Awards Calendar

  • ASIFA: Deadline to renew or join ASIFA-Hollywood to be able to participate in the Annie Award voting
    November 30, 2015
  • VES: Submission Deadline
    November 30, 2015
  • ASIFA: Annie Award Nominations announced
    December 1, 2015
  • WGA: Preliminary Screenplay online voting begins
    December 1, 2015
  • DGA: Online voting for Feature Film Nominations opens
    December 2, 2015
  • HFPA: Final screening date for Motion Pictures
    December 2, 2015
  • WGA: Television, New Media, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominations Announced
    December 3, 2015
  • HFPA: Final date for Motion Picture press conference
    December 5, 2015
  • AFI: Honorees Announced
    December 7, 2015
  • HFPA: Deadline for receipt of nomination ballots by Ernst & YoungNom
    December 7, 2015

Oscars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and More on Dealing With the Demands of Their Roles

 Paramount Pictures

This year’s nominated actors and actresses spill all, from the biggest challenges to getting inside the heads of their (sometimes unlikable) characters.

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Think it's easy earning an Academy Award nomination? Not for this year's nominees. Not only was the competition fierce, but the worlds they were asked to inhabit forced them to extremes.

PHOTOS: Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Other Actor Nominees Spill Secrets Behind Their Roles

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o had to surrender to the injustices of 19th-century slavery, while Michael Fassbender had to live with the persona of a brutal sadist in 12 Years a Slave.

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto faced up to impending death in Dallas Buyers Club -- as did Meryl Streep as her life ebbed away in August: Osage County and Sandra Bullock as she spun out of control in Gravity. Others -- like Bruce Dern in Nebraska and Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine -- had to contemplate what it feels like to slowly lose one's mind.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill and Other Supporting Actor Nominees Spill Secrets Behind Their Roles

Even those movies that elicited more laughter required their characters to take it to the edge, whether it was Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence out-conning one another in American Hustle or Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill spending a full week reenacting a drug-fueled wrestling match on the set of The Wolf of Wall Street.

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