Reading for the Stars: Books That Have Inspired 2013 Oscar Nominated Actors

2012_Oscars2013 has been a very literary year for Oscar nominated films.  We recently told you about the 2013 contenders that are based on books, but we also wanted to highlight the preferred reading material of the nominated actors.  So we did a little research and found a list of titles that have inspired the men in line for this year’s Best Actor Award.  Enjoy!



Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominee: Lincoln


Team of Rivals may not be Daniel Day Lewis’s all-time favorite book, but he did read it in preparation for his role in Lincoln and reportedly enjoyed it.  According to this article, Goodwin’s book inspired him to take the role of Abraham Lincoln in the first place, so we all owe Doris Kearns Goodwin a big thanks for that!

Denzel Washington
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominee: Flight


Denzel Washington has reportedly told Terry Gross and a number of other interviewers that Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha is his favorite book.  The actor is known for discussing topics like faith, religion, philosophy, and spirituality in interviews so it’s no surprise that he’s been so deeply inspired by this classic tale of self-discovery.

Hugh Jackman
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominee: Les Misérables


In a 2007 article from O Magazine, Hugh Jackman talks about five books that have inspired him as an actor, including John Steinbeck’s classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath.  Like Denzel Washington, Jackman also cites Siddhartha as a major literary influence, and has reportedly given away 100 copies of Hesse’s book.  Read about Hugh’s other literary influences here.

Bradley Cooper
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominee: Silver Linings Playbook


In a 2012 interview with The Daily Beast, heartthrob Bradley Cooper reported that Katherine Dunn’s novel Geek Love is among his favorite books.  We know how you feel, Bradley…it’s one of our favorites, too!  Cooper also mentions books by Sherman Alexie, Cormac McCarthy, Mark Twain, Vladimir Nabokov, and Ayn Rand.  As it turns out, Mr. Cooper has quite a soft spot for literature.  Read the full list of his favorites here.

Joaquin Phoenix
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominee: The Master

An_Awesome_BookOk we’ll admit it.  We don’t really know what books have inspired Joaquin Phoenix.  The man is an enigma and does not meet with a lot of reporters, or maybe he just doesn’t like to read.  Either way, he did read Dallas Clayton’s An Awesome Book aloud in his 2010 film I’m Still Here, and he seemed to be enjoying himself.  So there.

Looking for more Oscars coverage? Click here to access and download our complete guide to all of this year’s nominated titles and browse links to each of our reviews.

About Karli Cude

Karli Cude, previous moderator of Hooked Bookworm, is an avid reader and former bookseller. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and completed a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences in 2013.