June 28, 2013 1:37pm PT by Rebecca Ford
Academy's 5 Most Surprising New Members
On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 276 new members to join as the class of 2013.
Among the many names on the list are Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin, Warner Bros.' newly named CEO Kevin Tsujihara and veteran director Agnes Varda.
Academy president Hawk Koch tells THR that this year's bumper crop came about because the Academy dropped a quota system restricting the number of new members that each of its 16 branches could invite each year to replace members who had retired or died. "By lifting the quota system, we were able to bring in a lot of people who could have been brought in earlier if there had been openings," he said.
But there are a few artists on the invitation list that are bound to raise some eyebrows.
Here are five of the more unexpected invitees:
Many associate the eccentric artist with only the music world, but Prince won an Oscar back in 1985 for best original score for rock musical Purple Rain. More recently, the singer wrote and performed a song for 2006's Happy Feet. "The Song of the Heart" won a Golden Globe for best original song in 2007. So why is he being added to the list in 2013? Koch tells THR that Prince had simply not been invited until this year.
2. Lena Dunham
Dunham has become a pop-culture darling for her HBO series, Girls, but her film work is limited to a string of quirky indies, including 2010's awkward, angsty Tiny Furniture. Although she easily could be viewed as simply TV royalty, she did have a breakout awards season this past year, with Emmy nominations, a DGA nom and two Golden Globe Award wins.
3. Matt Groening
Another familiar face hailing from the TV world, Groening is the creator of Futurama and The Simpsons. His film credits listed next to his name on the Academy announcement were spinoffs from the world of his hit TV animated show — the Oscar-nominated short Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare,’ and the feature The Simpsons Movie.
4. Charles Grodin
Grodin was at his peak during the '60s, '70s and '80s but hasn't done much film work in a long time. He played the lead in The Heartbreak Kid and a supporting role in Catch-22. He took on several supporting actor parts during the 1980s, including roles in Seems Like Old Times, The Great Muppet Caper, The Woman in Red and Taking Care of Business.
5. Milla Jovovich
Jovovich mainly is known for her work as the star of the Resident Evil films, which aren't exactly awards fanfare. The actress, who is married to director Paul W. S. Anderson, has made a career out of starring in sci-fi actioners and has been nominated at genre-favoring award shows such as the Scream Awards and the MTV Movie Awards.