2008 Indie Queens
She already has a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in her trophy case-for her over-the-edge performance in Girl, Interrupted-but this is the first-ever Spirit Award nomination for Angelina Jolie. The actress is up for Best Female Lead for her performance in the true-life drama, A Mighty Heart, for which she adopted a tricky French-Cuban accent and slipped on a prosthetic pregnant belly in order to transform herself into Mariane Pearl, wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. "I don't think there was ever a day I was sure of what I was doing," Jolie has said. "Only that I knew my heart was in the right place."
-Bronwyn Barnes and Maggie Chong
Sienna Miller showed off her acting chops in the indie flick Interview, holding her own as an American model/actress interviewed by a tough reporter played by Steve Buscemi. "They didn't say, 'Cut!' after a scene," Miller has said, "because half the crew was Dutch and 'cut' means something very rude. So they would yell, 'Halt!'" Look for the fun-loving blonde Brit to let her hair down at the ceremony.
Newcomer Ellen Page has been getting lots of buzz for playing the quirky teenager who gets knocked up in the offbeat flick, Juno. Page’s explanation for all the hype? "Juno dresses like she wants, says what she wants and doesn't apologize for it. Girls haven't had that sort of character before." The night after the Spirit Awards, Page will hit the red carpet at the Academy Awards, where she is nominated for Best Actress.
Cate Blanchett picked up a Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female in recognition of her gender-bending portrayal of Bob Dylan in I’m Not There. Always prepared to transform herself for challenging parts, Blanchett is up for an Academy Award for the same role. "I was obsessing about Bob Dylan and watching all of his press conferences," the Aussie actress has said about getting ready to play the folk icon. The intense preparation certainly paid off.
Queen of all Indie queens Parker Posey is nominated for her role as Nora Wilder in Broken English. "It's rare that I'm [offered] love stories," Posey has said about the role which scored her a second Spirit nod. "When I read [the script], I was so happy it wasn't overtly sentimental. Like, no one has makeup smeared on their face, running down hallways." Despite a scene-stealing turn in 2006's Superman remake, Posey prefers to stick with indie projects. "I don't play the game. I've done Hollywood movies and I see how toxic it can be," she has said.
Another past Academy Award winner-she took home an Oscar for her hilarious turn in My Cousin Vinny in 1992-up for her first Spirit Award is Marisa Tomei, star of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. For Tomei the role was very revealing. "I'm getting older and it was now or never," she has said of appearing nude in several scenes in the film. "There is an ease with growing up, feeling more comfortable in your own skin and caring less what people think."
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Over the course of her 30-year career, Jennifer Jason Leigh's starred in classic movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Single White Female. Leigh returned to the big screen to star in 2007's Margot at the Wedding and scored herself a Spirit Award nomination. Though the film was written and directed by her husband, Noah Baumbach, the actress maintains that she wasn't just handed the part. "I would have been pretty bummed if I wasn't in it," she has said.