In the history of the Academy Awards, only one out queer woman has won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jodie Foster. The queer screen legend won the award twice, for both The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs, but that was all the way back in 1989 and 1992 respectively. But that won’t be true for long. Hollywood is absolutely filled with talented queer actresses who could easily become the next Foster — all they need is the right role or the right campaign.
This year alone, the two leading Best Actress contenders are queer women, and another strong contender is too. You can’t talk about the Academy Awards this year without mentioning Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart, so it could be that this year is the year to break the curse!
Here are 11 queer actresses who we think have the best chance at becoming the next big winner of the Best Actress Oscar!
Lady Gaga is getting lots of Oscar hype for her role in the upcoming Ridley Scott film House of Gucci, and after coming close to winning for 2018's A Star Is Born (she did win the Oscar for Best Original Song, though), fans are dying to see her pick up the big award for her acting!
Stewart, the first American actress to win a César Award (the French equivalent of the Oscars), is the other leader in this year’s Best Actress race for her frantic and evocative role as Princess Diana in Spencer. It’s one of the best performances by any actress in years, and whether or not Stewart wins this year, she’s sure to get plenty of nominations throughout her career.
Gaga and Stewart aren’t the only queer actresses who have a good chance at a nomination this awards season. Tessa Thompson is also garnering strong Oscar buzz for her role in the film Passing, about two childhood friends who reunite in adulthood in 1920s Harlem.
Jolie has previously won a Best Supporting Actress award for Girl, Interrupted and was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Changeling. She’s one of the most celebrated movie stars in Hollywood, and with her latest role in Marvel Studios' inclusive film Eternals, her career isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Corrin won a Golden Globe for playing Princess Diana in The Crown, and she could definitely get some Oscar buzz for their upcoming film My Policeman. In that movie, Corrin plays the wife of a bisexual policeman played by Harry Styles. They’re just at the beginning of their career, so Corrin will be one to watch for a long, long time.
After becoming the first out trans actor to get a Lead Actress nomination at the 2021 Emmy Awards, Rodriguez is taking over the world. She’s starring in Lin Manuel Miranda’s film Tick, Tick… Boom!, and after that, the world is her oyster. Rodriguez can do anything, and that includes winning a Best Actress Oscar.
Paulson is another queer actress who’s no stranger to the Emmys and Golden Globes. Could an Oscar be next? So far in her career, she’s received seven Emmy nominations and five Golden Globe nominations, winning one of each. She’s also been in several Oscar-winning films like 12 Years a Slave and Carol.