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What do all these Oscar nominees have in common…? UAL

Published date
20 Jan 2016

Now that the official nominations to this year’s Oscar race are out – we tally up the talent that count UAL as their alma mater.

TOM HARDY: Drama Centre London & UAL Honorary Fellow


UAL’s own Honorary Fellow, who also attended UAL’s Drama Centre London, Tom Hardy, is up for Best Supporting Actor in his race to nab his very first Oscar for his work in acclaimed front-runner, The Revenant. But it doesn’t just stop there. Hardy also appears in Mad Max: Fury Road – with both films up for an combined eye-watering 22 Academy Awards.

Hardy was studying at Drama Centre London, Central Saint Martins when he was offered his breakout role in HBO’s award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers. Award-winning performances followed in Bronson, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, amongst a string of stellar performances in both film, on screen and stage.

He inspired UAL graduates with his moving speech: “It’s okay to fail. You learn so much more from failure – it’s not embarrassing.”

Watch it here:

MICHAEL FASSBENDER: BA (Hons) Acting, Drama Centre London, UAL

Revised Michael Fassbender

Denis Makarenko /

All eyes are on Michael Fassbender, who is up for Best Actor, having channelled the visionary title character in the biopic, Steve Jobs. It may have been the same clarity of vision that overcame Fassbender, who decided at 17 to be an actor, moving to London to study at UAL’s Drama Centre London.

He has since forged a remarkable career, dotted with critically acclaimed independent films and box office hits, from 300, Inglourious Basterds, as well as starring in his award winning role in fellow UAL (Chelsea College of Arts) alumnus and Turner Prize winner, Steve McQueen’s film, Hunger.

With one Oscar nomination under his belt, thanks to his searing performance in 2014’s 12 Years A Slave – 2016 could be Fassbender’s year.

EVE STEWART: Theatre Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Cornerhouse Manchester; Paul Greenwood

Behind every great film, is a great designer. And in most cases, that designer is the great, Eve Stewart, having trained in theatre design at UAL’s Central Saint Martins. From Topsy-Turvy, Elizabeth I, The King’s Speech and Les Misérables, Stewart has collected a string of awards – carving out her reputation as the designer who can bring any great film to life.

With three Oscar nominations to her name already, this year she is up this year for Best Production Design for The Danish Girl.

SANDY POWELL: Theatre Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Sandy P


Multiple award-winner, Sandy Powell OBE, will seemingly never have to practice her gracious-‘loser’-Oscar face, having scored two Oscar nominations nods this year for Best Achievement in Costume Design for her work in both the dramatically different, Carol and Cinderella.

A veteran in the awards race, Powell has had practice jugging double Oscar nominations, having been nominated in 1998 for both Velvet Goldmine and Shakespeare In Love (winning the latter).

Powell trained at UAL’s Central Saint Martins, before crafting a stellar career that has included Academy Award wins for The Aviator and The Young Victoria, as well as having racked up an astonishing 10 Academy Award nominations in total.

JENNY BEAVAN: Theatre Design, Central Saint Martins & former Visiting Professor, UAL

Oscars Wiki

A graduate in Theatre Design at UAL’s Central Saint Martins, Jenny Beavan is also a former visiting UAL Professor, sharing her design talents with students, that led her to win the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for 1985’s, A Room With A View.

Beavan has racked up another nine Oscar nominations in total, making her one of the most in-demand designers in the biz. This year she is up for Best Achievement in Costume Design for her work in Mad Max: Fury Road.

JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER: Marshall Scholar, PhD in Fine Art at Central St Martins, UAL


Fernando Eimbcke, Olga Kurylenko, Joshua Oppenheimer (right) magicinfoto /

With a BA from Harvard University and a PhD from Central Saint Martins, UAL to his name, film director, Joshua Oppenheimer has astounded audiences with this documentary film-making.

In a follow up to his 2012 globally award-winning debut feature film, about the individuals who participated in the Indonesian killings of 1965-66, The Act of Killing, Oppenheimer has directed its companion film: The Look of Silence that has been nominated for this year’s Best Documentary.

Winning over 50 international film awards, Oppenheimer delivered a screening for US Congress members, calling on the US to acknowledge its role in the killings. He very well may do the same at this year’s Academy Awards.

Winners will be announced at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony which takes place on 28 February.