The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced earlier this week that it had invited a record-shattering group of 928 professionals to join its ranks. This new list of members focuses heavily on people of color, women, and international filmmakers, all of whom will be able to vote on next year’s Oscars.
Each year since April Reign kicked off the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the membership rolls have been steadily adding more women and people of color. In 2015, only 25% of the members were women, and only 8% were people of color; after this year’s addition, women will make up 31% of the Academy’s membership and people of color will have doubled their ranks to 16%. We’ll see how the shifts impact nominations when awards season kicks into gear.
Some 109 names from last year’s ceremony are among the class of 928 new invitees, including Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya. Let’s take a look at some of the new Academy members you may recognize, and the Certified Fresh projects you know them from or should check out – stat!
In 2018, Haddish made her mark on the Academy: first with her hilarious reading of the Oscar nominees and then with her ceremony presentation – in that white dress, yet again – alongside fellow new invitee Maya Rudolf. Most people know her from her breakout roll in the Certified Fresh Girls Trip (that she didn’t land a nom herself for the 90% movie is some sort of crime), but you may also recognize her from Keanu, The Carmichael Show, as well as this weekend’s Uncle Drew. Catch her later in the year in Night School.
If we are in a rom-com-naissance, then Emily V. Gordon and her writing partner and husband Kumail Nanjiani might be said to have kicked it off with their runaway indie hit, The Big Sick – Certified Fresh at 98%. Since her Oscar run last year, Gordon has been keeping busy. It was just announced that she will adapt The Nest for Amazon and pen an immigrant anthology series alongside her husband for Apple TV.
Though Kravitz has been acting consistently for the past few years, it was her portrayal of Bonnie in HBO’s hit, Big Little Lies (season 1 sits Certified Fresh at 93% on the Tomatometer), that brought her to the world’s – and presumably the Academy’s – attention. While that series is where most know her from, she also featured in the Divergent franchise and in the Oscar-nominated Mad Max: Fury Road – a huge 97% on the Tomatometer. Check her out later this year in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and in sci-fi adventure Kin.
The Academy extended invitations to several comics this year, including Leslie Jones, Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress, and Dave Chappelle. Chappelle, who wrote and starred in Half Baked (Rotten, but with an 81% Audience Score) and created Chappelle’s Show, returned to screens the past year with two buzzed-about Netflix specials. Be on the lookout for him next in Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born alongside Lady Gaga.
The very Fresh Mindy Project ended last year, but Kaling shows no signs of slowing down. She starred earlier this year in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, and is currently in theaters in the Fresh Ocean’s 8. It was reported last year that she is penning an episodic anthology adaptation of Four Weddings and a Funeral for Hulu. Kaling also wrote and will star in Late Night alongside Hugh Dancy and Emma Thompson next year.
The Algerian dancer-turned-actress first gained prominence as Gazelle, the badass henchman with blades, in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Certified Fresh at 74%. This year, she starred alongside Micheal B. Jordan in the HBO TV adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. You might also recognize her from Atomic Blonde, The Mummy, Hotel Artemis, or under a whole ton of makeup in the Certified Fresh Star Trek Beyond.
Evan Rachel Wood has been acting since she was a kid, but it was her portrayal of Dolores Abernathy, Westworld’s android-turned-revolutionary, that has really commanded the world’s attention, and earned her an Emmy nomination in the process. She also starred as the Vampire Queen in HBO’s True Blood, and as a rebellious teenager in the Catherine Hardwicke indie Thirteen.
The Academy may have tragically ignored director Angela Robinson’s Certified Fresh Professor Marston and the Wonder Women when it was nominating last year – seriously, check out this excellent 87%-er! – but it clearly thought enough of the film to inspire an invitation to Robinson as part of this year’s class. Robinson is a veteran writer and director of several TV projects, including True Blood, The L Word, and Hung.
The writer-producer-director-actress is most known from her role as Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation. She also executive produced documentary series Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, produces TNT breakout hit Claws, and wrote “Nosedive,” the Black Mirror episode about social media that had everyone promising to spend less time on their phones.
Park has been a working actor and comedian for over 15 years, but it’s in the last five or so that his star has risen thanks to scene-stealing roles on shows like Veep, and his starring role on ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat, which has been renewed for 2019. This July, he joins Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp – which sits at 88% on the Tomatometer.