So how did Geoffrey Rush score a Golden Globe nomination for playing Albert Einstein in NatGeo’s limited series “Genius” when other Hollywood figures like Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor got the cold shoulder?
In late November, while the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was still accepting votes on its annual film and TV nominees, Rush was accused of unspecified misconduct during a 2015 production of “King Lear” mounted at the Sydney Theater Company. “They refused to illuminate me with the details,” an incredulous Rush said last month.
The HFPA did, however, shut out prominent industry figures who have been accused of misconduct in recent weeks. Not only did the HFPA snub past nominees Spacey and Tambor — they also shut out their oft-nominated streaming series, “House of Cards” and “Transparent.”
“There are clearly different standards when it comes to the nature of these accusations,” said one awards voter of the HFPA nominating Rush.
Indeed, Rush so vehemently denied any misbehavior that he sued Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph, argued that the paper had conflated the theater’s statement about a report of “inappropriate behavior” with the suggestion of sexual misconduct. (He apparently objected to headlines like “King Leer.”)
Rush did, however, did temporarily step down as the president of the Australian Film Academy so that the accusations would not distract from the group’s annual awards ceremony.
On Monday, Rush released a brief statement to thank the HFPA for the nomination: “This is good news for Albert Einstein. I believe in science. I also believe in the complexity of humankind. I am honoured to be in the company of fellow nominees who, with their artistry, have strived to define the multiplicity of dimensions in the male experience,” he said.
That said, the optics of the situation are awkward — unless more information emerges about his case that casts him in a better light. “If I were working with Geoffrey, I wouldn’t advise him to attend the show,” the voter said. “And it’s not likely he’ll win.”
His rep declined to comment for this story.