The Oscars have stated that they want to increase diversity, so when I heard that the protagonist of The Whale movie was an Oscar nominee, I thought that this was great!

However, I saw on TV that the actor is a normal-weighing person, apparently disguising himself for the needs of the movie as an overweight person. That came a bit as a disappointment, because IMHO an overweight nominee would empower overweight young people to become actors, and not give up because they don't have the typical physique most Oscar nominees have.

So, were there any overweight Oscar nominees in the acting categories?

  • 1
    Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for best actress at the 2009 Oscars for the movie Precious. She received nominations for and won an astonishing number of awards for this role.
    – iandotkelly
    Feb 1 at 22:19
  • @iandotkelly nice finding!
    – gsamaras
    Feb 1 at 22:28
  • 2
    Describe "overweight". Overweight by society standards or health standards, such as Body Mass Index? Feb 2 at 12:42
  • @steelersquirrel I guess the index would be a good indicator.
    – gsamaras
    Feb 2 at 12:55
  • "[W]ere there any overweight Oscar nominees in the acting categories" ever? The last 10 years? Last year?
    – Joachim
    Feb 3 at 7:35

1 Answer 1


Note: This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, just a few examples.

"Overweight" is a subjective quality, but I would suggest that the late Philip Seymour Hoffman counts. He won Best Actor in 2005 for his role in Capote, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2007, 2008, and 2012.

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Jonah Hill was also overweight when he was nominated in 2011 for Moneyball (though he lost a lot of weight later that year), as was Melissa McCarthy when she was nominated for Bridesmaids (2011) and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018).

  • I wonder if the percentage of overweight nominees depicts the overweight population percentage; I am afraid not. Also, are these nominations halved between men and women? Probably not. Thanks for the answer!
    – gsamaras
    Feb 1 at 16:16
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    @gsamaras - "I wonder if the percentage of overweight nominees depicts the overweight population percentage..." Of course not. They're not average people; their appearance affects their bankability (do you think Daniel Craig would have gotten the role of James Bond if he were overweight? Or Tom Cruise of Top Gun?) There are plenty of overweight actors, btw, and one each in the best actor and best supporting actor categories. Feb 3 at 13:46
  • Yeah @anongoodnurse unfortunately you are right.
    – gsamaras
    Feb 3 at 14:05

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