When nominee names are called out at Sunday's
In Hollywood, a name is just a name, until it's not. And a nickname is more than a nickname, unless it shouldn't be used all, in which case it's less than a nickname, or something US Weekly editors came up with because they were bored.
The act of identifying celebrities is a complex mix of semiotics and subtle Hollywood codes. Go too informal in referring to an Oscar nominee and you're presumptuous, gauche, a poseur
Keep it too formal and you may as well have just told the room you've come in on the hay truck from Topeka. It's all fun and games until someone uses the wrong diminutive.
Who among the Hollywood elite, for instance, hasn't been standing around chatting at a party when someone said, "I just loved how much weight Matt McConaughey lost to play that
There is a debit, too, for not shortening enough. Sure, you can say you think
But you'd be giving yourself away as someone who doesn't know Sandra Bullock, because anyone who does know Sandra Bullock calls her Sandy Bullock. Call her Sandra among the Hollywood cognoscenti and people will instantly hang a mental sign over your head. "That guy. He was probably sneaking into 'The Net' instead of negotiating fees on it." While you were sleeping, someone else began representing her.
Ditto for that DiCaprio guy from "Wolf of Wall Street." Refer to him as Leonardo and people might think you've been watching too much "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." He's Leo, always Leo, as in Dr. Spaceman.
There is a similar dynamic at work for
It's not always the first name that drops letters. Best director nominee
Interestingly, people who already chose a nickname for themselves can make the path easier.
The strong contender for supporting actress is "Hustle" star Jennifer Lawrence. But what you call her says as much about you as her. Jennifer suggests respect, but not much else.
Hollywood insiders say Jen--or even JenLawrence, one long word, a mononymic moniker, like Madonna only with her real name--and if you've encountered her in a professional context, you probably can too. JLaw is okay if you're a hardcore fan or
You'd want to reverse all that for Jen's "American Hustle" co-stars and fellow nominees.
And hoping to nab
That all seems intuitive enough if you learn the cues. Drop some letters. Keep other letters. Add a Y, except for when you don't.
But good luck figuring out the insider shorthand for cinematographer Emmanuel Lubieszki, the Mexican-born D.P. who is a favorite to win for his work on