The first meeting after the end of awards season was always brutal. If they were lucky they didn’t lose any members, but usually there was always one or two.
It was worst for the ones who had been nominated and were returning empty-handed. Months of campaigning where, even when they knew they weren’t the favorite, knew they didn’t stand a chance, they could still allow themselves a glimmer of hope that they might hear their name. But by the time they would return to that nondescript room in April, their dreams had been dashed once more.
No one knows for sure when the No, I Really Don’t Have An Oscar (Seriously, I Don’t) Club was first created, but legend has it that the late Peter O’ Toole* began it sometime after he lost for the fourth time in 1969. Now the group meets every other month, grateful for this safe space where they can release their anger, sadness and, most of all, shame.
Today’s meeting is about to start. Amy Adams is hanging a framed photo of Julianne Moore on the wall, the snap of her clutching her Oscar wedged in between Kate Winslet and Martin Scorsese, on a bulletin board. “If they can do it, so can you!” reads the motivational header, in bubble block letters. There is also a picture of Meryl Streep—just because.
Tom Cruise is jumping on a couch in the corner of the room. Annette Bening** is playing darts, a magazine cut-out of Hilary Swank pasted over the bullseye. Bradley Cooper and Will Smith are trading self-help books. A table is filled with Evian and sushi, an upgrade from meetings during awards season—when they’re only allowed to serve mason jars filled with mountain air (it’s sweeter).
Amy calls the session into order, pounding a Golden Globe statuette like a gavel into the table at the head of the room. The angel’s head breaks off. “Oops!” she laughs, throwing it into a box full of smashed trophies before grabbing a new one. After everyone takes their seats, she speaks.
“Hello, everyone.” she says.
“Hello Amy,” they respond.
“As you all know, our esteemed and valiant president, Julianne Moore, has left us recently.”
The actors gaze at the dream board. Full of jealousy, full of hope.
Amy snaps them back to attention again with a pound of her Globe gavel. “But before I announce who she has chosen as her successor, I would like us to welcome a new member. Michael, would you please stand?”
Michael Keaton sheepishly rises out of his chair for a split second.
“Welcome Michael, we hope you won’t be staying with us long!’ Amy says sweetly.
“You should have gotten the agenda in your emails, but I wanted to remind you all that our next event is the burning of the People’s Choice Awards,” she continues. “And that’ll be at Johnny’s private island in May, thanks Johnny!”
Johnny Depp gives her a little salute.
“And now,” she begins dramatically. “The presidential position for the NIRDHAOSID support group – club, I mean club – goes to…Leonardo DiCaprio!”
The group whoops and cheers in an attempt to mask their envy. The presidency always goes to the person everyone believes is most likely to win the Oscar next—it’s considered the ultimate good luck charm.
Amy looks into the crowd. “Has anyone seen Leo?’ she says, ‘Leo, can you stand up for us?”
Suddenly, a mob of Leonardo DiCaprios, of various ages (but all beautiful), fill the room.
Tom Cruise gazes at them in awe. “Is this the rapture?” he asks.
For a second, the only sound in the space is heavy breathing.
Finally, Wolf of Wall Street Leo speaks.
“You guys can’t be serious,” he says, staring at his twenty faces. “I was the most recently nominated, I obviously deserve the presidency.”
“Hold on a second,” Amy looks into the crowd. “Where is the real LEO?”
WOWS Leo gazes at her adoringly. “I don’t know but don’t you prefer me?” He blows her a kiss and money spills from his lips. She sighs.
“All in favo—”
“Woah woah woah,” Robert Downey Jr. cuts her off. “No way does he deserve it,” RDJ says, turning to WOWS Leo. “You really think we’re going to believe it was hard to act rich?”
Some of the crowd murmurs in agreement.
“Hey guys, hey!” Its Gilbert Grape Leo, everyone turns and looks at him adoringly.
“We all know it has to be me, right? I should have won anyway—isn’t it basically law that actors get the Oscar after playing someone with a disability?”
Tom Cruise*** suddenly jumps up on his chair, “DAMN YOU DUSTIN HOFFMAN.”
