2011 Best Actor Nominees
Firth first stole audiences' hearts as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. His star rose steadily when he went on to appear in several box office hits, including Bridget Jones' Diary and Love Actually. He even showed off his singing talents as one of Meryl Streep's love interests in the film adaptation of the musical Mamma Mia!.
Early in his career, Bardem was a hit in his home country of Spain, appearing in films like High Heels. His first international hit came in 1992 with his role in Jamon Jamon, which co-starred his now-wife Penelope Cruz. Over the years, Bardem has continued to wow critics and audiences worldwide—he showed his hardened side in No Country for Old Men, his tragic side in The Sea Inside and his romantic side in Love in the Time of Cholera and Eat Pray Love.
This is the sixth Oscar nomination for Bridges, who was previously recognized for his work in The Last Picture Show, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Starman, The Contender and Crazy Heart. The 61-year-old son of Hollywood legends Lloyd Bridges and Dorothy Dean Bridges received his first win last year for his role as the washed up, alcoholic, country music singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart.
This young star made his big-screen debut in 2002, appearing alongside Kevin Kline in The Emperor's Club. Eisenberg has achieved critical success over the years for his roles in The Squid and the Whale, Adventureland and Zombieland, but it wasn't until his breakout role in the Social Network that moviegoers took notice as well.
Franco began his acting career as a TV star, appearing in the short-lived but critically acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks. He subsequently earned the title role in the 2001 biopic James Dean, for which he won a Golden Globe and nominations for an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He later moved on to the big screen, showcasing his talents in fan-favorites such as Spider-Man and Pineapple Express. In 2008, Franco won an Independent Spirit Award for his supporting role as the boyfriend of politician Harvey Milk in Milk.