Russell Brand, Beyonce invited to be Oscar voters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Even after struggling to establish himself as a Hollywood leading man, raunchy English comedian Russell Brand has been invited to become an Oscar voter.
He is among 178 actors, filmmakers and other Hollywood notables invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization said on Friday.
Brand was most recently in theaters with a critically mauled remake of "Arthur," which grossed just $33 million at the North American box office. Last year he was seen in "The Tempest" ($280,000) and "Get Him to the Greek" ($61 million).
Also on the list are R&B singer and occasional actress Beyonce Knowles, "Hangover" star Bradley Cooper, the husband-and-wife duo of David Duchovny and Tea Leoni, and a crop of 2011 Oscar nominees including Jesse Eisenberg, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Lawrence and Australian actress Jacki Weaver.
Tom Hooper, who won the best director Oscar this year for "The King's Speech," was among the eight directors invited. Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier whose "In a Better World" won for foreign-language film, also made the cut, as did Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar-winning writer of "The Social Network."
In a symbolic gesture, the list includes "Restrepo" co-director Tim Hetherington, who was recently killed during the Libya uprising.
The academy said its voting membership has held steady at just under 6,000 people since 2003.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Christine Kearney)
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