Meet the Oscar Nominees!

Get the inside scoop on Reese, Terrence, Rachel and other 2006 contenders. By Emily Fromm

01 of 09

REESE WITHERSPOON

REESE WITHERSPOON
Andrea Renault/GLOBE

Nomination: Best Actress, Walk the Line
Witherspoon, 29, has some things in common with her Walk character, the maternal June Carter Cash. "I'm pretty conservative, or old-fashioned, I should say," the mom to Ava, 6, and Deacon, 2, told W recently. "In my house you're not allowed to wear two-piece swimsuits."
Up next: Producing and acting in Penelope with Christina Ricci

02 of 09

TERRENCE HOWARD

TERRENCE HOWARD
Armando Gallo / Retna

Nomination: Best Actor, Hustle & Flow
The Chicago native, 36, labored in small roles for decades before landing Hustle. Howard, who has three kids with wife Lori, hopes his struggles inspire others. "I'm so proud of the choices I've made over the last 20 years," he told CNN. "I am living proof that if you pour your heart into it, you can get there."
Up next: The big-screen musical Idlewild

03 of 09

RACHEL WEISZ

RACHEL WEISZ
Jenny Roberts/PHOTOlink/Newscom

Nomination: Best Supporting Actress, The Constant Gardener
Weisz, 34, might have Oscar-night jitters, but the baby she's expecting with director fiancé Darren Aronofsky probably won't. "I feel exhilarated and overwhelmed and very surprised," she said after her Golden Globes win. "(But) the baby has been strangely quiet. I hope it can deal with all the adrenaline."
Up next: Aronofsky's sci-fi drama The Fountain

04 of 09

MATT DILLON

MATT DILLON
DMI

Nomination: Best Supporting Actor, Crash
Playing a racist L.A. cop helped Dillon overcome his own prejudice ... against cops: The 41-year-old single New Yorker – and first-time Oscar nominee – had imagined L.A.P.D. officers as "menacing and kind of scary," he told The Hollywood Reporter, but when researching the role, he found that "most of them were regular guys working a difficult job for a very low salary."
Up next: The comedy You, Me and Dupree

05 of 09

HEATH LEDGER

HEATH LEDGER
John Stanton/Getty

Nomination: Best Actor, Brokeback Mountain
Ledger's performance as a lovelorn cowboy drew raves, but his real passion is for fiancé Michelle Williams (a Best Supporting Actress nominee) and their new daughter. "She's the most beautiful, beautiful little girl," the actor, 26, told Oprah Winfrey. But who will watch 3-month-old Matilda on Oscar night? Williams's mother has already offered.
Up next: The Australian indie Candy

06 of 09

CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON
Armando Gallo/Retna

Nomination: Best Actress, North Country
For her turn as a tough miner, Theron, 30, had a great role model – mom Gerda, who ran a construction company. "She knew how to change a spark plug, knew how to fix an engine better than a guy," the actress, 30, said recently. "So I grew up thinking you can be whatever you want to be."
Up next: The drama The Ice at the Bottom of the World

07 of 09

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Nomination: Best Actor, Capote
Hoffman, 38, cut his teeth in theater, where he's collaborated with costume-designer girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell (they have a 2-year-old son, Cooper). He remains humble about how far he's come: "We want to be accepted and admired," he's said, "but I don't think that's a hole that is ever filled."
Up next: Playing the villain in Mission: Impossible 3 opposite his Magnolia costar Tom Cruise

08 of 09

CATHERINE KEENER

CATHERINE KEENER
Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Nomination: Best Supporting Actress, Capote
"I don't have the looks to be a Hollywood diva," jokes the indie favorite, 46, who's mom to Clyde, 6, with husband Dermot Mulroney. As for filming Capote with Philip Seymour Hoffman, "All I knew was that I had to clear his face so the camera could get both of us," she told Time.
Up next: Friends with Money, with pal Jennifer Aniston

09 of 09

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

JAKE GYLLENHAAL
Armando Gallo / Retna

Nomination: Best Supporting Actor, Brokeback Mountain
The 25-year-old, who dated Kirsten Dunst off and on for years, filmed Brokeback mid-breakup – which made his performance especially poignant. "If you're not alive and feeling what you're feeling … it gets to be bland," he told Oprah Winfrey. "So yeah, I brought that period of my life into the movie."
Up next: Filming serial-killer drama Zodiac

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