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‘Maestro’ multi-hyphenate Bradley Cooper may match Emma Thompson’s Oscars record


Emma Thompson holds a distinct Oscars record. She is the only person in the history of the Academy Awards to win for both acting and writing. She took home the Best Actress trophy in 1993 for “Howard’s End.” Three years later, she collected an Oscar bookend with her Best Adapted Screenplay win for bringing Jane Austen‘s 1811 novel “Sense and Sensibility” to the screen.

Prior to Thompson’s double wins, several others contended for both acting and writing. Orson Welles won Best Original Screenplay in 1942 with Herman J. Mankiewicz for “Citizen Kane.” He also picked up a Best Actor nomination for the same film. Warren Beatty has a rich history in both acting and writing awards. He was nominated for Best Actor in 1968 for “Bonnie & Clyde,” in 1979 for “Heaven Can Wait, in 1982 for “Reds,” and in 1992″ for “Bugsy.” He picked up Original Screenplay bids in 1976 for “Shampoo” (shared with Robert Towne), in 1982 for “Reds” (shared with Trevor Griffiths), and in 1999 for “Bulworth” (shared with Jeremy Pikser). Beatty also reaped an Adapted Screenplay nomination in 1979 with Elaine May for “Heaven Can Wait.”Sylvester Stallone, meanwhile, was nominated for writing (Original Screenplay) and acting (Actor) for “Rocky” in 1977.

Since Thompson pulled off this double play, several others have tried to replicate her achievement. Matt Damon won Best Original Screenplay in 1998 with Ben Affleck for “Good Will Hunting.” He has also scored two Best Actor bids (one for “Good Will Hunting,” the other for “The Martian” in 2016) and a Best Supporting Actor nomination (for “Invictus” in 2010). Billy Bob Thornton has the opposite record. He won for writing (Best Adapted Screenplay in 1997 for “Sling Blade”) but lost his acting bids (Best Actor in 1997 for “Sling Blade” and Best Supporting Actor in 1999 for “A Simple Plan”). George Clooney won Best Supporting Actor in 2006 for “Syriana” to go with three other acting bids while he was also nominated for Original Screenplay in 2006 for “Good Night and Good Luck” and Adapted Screenplay in 2012 for “The Ides of March.” Ethan Hawke has two Supporting Actor bids to his name (“Training Day” in 2002 and “Boyhood” in 2015) and two Adapted Screenplay nominations, too (“Before Sunset” in 2005 with Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Kim Krizan and “Before Sunrise” in 2014 with Linklater and Delpy).

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Bradley Cooper is a quadruple Oscar threat for writing, producing, directing and starring in “Maestro,” Netflix‘s new Leonard Bernstein biopic. He already has an extensive Oscars history. He’s been nominated for Best Actor three times — in 2013 for “Silver Linings Playbook,” in 2015 for “American Sniper,” and in 2019 for “A Star is Born.” He also has four Best Picture bids to his name — for “American Sniper” in 2015, “A Star is Born” in 2019, “Joker” in 2020, and “Nightmare Alley” in 2022. His other nominations came for Best Supporting Actor (in 2014 for “American Hustle”) and Best Adapted Screenplay (in 2019 for “A Star is Born,” shared with Eric Roth and Will Fetters). He has lost all nine races, so there is a feeling that he is overdue a win. However, he would need to win both Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor to match Thompson. That would be history in and of itself — no one has won awards for both writing and acting in the same year.

Cooper is currently third in our Oscars odds chart for Best Actor and he ticks off many boxes of typical Best Actor wins — he’s an A-list actor, he’s in a drama, he’s portraying a real person, and his movie, “Maestro,” is likely to be nominated for Best Picture. Nine of the last 10 winners for Best Actor (the exception being Brendan Fraser for “The Whale”) have won for films nominated for Best Picture. Cooper could build up some real steam here, so DiCaprio and Murphy, our two frontrunners, should watch out. Cooper is a genuine contender to win Best Actor, no doubt.

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Best Original Screenplay, meanwhile, is a little trickier. He co-wrote the script with Josh Singer, who won Best Original Screenplay with Tom McCarthy in 2017 for “Spotlight.” Currently, “Maestro” is in fifth spot nominees in this category, just behind “The Holdovers,” “Past Lives,” “Barbie,” and “Anatomy of a Fall.” Eight out of the last 10 winners have been fictional stories. Only “Spotlight” and “Green Book” (in 2019), both of which went on to win Best Picture, told real-life stories.

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