Oscar Nominees: The Inside Story

Before the red carpet is rolled out, get to know some standout stars and find out what made their performances so special.

Bill Murray

Nomination: Best Actor, Lost in Translation
Why Him?: Murray gave a "magnificent performance," wrote PEOPLE's Rozen, playing an actor on a career downswing who befriends a young American woman in Tokyo – a departure from his signature slapstick comedic roles.
Did You Know?: Writer-director Sofia Coppola wanted Murray, 53, for the lead role so badly that she wooed him for eight months with constant phone calls.