Fact-based dramas dominated the Golden Globes nominations for supporting actor, claiming all five slots with Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club," Daniel Bruhl for "Rush," Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips," Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave" and Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle."
Leto was nominated for his turn as the sharp-witted transgender woman Rayon in "Dallas Buyers Club," Jean-Marc Vallee's biographical drama about AIDS patient and activist Ron Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey). Rayon, a composite character, was Leto's first role in years and saw him undergo a dramatic physical transformation, losing more than 30 pounds.
Reached from his rock band's tour bus between Chicago and St. Louis, Leto said, "It was a complete physical transformation; it was a complete internal transformation as well. The role of a lifetime. I'm really proud to be able to have brought this beautiful creature to life."
To lose the weight, Leto said he basically "just stopped eating" and added, "It changes the way you talk, the way you walk, the way you think, the way that you move, the way people treat you. So it's a great asset."
The Globe nomination is Leto's first.
Bruhl was nominated for his role as the relentless Formula One race car driver Niki Lauda in the Ron Howard-directed sports drama "Rush," which depicts Lauda's rivalry with British driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth).
Speaking from Italy, where he's shooting a film with Michael Winterbottom, Bruhl said he was "jumping around the streets of Siena" after learning of his nomination. "I think the people think I'm crazy, but I'm so, so delighted."
Of playing the battle-scarred F1 champ Lauda, Bruhl said, "I didn't have any experiences in my life which come even close to what he has gone through. I had to get his accent right, his body language, and I was just hoping to have a good relationship with him because I really wanted to know so much and learn from him … He's a very competitive guy, as you have to be when you're a Formula One race driver, so I think he will be very happy for these nominations."
The Globe nomination is the first for the Spanish-born German actor.
First-time actor Abdi was recognized for his portrayal of the Somali pirate Muse in Paul Greengrass' fact-based thriller "Captain Phillips," about the 2009 hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama. It's been a mind-boggling journey for the 27-year-old actor, who was born in Somalia, moved to Yemen at age 7 and came to the U.S. at age 14, where he learned English from Jay Z songs and "Seinfeld" episodes. When Greengrass cast him, he was driving a limousine in Minneapolis.
Reached from that city by phone, Abdi described his nomination as "unbelievable." Of playing Muse, who comes off not as a one-dimensional villain but as a man who does desperate things in a desperate situation, Abdi said, "At times you need empathy, to try to be in the character's shoes … I would try to put my mind on that as best I can and try to be the character."
Fassbender was nominated for his role as the vicious plantation owner Edwin Epps in Steve McQueen's historical drama "12 Years a Slave," based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup. Fassbender was previously nominated for a Golden Globe for another film with McQueen, the 2011 drama "Shame."
A day after being overlooked by the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Cooper landed a Globe nomination for his role as the manic federal agent Richie DiMaso in David O. Russell's con film "American Hustle," which is loosely based on the FBI's Abscam sting targeting political corruption in the 1970s. Cooper was nominated for a Globe last year for his role in Russell's previous film, "Silver Linings Playbook."
Supporting performances passed over for this year's Globes include George Clooney in "Gravity," Jonah Hill in "The Wolf of Wall Street," Tom Hanks in "Saving Mr. Banks" and the late James Gandolfin in "Enough Said."
The Golden Globe Awards will be presented Jan. 12.
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