THR's Oscar Icons Portfolio: Steven Spielberg, Eva Marie Saint, Michael Moore
This story first appeared in the March 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
For these two industry veterans, one can’t help but consider the adage “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Both composer Newman and sound recording mixer Russell have garnered double-digit Academy Award nominations throughout their storied entertainment careers, but neither has yet to win the coveted gold statuette.
Both craftsmen are nominated again this Oscar season for their work on Sam Mendes’ Skyfall -- the best-reviewed Bond film in the half-century history of the franchise and with the biggest box-office numbers -- and have a strong chance of at long last taking home the award. (Also nominated this year for Skyfall is 63-year-old cinematographer Roger Deakins, who has accumulated 10 nominations of his own but has yet to win.)
The 57-year-old Newman, a member of the incomparable Newman musical dynasty (cousin Randy went 0-for-15 at the Oscars before getting his first win on his 16th nomination), has earned 11 Academy Award noms over his career, the first two coming 18 years ago for Little Women and The Shawshank Redemption. And Russell, 53, now has received an astounding 16 nominations, beginning with Black Rain in 1989 and encompassing many of the biggest action-movie blockbusters made since, including several from director Michael Bay.
Newman, who won the BAFTA for best original music on Feb. 10, is a longtime collaborator of Skyfall's Oscar-winning director, having worked on all but one of Mendes’ features since the helmer’s first film, the best picture Oscar winner American Beauty (1999). Russell’s mixing partner, as of last year, is four-time Oscar winner Scott Millan, who also has worked with Mendes since the beginning, and Russell emphasizes to THR that he “wouldn’t have had the privilege of mixing this movie for Sam without the generosity and friendship of Scott. It was an honor to work with both of them.” Perhaps this year, at last, that won’t be his -- or Newman’s -- only honor.