Entertainment & Arts

Oscar vote for Russell Brand after Academy invite

Russell Brand in Arthur
Image caption Russell Brand in the Arthur remake plays the role made famous by Dudley Moore in the 1981 original

Russell Brand has been invited to become a member the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation has said.

Brand is among 178 actors, film-makers and other Hollywood notables invited into the academy, therefore granting them the power to vote on the films competing for the Oscars.

Though best known as a comedian, Brand has made a number of films, including The Tempest, with Dame Helen Mirren, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To the Greek.

He was last seen on cinema screens in the remake of 80s comedy Arthur. The film, in which he again starred with Dame Helen, did not go down well with the critics or at the box office.

Brand moved to Hollywood to forge a career for himself in the movies in the wake of the scandal in the UK over his prank calls to Andrew Sachs in 2008.

Among the other names invited to join the academy is singer Beyonce, who has appeared in 10 films, including Dream Girls, The Pink Panther, Cadillac Records and Austin Powers in Goldmember.

Hangover star Bradley Cooper has also been invited along with married couple David Duchovny and Tea Leoni.

Among the nominees from this year's awards to be invited are 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, is among the eight directors invited.

The writers include Aaron Sorkin, who this year won an Oscar for The Social Network, and Danish film-maker Susanne Bier whose In a Better World won for foreign-language film.

The list also 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.

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