94th Academy Awards

All The First-Time Nominees at This Year's Academy Awards

The list includes Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Kristen Stewart, who said she was in a "dream state" after learning of her nomination

Billie Eilish (left) and Beyonce (right).
Getty Images/AP Images

The nominees for the 94th Academy Awards were announced on Feb. 8 ahead of the ceremony on March 27. Catching up on nominated films, including the 10 in the running for best picture, is easier than ever thanks to streaming.

While watching, take note of the performers and proof of work behind-the-scenes. There are plenty of first-time nominees among the categories, including Beyoncé for best original song, and Ariana DeBose for best actress in a supporting role.

Check out the rest of the talented crew of first-timers below.


Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Parkwood Entertainment
Beyoncé performs on stage during the "On the Run II" tour opener at Principality Stadium on June 6, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales.

Beyoncé already holds the record for most Grammys won by any singer. This marks her first-ever Oscar nomination. She and songwriter Dixson were nominated in the Best Original Song category for their song “Be Alive,” featured in the best picture nominee “King Richard.”

The lyrics of "Be Alive" speak to the themes of pride and family found in "King Richard," a biopic about Richard Williams' role in encouraging Venus and Serena Williams' tennis careers. The opening chorus goes, "It feels so good to be alive / Got all my family by my side / Couldn’t wipe this Black off if I tried / That’s why I lift my head with pride."

According to star Will Smith, Beyoncé asked to write a song for “King Richard” after attending a screening of the movie. “The marriage of a movie and a song is a kind of magic that’s unmatched in entertainment,” Smith told EW. “I was so happy when Beyoncé called.”

Jessie Buckley

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images For Society of London Theatre
Jessie Buckley attends The Olivier Awards 2022 Nominations Press Event at The Londoner Hotel on March 16, 2022 in London, England.

Jessie Buckley was nominated for best supporting actress for her work in "The Lost Daughter." Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, ‘The Lost Daughter” is a pensive adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name.

Buckley plays a younger version of Leda, with Olivia Colman taking on the character in the present day. Colman, who previously won an Academy Award for her work in “The Favourite,” was also nominated for “The Lost Daughter.”

In a statement posted to her Instagram, Buckley said she was "in complete shock" from the nomination. "‘The Lost Daughter’ is so special to me. To be recognized for anything connected to it is just a wild dream come true," she continued.

Ariana DeBose

Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Ariana DeBose arriving at the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Barker Hangar on Sunday, February 27, 2022.

Ariana DeBose was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role as Anita in Spielberg’s new adaptation of “West Side Story,” also nominated for Best Picture. DeBose said she was "absolutely overjoyed" by the nomination in a statement to CNN.

DeBose's win would be a historic. Rita Moreno played Anita in the 1961 “West Side Story” and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. DeBose's win would make them the third pair in Oscar history to win the same award for playing the same role.

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst attends attends the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar, Feb. 27, 2022, in Santa Monica, California.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
Kirsten Dunst attends the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar, Feb. 27, 2022, in Santa Monica, California.

Jane Campion's western "The Power of the Dog" garnered a total of 12 nods, including four in acting categories. Kirsten Dunst earned a best supporting actor nod. Her husband, Jesse Plemons, who plays her on-screen husband in the movie, was recognized by the Academy too.

"For both Jesse and I to get our first nominations together is beyond our wildest dreams," Dunst wrote in a statement, per Reuters.

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish
MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images
US singer Billie Eilish arrives for the 10th annual LACMA Art+Film gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, California on November 6, 2021.

Billie Eilish might be able to add an Oscar statuette to her collection of awards — which already includes seven Grammys. Eilish was nominated in the Best Original Song category alongside her brother, Finneas O'Connell. Their song "No Time to Die" was featured in the James Bond movie of the same name.

In a statement to CNN, Eilish and O'Connell called the nomination a "peak life experience." The singer-songwriters wrote, "It was a lifelong dream of ours to write a Bond theme, and one we never thought would ever come true. It’s completely unbelievable that we are here being recognized for this song."

Aunjanue Ellis

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Aunjanue Ellis attends the National Board of Review annual awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on March 15, 2022 in New York City.

Aunjanue Ellis, who you may recognize from her work in "Lovecraft Country" and "When They See Us," was nominated for best supporting actress for her role as Oracene Price in “King Richard."

The day the Academy Award nominations were announced, Ellis chose to hide her phone, telling USA Today that she was "scared it wasn't going to happen." Explaining further, she said, “People in my life were really rooting for me to get nominated, and I didn’t want to let them down."

That evening at 11 p.m., she turned on her phone only to find out the good news. "I was dancing in the dark in my house in Chicago," she said.

Ciarán Hinds

Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic
Ciarán Hinds attends the National Board of Review annual awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on March 15, 2022 in New York City.

In the best picture nominee "Belfast," Ciarán Hinds plays the young protagonist's wise grandfather, Pop. He was nominated for best supporting actor.

Reacting to the news in a statement per Reuters, the veteran actor said, “Having worked in this industry for nearly 50 years, I thought there wasn’t much that could surprise me still. Today, I can honestly say, I am astounded, thrilled and deeply grateful.”

Troy Kotsur

Troy Kotsur attends "CODA" Los Angeles Photo Call on July 30, 2021 in West Hollywood, California.

With his best actor nomination, Troy Kotsur made history. Kotsur, who starred in "CODA," is the first deaf male performer to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Famously, Kotsur reacted to the news of his nomination by falling out of a chair — literally. Speaking to TODAY, Kotsur laughed about the now viral video.

“I forgot that my chair had wheels,” he said. “So I slipped and lost my balance. I didn’t realize how viral that fall would go, all over social media.... I couldn’t stop the momentum. So yes, so be it. I have to accept that that video is out there.”

Jesse Plemons

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Jesse Plemons attends the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Barker Hangar on February 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, California.

In "The Power of the Dog," Plemons plays George Burbank, a Montana man at the mercy of his manipulative older brother (Benedict Cumberbatch, also nominated). Plemons was nominated for best supporting actor.

Speaking to Variety, Dunst recalled telling Plemons the news of their nominations. "I was the first person to tell him, and he was a little shell shocked. I mean, it’s just so crazy to be a couple and have our first nominations together. It’s like a storybook," she said.


Cindy Ord/WireImage
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson attends the National Board of Review annual awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on March 15, 2022 in New York City.

You might know Questlove as the drummer for the Roots, bantering and playing music on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." Questlove is also the director of "Summer of Soul," nominated in the best documentary film category.

In addition to nabbing him his first Oscar nomination, "Summer of Soul" marks Questlove's directorial debut. He took to Twitter to celebrate.

Kodi Smit-McPhee

Dave J Hogan//Getty Images
Kodi Smit-McPhee attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2022 Nominees' Reception at The Berkeley Hotel on March 12, 2022 in London, England.

Along with Plemons, Dunst, and Benedict Cumberbath, Smit-McPhee was nominated for his work in "The Power of the Dog." The Australian actor plays Peter Gordon, Rose's observant son. Should Smith-McPhee wins, the 25-year-old will become the second-youngest person to win best supporting actor.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
Kristen Stewart poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Spencer' during the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sep, 3, 2021.

Kristen Stewart was snubbed by the SAG Awards, but her haunting turn as Princess Diana in "Spencer" earned her an Oscars nomination.

“I am speechless and humbled this morning,” she said in a statement to ET. “I am bowled over by this. I never thought in a thousand years I’d be in the company of these four incredible women. I would pay to make movies. I would make them if it was illegal. This is dream state, to share on this level.”

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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