Richard Dreyfuss is not being promoted for a best supporting actor Oscar in "Nuts" because the film's star and boss Barbra Streisand wanted it that way, but because Dreyfuss wanted it that way himself, according to a Warner Bros. spokesman.
Last Sunday's Calendar reported that film people were put off by ads appearing in the industry trade papers suggesting Streisand for consideration as best actress while five other actors--including Dreyfuss--were listed as supporting actors. The implication was that Streisand considered hers the only lead role in the film.
Dreyfuss is, in fact, getting heavy support from two studios for Oscar nominations. Disney is also promoting him, as best actor, for "Tin Men." If Warner Bros. was pushing Dreyfuss as best actor, the category most people believe his role in "Nuts" belongs in, he would in effect be competing against himself.
It is not unusual for an actor or actress to be promoted for the same category from different movies. In fact, Jack Nicholson is getting a best actor double-pump this year. Warner Bros. is promoting him for "Witches of Eastwick." Tri-Star is promoting him for "Ironweed." The Los Angeles and New York film critics groups voted their best-actor awards to Nicholson for both films.
Although actresses have been nominated in different categories before (Jessica Lange was nominated as best actress for "Frances" and supporting actress for "Tootsie" in 1982), it has never happened with an actor.
Ultimately, it is up to the academy voters to decide which category a performance belongs in, and which performance they care to vote for. When nominations are announced Feb. 17, maybe Dreyfuss' name will be there for "Stakeout."
He did have a good year.