BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (REUTERS) - The nominees for this year's best supporting actor Oscar are Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave," Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club," Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle," Jonah Hill for "The Wolf of Wall Street," and Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips."
Bradley Cooper earned his second Oscar nomination for his supporting role in "American Hustle" in which he co-stars as an unconventional FBI agent forced to work with a con man, a depiction of the 1970s ABSCAM scandal. The film is directed by David O. Russell, who previously directed Cooper in 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook," for which he was nominated for best male actor for his role as bipolar Pat. The 39-year-old actor has been on TV since 1999 and landed some supporting film roles. But it wasn't until he was cast as the cocky Phil in the 2009 buddy comedy, "The Hangover," that he found mainstream success. He landed leading roles in 2010's reboot of "The A-Team," 2011's action-thriller "Limitless," and 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook."
First-time nominee Michael Fassbender, 36, is nominated in the best supporting category for his role as a cruel master to best supporting actress nominee Lupita Nyong'o in "12 Years a Slave," which tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery. The film is based on Northup's account and was produced by Brad Pitt (who appears briefly in the film) and directed by Steve McQueen, who is nominated for best director, and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is nominated for best actor. Fassbender first made a splash playing Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen's "Hunger" back in 2008, and since then he has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame, starring in "Inglorious Basterds," "X-Men: First Class," "Shame," "Prometheus" and "12 Years a Slave."
Jonah Hill, 30, earned his second Oscar nomination with his supporting role in "The Wolf of Wall Street," a Martin Scorsese directed film based on the true story ofJordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. Hill co-starred as the funny sidekicks in "Superbad" and "21 Jump Street" and garnered a surprise Oscar nomination for his dramatic role in "Moneyball."
And rounding out the category is frontrunner and first-time nominee Jared Leto, 42, who has swept all the major acting awards this season for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club." A biopic set in 1985 Dallas, the film stars Oscar nominee Matthew McConaughey as electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof, who works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease. Leto plays his transgendered side-kick, Rayon. The film has been a breakout success story, garnering awards and attention from various film festivals, and is Leto's first film role in six years. The actor rose to fame as a complex teenager on 1990s TV series "My So-Called Life" and has had roles in 1999's "Fight Club," 2000's "Requiem for a Dream" and 2002's "Panic Room," He recently focused on being the frontman of the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars.
The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be handed out in a live telecast ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 2nd.