Leading the Best Actor race is first-time nominee and Emmy-winner Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) for channeling performer Freddie Mercury in popular crowd-pleaser “Bohemian Rhapsody,” nabbing wins for the drama Globe, SAG and BAFTAs. He’s challenged by returning Oscar winner, up-and-down shape-shifter Christian Bale, who gained 45 pounds to play Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s “Vice.” Think “Darkest Hour” Oscar-winner Gary Oldman, as the extraordinary changes wrought by prosthetics and makeup are integral to the performance. He’s the Comedy Golden Globe and Critics Choice winner.
After three acting Oscar nods, Bradley Cooper directed himself in live musical remake “A Star Is Born,” opposite Lady Gaga, earning Globe, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and SAG nominations, but no wins, along with twice-nominated Viggo Mortensen, who transforms himself (adding 45 pounds) into a muscle-bound Bronx bouncer for “Green Book” and also nabbed Best Actor from the National Board of Review.
Three-time nominee Willem Dafoe follows up last year’s nomination for “The Florida Project” as bearded Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s “At Eternity’s Gate,” which took home Best Actor in Venice as well as Globe, National Society and Critics Choice nominations.
Contenders are listed in order of their likelihood of winning.
Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
Christian Bale (“Vice”)
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)