Grab your popcorn and get ready to gather round the television, it’s nearly time for cinema’s biggest night of the year: the Oscars.
The 93rd Annual Academy Awards will officially kick off Sunday night at 8 pm ET and while COVID-19 precautions mean the ceremony will look a little different, there will still be plenty of glitz, glamour, and record breaking this weekend.
The nominations for this year’s show were announced on 15 March and marked a positive step in the journey for representation in Hollywood. Viola Davis’ Best Actress nomination for her titular performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom secured her place in both Oscar and Guinness World Records history with the Most Oscar nominations received by a Black actor (female).
The iconic actress has been nominated a total of four times, twice for Best Actress and twice for Best Supporting Actress. So far, she has won the award once, for her supporting role in 2016’s Fences.
Viola Davis isn’t the only female nod record breaker this year. Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell were both nominated for Best Director, now sharing the title for most females nominated for the Best Director Oscar.
In addition to these female title holders, actor Steven Yeun is now officially the first Asian-American to be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his lead role in the film Minari.
In response to his nomination, Steven made a point that while these historic records are important to mark, we should all be hoping for a day where there is no need for them.
"If I step out of myself and see what that moment might mean beyond just me," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's cool that we get to establish new ground and that young Asian American kids can feel like this is possible for them, too.”
He is quick to point out, however, that a movie like Minari does not speak for the entirety of the Asian-American experience and he sees himself as an actor first, not an Asian-American actor.
The nominations for this year’s Oscars also brought Anthony Hopkins a record title. Thanks to his lead performance in the film The Father, the actor with more than 60 years in the entertainment industry is now the record holder for the oldest Oscar nominee for Best Actor.
Outside of record titles for the famous faces we saw this year, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, also nabbed an award. Not surprisingly, it’s for longest title of a film nominated for an Oscar.
And on top of the records that are already broken, there’s a few that may join the ranks depending on the outcome of Sunday’s ceremony, and we’ve listed them below.
Depending on her wins Sunday night, Chloe Zhao could potentially achieve two more Guinness World Record titles. The Chinese-American filmmaker is known primarily for her work in independent U.S. films, with Nomadland being her third feature and first-ever Oscar nominated film. If she takes home the Oscar for Best Director, she will officially become the first Asian to win Best Director (female). Chloe is up for another three awards including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. If she sweeps all four, she will tie Walt Disney’s longstanding record for most Oscars won in a year – individual.
Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson
Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson could also mark another historic Oscars first. The two are part of the team that did makeup and hair for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and if they win, they will hold the record for the First Black winners of the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar. Previously, Mia Neal is known for her work on The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and Uncut Gems (2019). Wilson has worked on Widows (2018) and How to Get Away with Murder (2014).
Welsh Actor, director, producer and composer Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins CBE could also make history on awards night. He is already the recipient of multiple accolades, including an Academy Award, four BAFTAs, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. He’s starred in well-known works since the late 60s, including The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hitchcock (2012). Hopkins already has the record for the oldest Oscar nominee for Best Actor and if he wins on Sunday, he’ll also become theoldest Oscar winner for Best Actor.
Much like Anthony Hopkins, Steve Yeun is going into the show a Guinness World Records title holder but if he takes home the Best Actor award, he will become the first Asian-American to win the Best Actor Oscar. Yeun is a South Korean-born American actor, who initially rose to fame for his roles as Glenn Rhee in the television series The Walking Dead (2010–2016) and Ben in the film Burning(2018).