (1997), in which he played Jack Horner, a filmmaker who functions as a “father figure” to a groups of actors who make porn flicks.

Reynolds  invested all of his skills, acquired in his lengthy career, in the role, including his smooth charm, aging charisma, and frayed warmth.  He used the ease, irony, and self-reflexive humor that have served him well and have become his trademarks in the 1970s and 1980s.

Reynolds’ performance reminded peers and viewers of how and why he had become a star in the first place.

Industry execs hoped that this role and the accolades would help revive a declining career, in the same way that Travolta’s role in Pulp Fiction has revived his.

After winning the Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle, Reynolds stated: “I felt like an artist. I felt like a real actor.”

He repeated the same sentiment upon earning his first (and only) Supporting Actor nod: “I’m so truly humbled by the nomination. I hope it means steady work!”