10 Not-So-Good Actors Who You’ll Be Shocked To Learn Actually Won Oscars

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Friends Matt LeBlac Shocked


With the 2014 Academy Awards just around the corner, time is just plain old running out. It's running out for you to see all of the movies that are nominated and it's running out for you to mentally prepare yourself for one of the most perfect hosting experiences ever. But, more than anything, the hourglass is low on time for you to prepare your Shock Face when other actors steal awards from the actors you thought deserved them most. (Also, will someone tell the Oscars to stop hanging out around that corner? It's creeping out passersby.)

But before this year's Oscars take over every news feed, I'd hate for this year's surprising winners to be thrust upon you before you got a chance to be properly shocked about all of the ones from the past. These 10 actors may have already given their acceptance speeches years ago, but I've just re-discovered their wins and my brain is having trouble processing them because they sort of don't make any sense.

1. Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin West Hollywood California Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars Viewing Party February 24 2013

(Photo: Thomas Janssen/Pacific Coast News)

The Award: Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Piano (1993)

Why It's Shocking: Cross the line if you've found yourself trying to explain to someone why True Blood is entertaining and not being able to. Now that we're all across the line, let's just call it what it is, which is a ridiculous (albeit sexy) show. And that's all that I can think of when I think about Anna's acting career. Paired with the fact that she won it while she was still a child-star so it feels like an entirely different person, and I can totally see why it doesn't really feel like she ever did.

2. Nicholas Cage

Nicholas Cage Croods Premier eNew York City NY March 10 2013

 (Photo: Darla Khazei/Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Why It's Shocking: Through magic and the acceptance of every role offered to him, Nic Cage managed to become extremely famous, while only having done a handful of truly good films. You've seen The Wicker Man, you know what I'm talking about. And it's movies like that which make me forget that he's a real live actor who can produce Oscar-worthy stuff.

3. Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon Academy Awards Los Angeles California February 24 2013

(Photo: DLM Press/Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Actress in a Lead Role for Walk The Line (2005)

Why It's Shocking: Unless we're talking matters of the groundbreaking bend-and-snap, then I don't know in what universe Reese would be Best Actress. Over all of the other actresses, and everything? Like, obviously it's this universe. But I'm never really blown away by her, so learning about her secret statue for one of the Big Five categories was really weird.

4. Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Women In The World Summit April 4 2013 New York City

(Photo: Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Why It's Shocking: Okay, I think the problem with Angelina “Is She Or Isn't She A Vampire” Jolie is that she's such a celebrity apart from her acting. So the millions of pictures of the Jolie-Pitts takes away from my memory that she's even an actress. Every so often, she's like “hey, remember me!” But mostly, I store her entire career in a manilla folder somewhere in my brain.

5. Jim Rash

Jim Rash The Way Way Back Premiere June 26 2013

(Photo: WMTV/Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants (2011)

Why It's Shocking: Wait, what? It's not even for acting in a movie, but is instead for writing one, you say? Crazy.

6. Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner Cesar Film Awards February 22 2013 Paris France

 (Photo: DLM Press/Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Director AND Best Picture for Dances With Wolves (1991)

Why It's Shocking: Kevin just dominated the Best's section in 1991, didn't he? And yet he's such an under-the-radar actor that I didn't even know about it. Mr. Costner, the A List two-time Oscar winner? Nah, that's just Kev, the dude from that one movie with Whitney Houston!

7. Cher

Cher New York City NY September 24 2013

(Photo: Felipe Ramales/PacificCoastNews)

What For?: Best Actress for Moonstruck (1988)

Why It's Shocking: Is Cher even an actress? Cite your sources and format MLA style, because I need legit proof of this. I was wholly convinced that she was too busy being iconic to have time to memorize a script or wake up at 4 AM to have her hair and makeup done in a trailer. And yet, she won a huge award for doing just that!

8. Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei Ides of March New York NY October 5 2011

(Photo: Darla Khazei/Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Why It's Shocking: Marissa is another one of those actors who seems like they're really famous but I can't really figure out why. Maybe it's her unique last name? No, well, it's obviously because she's a kickass supporting actress. But, the last name thing couldn't have hurt.

9. Ron Howard

Ron Howard Rush Photocall Madrid Spain August 19 2013

(Photo: Alter Photos/Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Best Director for A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Why It's Shocking: Because who even knew that, before he was our narrative BFF on Arrested Development, he was an actor? And a legit one, too. He even has that shiny hunk of gold to prove it. 

10. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey SAG Awards January 18 2014 Los Angeles California

(Photo: Pacific Coast News)

What For?: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2011)

Why It's Shocking: The funny thing is that Oprah did have a career as an actress, but the Academy was like, “yawnnn, we'll hold onto little Oscar until you do something really awesome.” And so she built a few schools and held a car giveaway here and there and now she's a winner too. It truly is a rags-to-riches story for the ages.