Steve Martin Admitted He Knows Why His Movies ‘Don’t Get Oscars’

Steve Martin movies might largely be crowdpleasers. But despite all the classic movies the actor has made, they’re hardly known for being top awards contenders. Martin has, of course, proven himself an invaluable comedic voice over the past few decades. And the actor has no delusions about how his work is perceived by award-giving bodies like the Oscars. Rather, Martin knows exactly why his movies never seem to get much recognition at the Oscars.

Steve Martin wears a suit and gestures toward himself on stage
Steve Martin | Michael Caulfield/WireImage

Steve Martin has been a comedy legend for decades

With 1979’s The Jerk, Martin established in one fell swoop just how much of a distinctive talent he truly is. The actor continued to do so throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and into the 2000s. Movies such as Three Amigos, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels proved his manic energy was tailor-made for the big screen.

And Martin continued to build on that screen persona. Ultimately, it evolved into that of a high-strung father figure. Movies like Parenthood, Father of the Bride, and Cheaper by the Dozen made Martin seem like the ultimate movie dad. Yet, the actor didn’t become a real-life father until the age of 67. Through it all, Oscar never took notice.

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The actor knows why he hasn’t gotten Oscar attention

That’s not to say Martin wasn’t celebrated. On the contrary, the actor received five Golden Globe Award nominations between 1981 and 1995, all in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy category. These included roles in Pennies from Heaven, All of Me, Roxanne, Parenthood, and Father of the Bride, Part II. Alas, Martin admitted he never expected recognition at the Academy Awards, though this had little to do with the quality of his work.

“It’s a lifetime of dismissal of comedy,” Martin said at a virtual session at the 2020 New Yorker Festival (via Independent). “And we who make it know that we really work hard. … ”Drama has an inherent weight and comedy has an inherent lightness. So I don’t worry about that. I don’t worry that comedians don’t get Oscars.”

What are Steve Martin’s most acclaimed performances?

In 2013, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — which hands out the Oscars — finally recognized Martin’s status as a comedy icon. The actor received an honorary award for his contributions to the art form. And despite the accolades and praise he received throughout his career, Martin’s most celebrated role came around recently.

The actor earned his sixth Golden Globe nomination for his role in Hulu series Only Murders in the Building. That show co-stars longtime friend and collaborator Martin Short and singer/actor Selena Gomez. Martin also earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, his first acknowledgment within the organization. Season 2 of Only Murders in the Building premieres on Hulu on June 28, 2022.

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