There are some Oscar recipients who don’t have to sweat the big night  — they already know they are receiving honorary statuettes at this year’s Governors Awards, which will be held Nov. 19 in Los Angeles. 

Michael J. Fox 

Five-time Emmy Award winner Fox will be honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” In addition to starring in box office classics like the “Back to the Future” series, Fox has worked with some of the best directors in the business, including Peter Jackson (“The Frighteners”) and Rob Reiner (“The American President”) in a wide range of genres. In 2000, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He is also the subject of an upcoming documentary  from Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim for Apple Original Films.

Euzhan Palcy

Palcy had hoped she would have had a couple of Oscars by now, but life didn’t work out that way. Even though her career has yielded only three directorial features, her trailblazing presence in cinema is seen decades later. “A Dry White Season” (1989) earned Marlon Brando his final Oscar nomination, and she still feels he should have won, but remains even more disappointed that her leading man, Donald Sutherland, wasn’t recognized.

“It was a tough political film at the time,” she says. “Hollywood wouldn’t go for that.”

Palcy didn’t “fail” at making movies, she walked away because Hollywood wasn’t open to her creative vision. “I wanted to make beautiful projects. They said Black and female are not bankable.”

Six scripts are on her table at her home, waiting to be made by any studio willing to support her vision. “I’m ready,” she says.

 She has a message for the
next generation of filmmakers: “When you love something, don’t let anyone get you off track from your dream.”

Diane Warren

Former AMPAS president David Rubin called Warren out of the blue in June to tell her she was receiving a Honorary Oscar, and she has no inhibitions about showing her excitement. 

With 13 Oscar noms over her career, she says there’s been two times she really thought she was going to win: “Because You Loved Me” from “Up Close & Personal” (1996) and “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground” (2015), which she co-wrote with Lady Gaga. “It never gets less exciting,” she says. “Every time I get nominated, I think of it as a win.”

She loves what she does and has no hesitation talking openly about the dream to one day win a competitive Oscar. She also hates it when any of her peers who have won or have been nominated belittle the honor.

“Fuck you. No fucking way. You were up all night. Your agent didn’t call you. You couldn’t sleep, just like me. I hate it when they say they use it for a door stop or something like that. That’s so disrespectful. It’s from your peers. It’s a huge honor,” Warren says. 

Don’t think just because Warren is getting an Honorary Oscar, she’s going to stop trying to win one of her own. Warren could get her 14th nom with “Applause” from the documentary “Tell It Like a Woman.” And she’ll have another shot at an Oscar nom and possible win with her song from  a doc feature about her life, currently untitled and in production with XTR, is released next year. 

Peter Weir

The versatile Australian filmmaker is a six-time Academy Award nominee across three different categories — he’s been nominated for director of “Witness,” “Dead Poet’s Society,” “The Truman Show” and “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World.” The latter also netted him a producer nod for best picture and he earned a screenplay nomination for “Green Card.” He is known for garnering excellent performances from actors, including Linda Hunt, who won an Oscar for their collaboration on “The Year of Living Dangerously,” and Harrison Ford, who,  with ‘Witness,” landed his only Oscar nomination. He also directed Rosie Perez to an Oscar nomination with “Fearless” and Robin Williams to a nom for “Dead Poets Society.

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