"Oh, it's an honor just to be nominated." That's what they say on Oscar night, all the nominees in their borrowed finery, shuffling past the paparazzi and self-proclaimed fashion police. (Seriously, why does Ryan Seacrest get to comment on anyone's outfit?) But deep inside, we know they're nervous as cats, secretly waiting to make a quick trip to the restroom for a nip of smuggled-in hooch.
We also know that there can be only one winner, which means that 80% of the field will walk away empty-handed that night. But not to worry -- the losers still have plenty of opportunities to milk their moment in the sun . They just need a little career counseling. You know, from us.
Obviously, we don't have time to run through every also-ran here, so we've picked one from each major acting category and offered some sage advice. We know that endorsement deals don't really sell things, but the companies that pay for them don't seem to have figured it out just yet. Strike while the iron is hot.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Loser: Christian Bale
You're a brilliant actor, Mr. Bale, a real credit to your teachers. But -- how can we put this delicately? -- you scare the crap out of us. You've watched women gain weight and lose weight and wear false noses and walk away with Oscar gold, but it's not working for you. We suggest you run down to the 7-11, grab a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and some bean dip, and let yourself go to pot just a little. Then, when your blood sugar has stabilized, reach out to Mazda. They love tall, lanky spokespeople, and being associated with those smiley, happy, friendly grilles couldn't hurt.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Loser: Hailee Steinfeld
Don't take it bad, Hailee. Honestly, it's Helena's turn. Besides, you're young, you're stunning, and you seem really down to earth. We have every confidence that you'll avoid the pitfalls of child stardom opened up by LiLo and, long before, Kim Richards. What's more, you're so slim and perky and fresh-faced, you're a shoo-in for the new Fiat 500 campaign. Heck, if YOU can't get people interested in it...
Actor in a Leading Role
Loser: Jesse Eisenberg
The Social Network was one of our favorite movies of 2010, but let's face it, Jesse: your emotional range in that thing ran the gamut from A to B. Besides, this is Colin Firth's year. Dude's been nominated twice with nothing to show for it. (We'd give odds to James Franco, too, except he's hosting the show, and it seems a little weird to have the host walk off with the trophy.) We suggest you drop by the High Gear Media offices, and we'll walk you down the block to Facebook, where you can work for them for real-real. It's not a car gig, but hey: any port in a storm.
Actress in a Leading Role
Loser: Nicole Kidman
No worries, Nicole: you've already got one Oscar on your mantelpiece, and you're young enough to win many more. In fact, we'd guess that parts of you are younger than the night's winner, Natalie Portman, who surely parlay her Black Swan role into an endorsement deal for the Aston Martin Cygnet. (See what we did there?) You, on the other hand, should make a bee line for Volvo. You're tall and sort of Scandinavian looking, which seems like a great fit for their ad campaigns (even though you technically hail from the other side of the planet, and even though the company is now based in China). Most importantly, like many Volvos we've driven, your face is undentable. Play to your strengths!