Screen Actors Guild's 8 Edgiest Contenders

Cate in drag, Juno's hot newcomer and more from the most surprising and offbeat nominees. By Suzy Byrne

01 of 08

ELLEN PAGE

ELLEN PAGE
Kevin Winter/Getty

Nomination: Lead actress in a movie for her portrayal of a pregnant teen planning to give up her baby for adoption in the comedy Juno.
Political Statement?: "I've been approached with the, 'Oh, wow, it's really amazing that you take on these feminist roles,'" newcomer Page, 20, told NPR. "But often I'm like, 'You know what? I'm actually just playing honest, whole young women.'"
Next Up: Page plays an arrogant young Republican opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in the romantic comedy Smart People.

02 of 08

CATE BLANCHETT

CATE BLANCHETT
Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage

Nominations: Lead actress (for Elizabeth: The Golden Age) and supporting actress (for playing Bob Dylan in I'm Not There).
Natural Selection: "Maybe unconsciously one job is an antidote to another job," Blanchett, 38 and a two-time winner, has said. "I mean, you couldn't have a greater antidote to playing Elizabeth I than playing Bob Dylan."
Next Up: She'll reunite with Brad Pitt for the epic romance The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and appear in the fourth Indiana Jones movie – as a villain!

03 of 08

JAVIER BARDEM

JAVIER BARDEM
Kevin Winter/Getty

Nominations: Supporting actor in a movie for his murderous turn in No Country for Old Men and a cast award.
On the Language Barrier: "It's like a corset that you have to live with," the Spanish-born actor, 38, told L.A.'s Daily News about English-language films. "But once you conquer it, you feel free in another way."
Next Up: Bardem, a first-time nominee, will star with rumored girlfriend Penélope Cruz in Woody Allen's upcoming comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

04 of 08

CATHERINE KEENER

CATHERINE KEENER
Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov

Nominations: The six-time nominee is up for two awards for the Sean Penn-directed adventure Into the Wild – supporting actress (as a maternal hippie) and a cast award.
The 48-Year-Old Fame Virgin: "No one ever recognizes me – it's fantastic," Keener, 48, told Entertainment Weekly. "The Where's Waldo-ness ... has never been anything but a positive thing to me."
Next Up: Keener has several films in the hopper, including What Just Happened?, costarring Robert De Niro.

05 of 08

CASEY AFFLECK

CASEY AFFLECK
David Silpa/UPI/Landov

Nomination: Best supporting actor in the outlaw saga The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, in which he plays the titular Bob Ford.
Good Impression: "It's really nice that people respond to the movie and the performances in the movie," Affleck, 32, told AOL. "I've been in a lot of movies where that's not the case, so it's a nice change."
Next Up: Ben's little brother is voicing a character in the animated movie Aardvark Art's Art.

06 of 08

RYAN GOSLING

RYAN GOSLING
Lester Cohen/WireImage

Nominations: Lead actor for the comedy Lars and the Real Girl.
Free Bird: "My uncle Bill went into a paper mill at 19 and he came out at 50," Gosling, 27, told the Associated Press. "And as much as I admire him, it made me think, I wonder if there's anything out there that allows me a little more freedom than that?"
Next Up: The two-time nominee dropped out of The Lovely Bones, but his nominations (including Golden Globes) will keep him busy.

07 of 08

JAMES GANDOLFINI

JAMES GANDOLFINI
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Nominations: Best actor and best ensemble for the final season of The Sopranos (He's already won three times!)
The Soprano's Final Note: "I was told that it would be a transition," the notoriously press shy Gandolfini, 46, told the Associated Press about ending the series. "Not much. It's very calming to move on."
Next Up: Gandolfini, who signed a production deal with HBO, lends his voice to Where the Wild Things Are, the movie based upon the popular children's book.

08 of 08

EMILE HIRSCH

EMILE HIRSCH
Jesse Grant/WireImage

Nominations: Lead actor for playing real-life adventurer Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild.
In Memoriam: "I met with Chris's [family] and it just sunk in that ... Chris was a real person and I better not forget that," Hirsch, 22, told The New York Sun. "I'm more grateful ... for the people who are going to see this film and start to understand what he was doing."
Next Up: Hirsch is speeding ahead with a movie version of the Japanese cartoon Speed Racer.

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