The four cast members of Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” will be split evenly between the Oscars’ lead and supporting categories, Amazon confirmed on Monday.
Kingsley Ben-Adir, who plays Malcolm X, and Eli Goree, who plays Cassius Clay (soon to change his name to Muhammad Ali) will campaign in the Best Actor category. Leslie Odom Jr., who plays singer Sam Cooke, and Aldis Hodge, who portrays football player Jim Brown, will campaign for Best Supporting Actor.
The other film that recently premiered with a large cast that could potentially have gone either lead or supporting, Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” has opted to campaign the entire ensemble in the supporting category.
Oscar voters in the acting categories are specifically instructed not to be influenced by the category for which a performance is campaigned, but to make their own decisions about whether it belongs in the lead or supporting category. It is rare for voters to nominate an actor in the category for which they were not campaigned, though Kate Winslet famously won the Best Actress Oscar for “The Reader,” in which she was campaigned for Best Supporting Actress.
“One Night in Miami” premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will open on Dec. 25. Based on the stage play by Kemp Powers, it takes place on the night in 1963 when Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston to take the heavyweight championship, and consists largely of an extended conversation between the four Black icons at a stormy time in American history.