“It’s true,” Michael Keaton grumbles, not looking up from a photo of Eddie Redmayne.
“And he was only 19,” Will says, offering his support.
“Oh, please. You think that’s hard? Try playing two different people. In the same movie. When you’re 10.”
Everyone turns to see Lindsay Lohan, sipping one of the Evians and smoking a cigarette.
“Shit,” she stares at their quizzical faces. “Think I went to the wrong group.”
The front door breaks down. Its Django Unchained Leo, riding in on a horse and carriage. “Could I offer anyone,” his southern twang thick, “a cigar?”
The support group cheers their approval. “You were totally robbed, man!” someone yells.
“Hold on a minute.” Another Leo walks up to Django Leo and grabs the cigar from his mouth. “Shouldn’t we really only be considering those of us Leos who did actually get nominated?”
Everyone looks at him confused, trying to place him.
“Dude,” Bradley Cooper says. “What were you even in?”
“Come on man,” the Leo wails. “Blood Diamond? You didn’t see Blood Diamond!?”
Everyone stares at their manicured hands uncomfortably.
Suddenly, circa-1996 Tobey Maguire**** steals the Golden Globe gavel. “I’m going to make this much easier for all of you,” he says confidently. “I give you, Titanic Leo!”
Titanic Leo struts into the room, flanked by a slew of models.
He takes the stand, and looks out at the crowd.
“PAINT ME LIKE ONE OF THOSE FRENCH GIRLS,” someone screams, throwing their boxers at his face.
“I’m already king of the world,” he smiles and winks. “Won’t you make me your president?”
And then an Evian bottle flying through the air smacks him in the head.
“I thought I told you guys to stop using water bottles,” another Leo screams. “I’m perfectly happy to lend you my Brita! Don’t you care about the dolphins at all?”
It’s Environmental Leo. He pushes his baby-faced alter ego to the ground. “Without a question you should obviously elect me,” he says with confidence. “I will use this position for good, only.”
Amy tries to grab the gavel out of his hands, “It’s really more of a secret posit—”
“You weren’t even in a movie, man!” John Travolta yells from the back. The crowd murmurs in agreement.
“Just because The 11th Hour was a documentary doesn’t mean it wasn’t a movie!” Environmental Leo screams.
“Wait a minute!” someone yells out from the crowd, “Isn’t that Inception Leo?”
Inception Leo tries to sink lower in his chair, hoping no one will see him. “This is just a dream,” he murmurs to himself, “please let this just be a dream.”
“LEO, DID THE TOP FALL DOWN OR NOT?”
“LEO, WAS IT A DREAM THE WHOLE TIME. WHY WON’T YOU EVER TELL US?”
Will Smith is on his knees, begging. “Leo, please,” he says, desperately. “Willow and Jaden will. Not. Shut. Up. About. This.”
He grabs Inception Leo’s hand. “I need the answer Leo, I NEED IT.”
“I’m not really here,” Inception Leo whispers to himself, just like his therapist taught him. Or maybe it was that new Netflix show. “I’m not really here, I’m not really here, I’m not really here.”
The crowd has turned into a full-on riot as everyone argues over whether the totem really kept spinning. But, mostly they’re just relishing the chance to slap each other in the face.
“Hey, remember the rules,” Amy screams as she pulls on Bradley Cooper’s curly locks. “No punching above the neck!”
The fight finally breaks up when someone finds out there’s a new serial killer role up for grabs. Everyone leaves a bit battered and bruised, but they all make it out alive.
Except for Titanic Leo. Tobey let go.
*Peter O’ Toole holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations (eight) without a win.
**Both years that Annette Bening was considered a strong contender for the Best Actress statuette (1999 for American Beauty and 2004 for Being Julia), she was defeated by Hilary Swank.
***Dustin Hoffman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of an autistic man in Rain Man. Tom Cruise also starred in the film, as his brother.
****At the height of post-Titanic Leomania, Tobey Maguire and Leo DiCaprio were notorious for leading a pack of partying child stars known as the Pussy Posse.