There are major Oscar snubs every year, and some hurt more than others. One that was truly shocking omission this year was Jennifer Lopez, whose turn as a fierce single mom stripper-turned-grifter in Hustlers gave her acting career a much-needed boost, garnering her best critical hosannas since 1998’s Out of Sight. It was a bummer when she wasn’t one of the five Best Supporting Actress nominees, but the actress-singer has kept quiet and respectful of the people who were cited by the Academy.
But enough time has elapsed. Talking to Billboard a few weeks after the ceremony — when the award she may have received went to Laura Dern for Marriage Story — Lopez opened up about the snub
“I was a little sad,” she said. “There were so many articles, I got so many good notices — more than ever in my career — and there was a lot of ‘She’s going to get nominated for an Oscar, it’s going to happen. If she doesn’t [get it], you’re crazy.’ I’m reading all the articles going, ‘Oh my God, could this happen?’ And then it didn’t and I was like ‘Ouch.’”
If she felt bad for anyone, it was her crew. “Most of my team has been with me for years, 20, 25 years — and I think they had a lot of hopes on that and they wanted it too, so I felt like I let everyone down a little bit,” she admitted.
But like her Hustlers character, she wouldn’t let some bad news get her down. Besides, Oscar buzz isn’t nothing. “I was a good actress — always — I can say that now to myself, but what I do now is so much different than what I did then,” she said. “You realize you want people’s validation, you want people to say you did a good job and I realized, ‘No, you don’t need that. You do this because you love it.”
She ended on a bada*s note: “I don’t need this award to tell me I’m enough.”
The 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.