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Meet This Year's Top Acting Nominees

This year's nominees for the top acting Oscars include several veteran stars —and a 20-year-old newcomer from Canada.

One thing several of the nominees have in common: They've passed through NPR's studios to talk about their movies, their careers and their craft.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett
Laurie Sparham, Universal Pictures
  • Cate Blanchett tells Melissa Block that she considers working with Judi Dench a career highlight.
  • Laura Linney explains to Melissa Block why she doesn't like to apply personal baggage to a character.
  • Ellen Page tells Neda Ulaby how growing up in Canada has set her apart from American actors, and talks to Madeleine Brand about her nomination.

Best Actor

George Clooney
Warner Bros. Pictures
  • George Clooney tells Terry Gross how suffering from Bell's palsy as an adolescent taught him to make fun of himself.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis tells Robert Siegel about accessing the darker recesses of a character's psyche.
  • Johnny Depp talks to Elizabeth Blair about the burden of portraying real people — and his attraction to eccentric characters.
  • Tommy Lee Jones discusses his role as director and star of the 2006 film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.
  • Viggo Mortensen opens up to Terry Gross about stripping down for the harrowing shower scene in Eastern Promises.