These are the Roles 15 Actors Played After Winning Oscars

95th annual academy awards governors ball
15 Roles Actors Took After Winning OscarsEmma McIntyre - Getty Images

Winning an Academy Award is a dream of so many creative people working in Hollywood, but what jobs do they usually pick up afterward? Some superstitious folks have coined the term "Oscar Curse" for the perception that some actors or directors experience a downturn in their careers or personal lives after winning that coveted statuette. Actors face the same career ups and downs they would face at any other point, whether they have an Oscar or not. Sometimes, they might take a well-deserved break from huge projects after the tiring process of an awards campaign, or keep working as busily as before.

Consider yourself a true Hollywood know-it-all if you can guess all 15 of the films (or shows) that premiered after these talented actors won Academy Awards at some of the most recent ceremonies.

Michelle Yeoh - A Haunting in Venice

Yeoh's much-deserved Oscar win for her starring role as Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once was one of the best moments of the 2023 ceremony. She has many projects in the works, but the most recent movie to premiere after her win was A Haunting in Venice, the third film in Kenneth Branagh's series of Agatha Christie adaptations. She has a super fun character, that of the alleged medium Joyce Reynolds leading a séance at a creepy orphanage to commune with an opera singer's late daughter.

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Ariana DeBose - I.S.S.

This science fiction thriller isn't a musical like West Side Story (though that would be awesome), but Arana DeBose similarly elevates I.S.S. as astronautDr. Kira Foster. A claustrophobic nail-biter, this film follows American and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station who find themselves at odds when Russia suddenly attacks the United States with nukes. Along with this film, DeBose also had a small arc in the fourth and final season of Westworld and returned to season two of the well-liked musical comedy series Schmigadoon.

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Brendan Fraser - Killers of the Flower Moon

Fraser took on a much smaller supporting role than his Best Actor-winning role in The Whale when he joined Killers of the Flower Moon, but he does so much with a small amount of screentime as the defense attorney W.S. Hamilton.

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Will Smith - Emancipation

Will Smith collaborated with Antoine Fuqua on this historical action thriller for AppleTV+, premiering in December of 2022 after he won his first Oscar for King Richard. While some critics had issues with the plot and tone of the film, Smith's leading performance was consistently praised.

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Frances McDormand - Women Talking

McDormand's 2021 Best Actress win for Nomadland wasn't her first encounter with Oscar gold, and she was nominated once again for the next of her projects to premiere: Women Talking. She was both a producer and played Scarface Janz in this drama set in an isolated Mennonite colony, and was nominated for Best Picture along with the film's other producers.

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Youn Yuh-jung - Pachinko

Youn's Hollywood debut Minari also won the South Korean actress her first Oscar, and she followed it up with this excellent period drama series on AppleTV+. It follows several generations of a Korean family struggling under discrimination by Japanese people occupying their country.

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Jessica Chastain - The Good Nurse

Disappearing into the role of Tammy Faye in the Michael Showalter-directed biopic, Chastain has kept very busy in both Film and TV since winning her first Academy Award. Based on the true crime book of the same name, Chastain stars alongside Eddie Redmayne as a nurse who begins to suspect her coworker of being a serial killer, with both doing a supreme job in their respective roles.

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Joaquin Phoenix - C'mon C'mon

A much more subdued starring role than his award-winning turn as the infamous villain the Joker, Phoenix, and director Mike Mills came together for this sweet black-and-white drama. Phoenix plays Johnny, a radio journalist who starts caring for his young nephew while his sister cares for her estranged husband who struggles with bipolar disorder.

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Troy Kotsur - Curb Your Enthusiasm

Kotsur was a highlight of the Best Picture-winning film CODA and became the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. He has some big projects in the works, including a role in the upcoming third season of Foundation. His first credit post-Oscars was playing himself in Larry David's hilarious sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. You won't see his face in the trailer, but Kotsur is being beamed in the back by Larry with a golf ball.

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Anthony Hopkins - Zero Contact

Can you believe that the first film the storied Anthony Hopkins made after winning his second Oscar for The Father was released as an NFT? Filmed entirely over Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hopkins starred as tech mogul Finley Hart. Before being acquired by Lionsgate, the film was released on the NFT hosting platform Vuele, trying to cash in on the tech trend. Unfortunately, most NFTs are totally worthless now, making this film's NFT premiere an interesting snapshot of an odd moment in tech history.

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Daniel Kaluuya - Nope

After winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor by playing Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, Kaluuya reunited with collaborator Jordan Peele on the director's brilliant sci-fi thriller Nope. He played Otis Jr. "OJ" Haywood, who notices a UFO that seems to be responsible for odd happenings around his family ranch and works with his sister Emerald to capture an image of the craft.

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Renée Zellweger - The Thing About Pam

After winning an Oscar by playing Judy Garland, Zellweger made her Network TV debut on NBC's true crime miniseries The Thing About Pam. Zellweger played Pam Hupp in a well-received performance, though some viewers found other aspects of the show lacking.

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Laura Dern - Crazy, Not Insane

Laura Dern was brilliant in Marriage Story as lawyer Nora Fanshaw and narrated this Alex Gibney documentary that aired on HBO a few months after she won her Oscar. The doc is focused on psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has focused her career on the psychology of murderers.

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Olivia Colman - The Crown

Olivia Colman had the craziest 2019 of anyone. Not only did she win an Oscar for playing Queen Anne of Great Britain in The Favourite, but months later she succeeded Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in season three of The Crown. Two Queens in one year! Colman would eventually win an Emmy as

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Rami Malek - The Little Things

Malek holds his own with fellow Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Jared Leto in this crime thriller, which came out almost two years after he won the Best Actor award by playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. He also voiced a Gorilla in the Victorian-era adventure film Dolittle.

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