Gaga and Bradley! Lupita & Michael! 10 of the Best On-Screen Collaborations from This Year's Oscar-Nominated Films
Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz & Emma Stone in The Favourite
This trio was certainly a fan favourite this awards season, both on and off the screen. The leading ladies grew close while making the movie, as evidenced by Colman playfully referring to her costars as "my bitches" in her Golden Globes acceptance speech for best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy.
The film is based on the true story of two cousins vying for Queen Anne's affection in 18th century England. In the film, Anne (Olivia Colman), who is suffering from gout, relies heavily on her adviser and secret lover, Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz). Sarah has major sway over how the Queen rules the country — until Sarah’s younger cousin, Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), arrives and charms her way into the Queen’s good graces — and her bed.
The Favourite also made history with all three of its leading ladies nominated for an Academy Award, with Olivia Colman up for Best Actress and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz up against each other in Best Supporting Actress.
Michael B. Jordan & Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther
On-screen, Nakia (Nyong'o) may share chemistry with T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as the pair work to take down Erik Killmonger (Jordan) and protect their African nation of Wakanda — but off-screen, fans have been shipping Nyong'o and Jordan since day one.
"We’re good friends," Jordan told Entertainment Tonight. "Honestly, we’ve known each other a really long time and respect each other and I love this girl to death."
Nyong’o feels the same. "It’s flattering at the end of the day. I think it’s such a rare thing to find people you have good chemistry with and too for us to find each other as actors and get to work together, it makes the work richer that we truly enjoy each other’s company on and off screen," Nyong’o explained to ET.
Black Panther is nominated for Best Picture and several technical awards.
Bradley Cooper & Sam Elliott in A Star Is Born
It's difficult to imagine Cooper's directorial (and musical) debut without the influence of Elliott, whose voice was a source of inspiration to Cooper for his character and prompted the director to cast Elliott as his brother. Their performances earned Cooper a nomination for Best Actor and Elliott one for Best Supporting Actor.
As Bobby Maine, Elliott portrays the older brother and under-appreciated tour manager of Cooper’s Jackson Maine, who struggles with addiction and alcoholism. The two are at odds in the film over Bobby’s failed music career and Jackson’s success — due in part to his mimicking Bobby's deep and raspy voice (Elliott's real-life trademark).
Speaking to Deadline about his bond with Cooper, the actor revealed, "Yeah, I think everybody just threw in so deeply with Bradley, and the one thing he asked of all us was to trust him. A pretty amazing thing to ask somebody you don’t know. I’d never crossed paths with Bradley before this film, and he asked me to do that. I think it was the last thing he said to me the first time I met him, 'Just trust me, and you’ll be glad you did.' "
Rami Malek & Lucy Boynton in Bohemian Rhapsody
Malek’s performance as famed Queen frontman Freddie Mercury earned him a host of nominations this award season, including Best Actor — and to top it all off, he also found love on set.
The actor confirmed his romance with his costar Lucy Boynton at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Film Awards Gala on Jan. 3, 2019, several months after the two were first spotted being affectionate in public together.
Malek gave his leading lady — and real-life love — a sweet shoutout while accepting the award for breakthrough performance.
"Thank you, Lucy Boynton. You have been my ally, my confidant, you are my love," he said. "I appreciate you so much."
Boynton plays Mary Austin in the film, Mercury’s former fiancée and lifelong confidant who inherited half of his estate when he died from complications of AIDS in 1991.
Amy Adams & Christian Bale in Vice
In their second turn as on-screen love interests, Bale and Adams' portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, earned them the nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
As Lynne, Adams plays the woman-behind-the-man, and as Cheney, Bale plays the man-behind-the-presidency.
The two previously starred opposite each other in American Hustle, and costarred in The Fighter.
Adam Driver & John David Washington in BlacKkKlansman
Set in the early 1970s, the film sees Washington as real-life American hero Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. When Stallworth devises a plan to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, he enlists Flip Zimmerman (Driver), who is a more seasoned — and white — officer, to go undercover as he works behind the scenes.
The two make for quite the dynamic duo as they risk their lives while partnering up to take down the extremist group.
