With fall officially upon us, it’s time to gear up for movie awards season in Hollywood. This is usually the time of year when studios roll out the films that they believe have the best chances of landing nominations in several key prerequisite award ceremonies leading up to the prestigious Academy Awards.
Performances in these films will also, of course, get a serious look for awards recognition. While there are a few actors whose movies were released earlier this year that deserve to be a part of the conversation (specifically Anthony Ramos and Olga Merediz for their roles in In the Heights), studios know that campaigning for accolades shouldn’t start too soon if you want to be remembered by year’s end.
That said, here’s a look at eight Latine actors – with films hitting theaters this fall – who currently have the best chance to get some recognition this awards season. Lists like this are fluid, but hopefully, most of these names will stay in the running as the crema rises to the top.
Clifton Collins Jr. – “Jockey”
Jockey had its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, but it won’t officially be released by Sony Pictures Classics until later this year. In the film, Clifton Collins Jr. gives the best performance of his career as Jackson Silva, a veteran horse jockey who is injured but can’t let go of the sport he loves. At Sundance, Collins Jr. received a Special Jury Award for Acting. A theatrical release for Jockey has not been announced yet.
Anya Taylor-Joy – “Last Night in Soho”
Things look like they get twisted in filmmaker Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller. The film stars Taylor-Joy as Sandie, a musical idol of the film’s main character Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), a fashion designer who mysteriously transports back to the 1960s. Last Night in Soho debuts in theaters on October 29, 2021.
Rachel Zegler – “West Side Story”
Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg cast first-time actress Zegler in the remake of the iconic musical as main character María Vásquez. In the 1961 film, the role was played by a white actress, Natalie Wood. In the film, María is a young woman who falls in love with the rival of her brother’s street gang. West Side Story debuts in theaters on December 10, 2021.
Benicio del Toro – “The French Dispatch”
In Wes Anderson’s new comedy, Oscar-winner del Toro (Traffic) stars as Moses Rosenthaler, a criminally insane artist and convicted murderer whose nude painting of a prison guard gets the attention of an art dealer (Adrien Brody), who is behind bars with him. The story is the first installment of a three-chapter film by the seven-time Oscar-nominated director, writer, and producer. The French Dispatch debuts in theaters on October 22, 2021.
Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story”
As the character Anita, DeBose probably has the biggest chance of landing a few award nominations from the entire West Side Story cast. In 1961, actress Rita Moreno became the first Latina to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress) for playing the same role. Anita is the girlfriend of a Puerto Rican gang leader (David Álvarez) and a close friend of the main character María (Zegler).
Salma Hayek – “House of Gucci”
The biographical crime drama stars Oscar nominee Hayek as Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, the clairvoyant friend of Patrizia Reggiani Gucci (Lady Gaga). In 1998, Gucci was sentenced to 29 years in prison for plotting to kill her ex-husband Maurizio, an heir to the Gucci fashion dynasty. Auriemma was given 25 years for helping to organize the murder. House of Gucci debuts in theaters on November 24, 2021.
David Álvarez – “West Side Story”
Like Ariana DeBose, Álvarez has some big dancing shoes to fill in the musical remake. He plays Bernardo Vásquez, the Puerto Rican gang leader who disapproves of his sister spending time with a rival gang member. In the original 1961 film, Bernardo was played by white actor George Chakiris, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the role.
Tessa Thompson – “Passing”
Passing had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, though hasn’t officially been released yet. In the film, Thompson plays Irene “Reenie” Redfield, one of two mixed-race childhood friends who reunite later in life. While Reenie identifies as Black, her friend Clare (Ruth Negga) “passes” as white. Passing will get a limited theatrical release on October 27, 2021, before hitting Netflix on November 10.