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LEAD or SUPPORTING? Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in ‘Chicago’

Image from the movie "Chicago"
© 2002 Miramax − All right reserved.

Catherine Zeta-Jones‘ outstanding turn as the murderous Velma Kelly in “Chicago” is one of the greatest musical performances in the history of cinema. When Rob Marshall’s directorial debut received critical acclaim, the debate between the categorization of the three stars, Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger, and Zeta-Jones.

As analysts saw unfold during the 2002 awards season, Gere and Zellweger campaigned in the lead categories while Zeta-Jones went down the supporting route, despite being billed first on marketing materials.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who hosts the Golden Globes, nominated Zeta-Jones in Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical alongside Zellweger, who won the award. Later the SAG awards, which honors the campaign submissions, nominated and awarded Zeta-Jones in Supporting Actress.

In the end, Richard Gere ended as the big snub in Lead Actor at the Academy Awards, while Zellweger, despite wins at Globes and SAG, lost the Oscar to Nicole Kidman in “The Hours.” Catherine Zeta-Jones was triumphant and was also nominated alongside one of her co-stars Queen Latifah.

While Zeta-Jones has quite a lot of screen time, it seems to be open for a debate on her official status and where she should have campaigned.

Is Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”) really a SUPPORTING player?
Vote below.

Is it category fraud or is it sincerely open for debate? For decades the Academy Awards and movie studios have pushed or cited a performance that is heavily believed to be a lead performance in a supporting category or vice versa.

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  • Is Catherine Zeta-Jones SUPPORTING in “Chicago?”

    Catherine Zeta Jones Chicago

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.

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Joey Magidson

Supporting

Ryan McDermond

Supporting, but I wouldn’t argue with someone for placing her lead.

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