The film is up for Best Picture, with Spike Lee up for Best Director and Driver nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Washington, who is the son of actor Denzel Washington, earned the Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a drama.
Richard E. Grant & Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
The friendship that develops on-screen between writer-turned-literary forger Lee Israel (McCarthy) and gay conman Jack Hock (Grant) is a hilarious and heartbreaking exploration of platonic love. The incredible chemistry between the pair earned them each a nomination from the Academy, with McCarthy up for Best Actress and Grant for Best Supporting Actor. (Spoilers follow.)
The two become unlikely partners in crime as Israel begins to forge letters by dead celebrities in order to pay her rent, and Grant, who is suffering from AIDS, becomes one of her only friends. McCarthy revealed to PEOPLE that the intimate moments their characters share make up some of her favorite scenes.
"My favorite moment, which was the hardest moment, was our last scene," the actress told PEOPLE. "The lovely Richard E. Grant, when you know he’s dying of AIDS, that whole scene, when we kind of rekindle as best as we can what our friendship was, and he says, 'Make me 29 and don’t make me stupid.' And I’m probably ruining the quote, but I can never get through it."
Grant's quote refers to how his character wants to be portrayed in Israel’s memoir, on which the movie is based.
"He was so beautiful in that," McCarthy said of her costar's heartfelt performance. "That was the moment for me where I just thought, oh, he’s amazing."
Viggo Mortensen & Mahershala Ali in Green Book
Set in the 1960s Deep South, the movie tells the story of the unexpected bond that develops between Dr. Don Shirley, a celebrated black jazz pianist on tour portrayed by Ali, and his Italian-American driver Tony Lip, played by Mortensen. Their performances earned them each nominations, with Mortensen up for Best Actor and Ali for Best Supporting Actor.
Ali, who has already taken home the award at both the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes, has shared his heartfelt appreciation for his costar in his acceptance speeches.
"Viggo, it’s been an honor going on this journey with you. Such a beautiful actor and person. You make me better," he said at the SAG Awards.
He elaborated on their bond during his Golden Globe acceptance speech, saying, "Viggo, you are an extraordinary scene partner. You pushed me every day, no days off. Even the days off weren’t days off. Thank you, brother, I love you."
Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira in Roma
Alfonso Cuarón's Roma paints a black-and-white love story about the two women who raised him — Cleo (played by breakout star Aparicio), a live-in maid with a Mixteco Mesoamerican background, and her employer, Sofía (Tavira).
The women's lives start to come apart at the same time, showing that their class distinction does not protect them from being left alone.
Tied with The Favourite for the most Oscar nominations — 10 — Roma put Aparicio on the map, and her performance earned her a nomination for Best Actress, with Tavira up for Best Supporting Actress.
"If the film wins any awards, I’m definitely going to cry," Aparicio told PEOPLE, adding she’d love to sit by her mother and Cuarón during the awards ceremony.
Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's sweet friendship has made as many headlines as their highly praised film, which Cooper directed. Though The Academy didn't recognize him in that category, he's up for Best Actor at the Oscars, and Gaga for Best Actress.
The actors first met before filming started when Cooper made a trip to Gaga’s home in Los Angeles and the two immediately bonded. They haven't stopped talking about their mutual affection since.
"We had instant chemistry when I met him," Gaga said in an interview with Good Morning America. "As soon as I opened the door to my house and saw him, it was like, ‘You hungry?’ We’re both Italian and from the East Coast and before I knew it, I was heating up some leftovers for him and we were eating together."
The two have often reflected on how working together on the film — which sees Cooper as Jackson Maine, a musician struggling with addiction who falls in love with aspiring singer Ali (Gaga) and helps launch her career — has changed them for the better.
"I made a friend for life. As great as this movie was, the thing that I think I’ll take away forever is the relationship I have with her because she is an incredible person. I’m very lucky to have worked with her," Cooper told PEOPLE at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere.
The singer said the same about her costar and director in a previous Entertainment Weekly interview.
"It just has changed me," Gaga said of her role in the film. "Watching Bradley work was phenomenal and then having him believe in me — it gave me more ammunition to believe in myself and I just feel so blessed to have had that experience."