When co-stars compete at the Oscars, who wins?

When the Academy Award nomination was unveiled last month, Leakith Stanfield described the news as a lead actor.Judah and the Black Messiah, “Was up for best supporting actor, surprised many of us including Stanfield himself. He wrote On Instagram, adding “I’m too confused,” adding, “lmao.” Warner Bros. campaigned for Stanfield in the Best Actor category, but Academy voters consider it only as a suggestion, not as a mandate.

This classification pits Stanfield directly against his “Judas” co-star. Daniel KaluiaA film has garnered several nominations for supporting actor for the 20th time. But what remains is the fact that Stanfield’s role is bigger than that of Kaluyya having a foothold in the Oscar race.

Previous Oscar data can shed some light on this question – not that two co-stars have appeared on the supporting actor list for the past 19 times, but all 71 times it has happened in any acting category. In 48 of those instances, none of the nominees won the award, so they do not help answer the question of whether there is an advantage in large parts. But the other 23 provide some insight.

Instances in which an actor or actress beaten a fellow actor of the same film for an Oscar are not evenly distributed across categories. This has happened only six times in the supporting actor category, a dozen times with a supporting actress and four times with Best Actor. The best actress performance is the rarest among the co-stars: Shirley McLain wins Her “Terms of Office” co-worker Debra Winger remains a lead actress from one film at the same time in 1984, another from the same film at the Academy Awards. (Incidentally, “Terms of the Post” is also the only film on this list twice, as Jack Nicholson edged out John Lithgow for Best Supporting Actor).

One film also managed to win an acting category, earning him three out of five nominations: “The Godfather Part II” (1974) provided the best supporting actor stage Robert De Niro, Who Michael V. Defeated fellow dacoits played by Gazo and Lee Strasburg.

In order to analyze whether a larger share is won, we first need to define a larger share. There is absolutely no objective way to do this, but one way is to look at the billing order in credit, on the assumption that larger roles are often listed first.

Historically, the most billed actors won 23 of 17 matchups over their low-billed co-stars. If it suggests an academy preference for high-billed actors, it is a good sign for Kalua, whose name appears in Stanfield’s closing credits. But the fact that Kaluuya appears ahead of Stanfield is arguably the film’s primary character, as evidence that this method is not an ideal proxy for estimating the importance of an actor in a film.

In all 168 supporting actor and actress races in Oscar history, 23 percent of nominees billed more than their four contestants in their films, while all other nominees sat 18 percent. This is not a huge difference, but one that may suggest a slight voter preference for larger roles. He would also favor Kaluya, who may be involved in Don Amache (“Cocoon” 1985); George Clooney (“Syriana,” 2005); And Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood, 2014”) as the only supporting winner to receive top billing in her films.

In this year’s supporting actress race, it’s unclear who will get the benefit: Maria Baklova (“Borat subvendivitum”), Glenn Close (“hillbilly algy”), Olivia Colman (“the father”) and Amanda Seyfried (” Munk “)) all get second billing in their films. However, all four can be bothered Eu – Jung Yun, Whose name appears sixth in the opening of “Minari”.

Indeed, the saying that “there is no small part, only small artists” is true on many occasions. Maharishi Ali received the ninth billing in “Moonlight” (2016), yet he won the title of Best Supporting Actor, the record for the lowest billing to win the category. For the supporting actress, that record is the eighth-billed by the very first winner in the category for Gail Songaard (the 1936 epic drama “Anthony Advice”) and Hattie McDaniel (who made history as the first Black Oscar winner) Was shared) went with Pawan, “in 1940).

Another way to determine whether the size of the portion of Oscar voters matters is including measuring how long they appear in their films. Matthew Stewart screentimecentral.com Has done a formidable task of watching every Oscar-nominated performance and tracking their screen time. From Stewart’s data, the actor has beaten a co-star in 15 of 23 races, with the most screen time. The record is better if we look at the totally supportive categories: 14 out of 18.

Bing Crosby’s victory over Barry Fitzgerald (both leading nominees for “Going My Way, 1944”) is the only example where he won the Best Actor trophy in short screen time. But fans can be assured of FitzGerald’s performance as an elder pastor: he too walked away with an award. Strangely, the Academy gave him the title of Best Supporting Actor, twice nominated for a solo performance in an actor’s history, prompting the Academy to change the rules to prevent him from doing so again.

Average screen time for 23 winners who bested their co-stars is 34:57. For 24 losers (including two from “The Godfather Part 2”), it’s only 25:32. It suggests that the academy tends towards honoring large parts when they are against each other.

While it is a depiction of the past, it is not a particularly useful barometer in predicting the outcome of this year. Stanfield watches at 49:51, while Kaluya is onscreen for 46:09; The difference is hardly meaningful.

This analysis sees Kalua and Stanfield as antagonists, just like their onscreen characters. But in some cases, the fate of their Oscars is tied together. If the Oscars were decided by random chance, 71 examples of films with multiple nominations in an acting category would yield 29.4 winners; Instead we saw that the actual result is 23 winners, with some amount of vote-splitting or any other bias against films with multiple nominations.

The other three supporting actor contenders this year – Sacha Baron Cohen (“Trial of Chicago 7”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) and Paul Rachie (“Sound of Metal”) – are expected to be a few votes. the division. At the moment, Kaluuya Poll is in position, including wins from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA. But Stanfield was not nominated for those honors.

At the Oscars, voters will face a choice: to bypass one of the other optimists, go with the state leader of the Black Panther Party, or choose the FBI informant who betrayed him.

Ben Zuzmer is the author of “OscarMetrics: The Math Behind the Biggest Night in Hollywood”.

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