17th February 2014

Presenting… the Ultimate Hollywood Handbook

It’s that time of the year again!

No, I’m not talking about the time when New Year diets fall by the wayside in favour of those chocolates you were treated to on Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about film awards season.

Yes, that’s right, ‘HOLLYWOOD, BABY’!

What is it about picking up one of those funny looking statues that makes everybody go all starry-eyed? It goes beyond a mark of approval for your acting talents. You win a film award and you’ve hit the big time. I’m talking about kudos. Legendary status. The complete IMDB profile.

So, last night we saw some of the brightest stars come out in force for the BAFTAS. We’ve already had the Golden Globes, a key indicator of how “the biggie”, the Oscars, will go. From all of this red carpet action, it’s clear that some people know how to play the awards season to their advantage, while others take a more maverick approach to canvassing for votes.

With that in mind, here are a few of my dos and don’ts for winning the top awards:


Attend all the top fashion shows and be on the front row.

It’s Fashion Week across many cities, providing the perfect promo opp for prospective Oscar darlings. These shows are the place to be seen and Lupita Nyong’o has been receiving high praise all over the place, strengthening her claim on the Best Supporting Actress prize for 12 Years a Slave.

Friends in high places: Lupita Nyong’o with the editor of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, at New York Fashion Week


Criticise the Oscars, especially if you’re a nominee.

Prior to the 2013 Oscars, when most Hollywood heavyweights were campaigning hard, Joaquin Phoenix renounced the schmoozing that most embrace, all but ending his chances with his outspoken comments. That Phoenix didn’t win for his role in The Master is an utter travesty in my book and one that has arguably affected his chances this year as well, where he has been overlooked for his excellent performance in Spike Jonze’s Her.

Why so glum, Joaquin? You don’t need an Oscar to prove you’re a great actor


Show your human side.

Although her performance, in my opinion, wasn’t as good as that of Nyongo’o, Jennifer Lawrence won a BAFTA last night and I can see her picking up her second Academy Award in as many years. Why? Not only is she a very good actress (making a relatively average film in American Hustle look better than it is), but she knows how to work the press in a natural, down-to-earth way. Come on, we’ve all seen her photo-bomb Taylor Swift at the Golden Globes.


Assume that a great performance is enough to secure you a win.

Robert Redford has been snubbed at this year’s Oscars, arguably due to a lack of activity from the film’s distributors and a poor overall campaign. It’s clear that if you’re looking to win, you can’t leave it too late and you’ve got to shout about it.


Talk about the physical transformation you underwent to take on a role.

Matthew McConaughey did just that for his role in Dallas Buyers Club and the media have really focused on this. I’ve not seen McConaughey’s performance, so it is tough for me to pass judgement on his Oscar credentials, but what strikes me is that the film industry loves it when an actor throws their whole body into the role. From Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull to Natalie Portman in Black Swan, numerous actors have undergone a huge transformation and walked away with awards for their endeavours.


Change your name to Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis. They can do no wrong.

So there you have it. My dos and don’ts for walking home a winner. Now take these tips and make your name, but don’t forget to thank me in your acceptance speech.

By Laura Holden, Account Executive (B2B)