On Thursday, Joaquin Phoenix expressed his disgust for the Academy Awards. The actor, who has been earning rave reviews and massive Oscar buzz for his performance in “The Master,” made statements to Interview magazine that will likely jeopardize his chances of earning a nomination for the coveted award. “I’m just saying that I think it's bulls--t. I think it's total, utter bulls--t, and I don't want to be a part of it,” Phoenix said. “I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other ... it's the stupidest thing in the whole world.” Phoenix was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2000 for his performance in “Gladiator,” and in 2006 he earned a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line.”
Michael Fassbender’s heartbreaking performance as a tortured sex addict in Steve McQueen’s “Shame” ensured that he was an Oscar frontrunner. Shockingly, Fassbender’s name was left off the list of nominees, making for one of the biggest snubs in Oscar history. Some have speculated that the film was ignored due to its NC-17 rating and the fact that the Irish actor bears all in the film’s opening scene. McQueen has blamed Hollywood’s discomfort with realistic on-screen sex while Fassbender has cited peeing on camera as a possible reason he lost out on a nomination. "That peeing cost me an Oscar,” the actor told GQ in May. “After a certain point, you worry that it kind of detracts from the movie. But there's nothing I can do. I just have to laugh it off. I can, pretty much. "At the beginning, people [say], 'You're going to be going to the Oscars,' and you're like, 'Whatever, doesn't matter, don't think so,’” Fassbender added. “But after a while, it does penetrate. After a while, you're like, 'Anyway, so I'm going to the Oscars.' And you start to believe it. And I did. I thought I was going. And then I found out I wasn't, and I was upset. I was very upset by it.”
Russell Crowe’s riveting performance as mentally ill mathematician John Nash made him a shoe-in for the Best Actor award in 2001. That changed when reports surfaced that the Aussie bad boy shoved award show producer Malcolm Gerrie against a wall during the BAFTA awards. According to Entertainment Weekly, the actor recited Patrick Kavanagh's short poem ''Sanctity'' in his acceptance speech and was furious when Gerrie decided to cut it from the show's broadcast. Crowe allegedly verbally abused and threatened Gerrie before kicking over chairs and stomping out of the room. ''Russell Crowe was abusive and behaved very unreasonably,” a spokesman for the ceremony told the Associated Press. “We told people accepting that they must keep their speeches to a minimum, because we were conscious of the time constraints. They were told three times. As with many other winners, his speech ran over, and he was not the only one who was edited.'' Crowe’s behavior has been cited as the reason he lost the Best Actor Oscar to Denzel Washington in "Training Day."
Eddie Murphy’s turn as a troubled soul singer in “Dreamgirls” was one of the most acclaimed performances of 2006. Few could argue that Murphy was set to take home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role. But when critically panned dud “Norbit” -- in which Murphy stars as a plus-size woman with attitude -- hit theaters, the actor’s chances of earning Oscar gold were greatly diminished. As Metro pointed out, the horridly offensive premise of "Norbit" overshadowed the best performance of his career. Shockingly, Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" walked away with the statue.
In 2009, Mickey Rourke was poised to win the Best Actor Oscar for his incredible performance as a has-been wrestler in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrester.” But when awards season rolled around, Rourke’s poor off-screen reputation is said to have obstructed his path to Oscar glory. According to the Guardian, the actor’s inappropriate speech at the BAFTA awards and his unwelcome pursuit of young Hollywood starlets at the Elle Style awards may have been the reason that the statue went to Sean Penn in "Milk" in a surprising upset.