Kenyan Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Somalia’s Barkhad Abdi, “Happy” songster Pharrell Williams and Irish-German star Michael Fassbender are among 271 actors newly invited to join Hollywood’s Oscar-bestowing Academy, organisers have said.
Other non-US invitees include Britain’s Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan, as well as Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki and Israeli-born Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad.
Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino, whose “The Great Beauty” won this year’s foreign-language Oscar, will also join the illustrious Hollywood body, as will Canadian “Dallas Buyers Club” director Jean-Marc Vallee.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invites a new batch of actors, filmmakers and related professionals every year to join the ranks of its 6,000 or so members who vote on the Oscars.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
“Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
Nyong’o won the best supporting actress Oscar in March for her role in harrowing historical drama “12 Years a Slave.” Fassbender was also nominated for his role in the film by British director Steve McQueen.
Hawkins was nominated in the same category as Nyong’o for her role in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” while Coogan was shortlisted this year as writer for true-story based “Philomena.”
Williams, whose ubiquitous hit “Happy” took the Internet by storm with copycat dance videos from around the world, was nominated for his work on “Despicable Me 2.”
Other nominees included comic Chris Rock, actress June Squibb (Oscar nominee this year for “Nebraska”), “Hunger Games” star Josh Hutcherson and “Veep” TV star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
– THE DAILY NATION