The roads taken by each of the 20 actors and actresses competing for Academy Awards in the lead and supporting acting categories have all been distinctive.
Check out some of the candidates’ major breaks, like Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh’s appearance in a watch ad and Austin Butler’s Disney Channel beginnings!
Butler began his career as a kid actor on programs including Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide (2005–2007), Hannah Montana (2006–2007), iCarly (2007), and Zoey 101 before embarking on what would become an Oscar-nominated portrayal as Elvis Presley (2007-2008).
Mescal initially gained attention with his swoon-worthy performance in the 2020 Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel, Normal People. Mescal is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in Aftersun.
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Yeoh is undoubtedly a superstar in her own realm, but she did not arrive there on a straight path. After appearing in more than 40 movies, many of which were action movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, she was nominated for an Oscar for the first time in 2023 for her lead role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Yeoh relocated from her home in Malaysia to London at the age of 15 in order to pursue ballet at the Royal Academy of Dancing before she gained fame on the big screen. She went home and later won the Miss Malaysia pageant after a spinal injury ended her dancing career. Following that, she was cast in her first Hong Kong film, The Owl vs. Bumbo, before appearing in a watch ad with Jackie Chan (seen above).