As 2014 draws to a close, we take a look at a few folks who have every reason to feel giddy with themselves for those seemingly small triumphs.
In alphabetical order, here are the actors, directors who have had a very, very good year.
Known for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix television series “Orange is the New Black,” Uzoamaka Nwaneka “Uzo” Aduba started the year with her first ever award – an Emmy win. She received the statue for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy at the Creative Arts Emmys and just snagged three more nominations for the same role. They include a Golden Globe an Image Award and a SAG award nomination. Not a bad accomplishment for the actress who almost quit acting due to the sheer frustration of not finding work.
A New York times writer dubbed her as being less beautiful than her TV colleagues Halle Berry and Kerry Washington, but Davis who has received plenty of acclaim for her work in films is having the last laugh. Her primetime drama series “How to Get Away with Murder” just earned her several accolades including a Golden Globe, Image Award and Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Actress. Davis is slated to star alongside Will Smith, Tom Hardy and Jared Leto in the highly anticipated film “Suicide Squad” which will be directed by David Ayer (“Fury”).
Ava DuVerna (photo courtesy of Atsushi Nishijima)
Last year she became the first black woman to win the best director prize at the Sundance Film Festival for her film “Middle of Nowhere” and while that didn’t ensure immediate gains for the talented DuVernay, her Golden Globe nomination for best director is certain to change that. Now the first black female Golden Globe best-director nominee for her film “Selma,” DuVernay is who will likely snag an Oscar nomination is still making history. The film “Selma” which stars David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Oprah Winfrey chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for blacks in the ’60s. The film opened Christmas day in select theaters and has a nationwide release on January 9th, 2015.
The comedic actor known for comedies “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” Anchorman” and “The Office” proved he can tackle serious roles in “Foxcatcher” when he took on the uncharacteristically dark and twisted John du Pont. An eccentric sports enthusiast and philanthropist who shot an Olympic gold-winning wrestler in 1996, Carell’s transformation to the eccentric, creepy millionaire included layers of makeup to change his skin tone and was mesmerizing enough to earn him a Screen Actor Guild award nomination for best actor.
“I didn’t have doubts,” Carell told the press earlier this year, “but it was scary, because it’s nothing I’ve ever done before. But I didn’t do it in order to prove anything either. I don’t really care about that. I thought it would be a challenge.”
The pint size entertainer who was recently named Comedy Star of the Year by People Magazine kicked off a successful 2014 with a starring role alongside Ice Cube in “Ride Along,” a box office smash that already has a sequel in the works. He solidified his star power in the rom-com film “About Last Night” which topped the box office on Valentine day’s weekend, followed it with the summer hit “Think Like a Man Too” all while juggling the hit BET series “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” Hart, who can been seen in the Chris Rock comedy “Top Five” already has a couple of comedies scheduled for release next year. There’s the raunchy wedding comedy “The Wedding Ringer” and “Get Hard” with Will Ferrell.
He’s made the leap from stage to screen look easy. The first black actor to play an English king for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the U.K., Oyelowo has been in six movies released this year. From a Somalia pirate in “Default,” a school principal in “Interstellar,” a district attorney in “A Most Violent Year,” an MI5 officer in “Nightingale” to a civil rights leader in “Selma,” the Afro-British actor has had a very good year. For the married father of three whose parents hail from Nigeria, it’s all about the writing.
“What I do will always be driven by the writing,” says Oyelowo who just earned a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Martin Luther King in “Selma.” “If the writing is good and it’s a project with people I admire then all the better.”
When Perry announced last year that he would be taking a break from filmmaking to focus more on his TV efforts he certainly meant it. The 45 year-old actor and director cemented his relationship with the OWN Network by launching a 3rd series this year titled “If Loving You Is Wrong.” This comes on the heels of major sucesses “Love Thy Neighbor” and “The Haves and the Have Nots.” Perry also had a small role as a lawyer in David Fincher’s brilliant drama “Gone Girl” and also became a first time father last month with girlfriend Gelila Bekelein.
Michael Kenneth Williams
From co-starring in the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” to playing a loan shark in “The Gambler” alongside Mark Wahlberg, Williams who was discovered by the late Tupac Shakur has become a steady fixture in film. With roles in “The Purge 2: Anarchy,” “Kill The Messenger,” opposite Jeremy Renner and “Inherent Vice,” the former dancer for Madonna and George Michael has had a busy and productive 2014. He will next be seen in the film “Captive,” opposite David Oyelowo and will also star opposite Queen Latifah in the HBO Film “Bessie.” Both films are slated for a 2015 release.
Like Blackflix.com On Facebook
Follow Blackflix.com On Twiter