Oscars: Kristen Stewart Crowned First-Time Oscar Nominee for ‘Spencer’

The actress is also now among one of only a handful of openly LGBTQ actors to receive a nomination.

Kristen Stewart has earned her first Oscar nod for her starring role in Spencer, as announced during the 94th annual Academy Awards nominations on Tuesday.

Stewart was nominated in the best actress category for her role as the late Princess Diana in the biopic from director Pablo Larraín. Along with her first-time nomination, the actress, who identifies as bisexual, joins just a handful of known, openly LGBTQ actors to receive a nomination in an acting category.

Ian McKellan, who is gay, was nominated over 20 years ago for his roles in Lord of the Rings and Gods and Monsters, and has frequently been credited as the first. However, Jaye Davidson, who is also gay, was nominated in 1992 for best supporting actor in The Crying GameWest Side Story‘s Ariana DeBose, who identifies as queer, also joins Stewart among the list of 2022 Oscar nominees.

The actress was nominated alongside Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter), Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) and Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos).

Despite racking up a number of wins from national film critic associations all year and gaining early front-runner status from awards analysts for the best actress Oscar, before Tuesday, the Golden Globes had been the only major awarding body to nominate Stewart for her portrayal of the Princess of Wales. The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, Critics Choice Awards and BAFTAs all snubbed the Spencer actress, raising doubt about her Oscar recognition.

Stewart’s honor marks the only Oscar nomination for the film in a major category.

Spencer follows Diana over a three-day weekend in 1991 as she stays at the queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, for Christmas festivities. While there, she grapples with her mental health and the decision to end her marriage to Prince Charles.

Written by Steven Knight, the film also stars Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins and Sean Harris. It premiered in competition at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, Telluride and TIFF.

In a statement noting Stewart’s nomination, GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis celebrated this year’s historic LGBTQ nominations while urging the Academy to “prioritize investing in and recognizing creators and stories” from LGBTQ talent.

“This year’s Oscar nominations for performances from queer actors including Ariana DeBose and Kristen Stewart, as well for powerful LGBTQ stories in films like West Side StoryFlee and The Mitchells vs. The Machines, are clear reminders of the opportunities that exist with audiences and critics when Hollywood invests in queer talent and tells diverse stories in bold and original ways,” Ellis said.

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