Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence (below), Jesse Eisenberg and Jacki Weaver and comic Russell Brand are among the 178 artists and executives who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year, the Academy announced on Friday.
The list also includes a posthumous invitation to Tim Hetherington, the photographer and documentary filmmaker who was nominated for “Restrepo” and killed in Libya in April. The Academy described the invitation as “unprecedented.”
AMPAS revealed the list of names three days after the annual meeting at which its Board of Governors voted on those recommended for membership by the Academy’s individual branches.
Besides Lawrence, Eisenberg, Weaver and Brand, the 27 actors invited to membership include 2010 nominee John Hawkes, as well as Gerard Butler. Vincent Cassel, Bradley Cooper, Peter Dinklage, David Duchovny, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, Lesley Manville, Rooney Mara and Ellen Page.
Missing from the list: the 14-year-old “True Grit” supporting actress nominee Hailee Steinfeld.
Others invited include animator Sylvain Chomet; directors Gregg Araki, Susanne Bier, Tom Hooper and John Cameron Mitchell; executives Leslie Mooves, Rich Ross and Bill Pohlad; musician Terence Blanchard’ producers Cean Chaffin, Todd Lieberman and Gareth Unwin; and writers Stuart Blumberg, David Rabe, David Seidler and Aaron Sorkin.
Writer-directors Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are All Right”) and Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”) were invited by both the writers and directors branches, while Bob Peterson (“Up”) was invited by both the animators and the writers. Under Academy rules, they will need to choose one or the other.
Dawn Hudson and Ric Robertson, recently named the Academy’s CEO and COO, respectively, were invited to join as members-at-large. (Those members have all the privileges of membership except for representation on the board — which, considering their jobs, should not be a problem for Hudson or Robertson.)
To receive an invitation, a candidate must be sponsored by two members of the branch into which he or she will be admitted, and then must be approved by that branch’s executive committee.
The board went through those lists voting on the prospective members at Tuesday night’s board meeting, during which the governors also adopted a proposal to change the potential number of Best Picture nominees.
Under Academy rules, the organization could have added up to 211 members. The potential addition of 178 will keep Academy membership under 6,000, where it has stayed since 2003.