The Academy Award nominations have been announced and the list includes plenty of surprising nominees and some not-so-surprising choices. We’ll leave the voting to the Academy, and instead we’ll take a look at the hometowns of ten of the Oscar-nominated celebrities and give readers the lowdown – you know, in case you really want to go on a sightseeing tour of Jennifer Lawrence’s hometown.
Christian Bale, like half the other entrants on this list, is nominated for his work in American Hustle. But lost in the American-centric performances of his adult career is the fact that Bale is actually a Welshman. He hails from Haverfordwest, which is the county town of Pembrokeshire, the southeasternmost county in Wales. One of its principal attractions is the Picton Castle, which was built in the 13th century and hosts a hauntingly fun Halloween event.
Martin Scorsese is the ultimate New Yorker and many of his classic films, including this year’s The Wolf of Wall Street, are set in the city. But to see the streets on which he was raised, travelers have to leave tourist-laden Manhattan for the more local borough of Queens. Though it doesn’t have as many must-see attractions, Queens does have some cool places to see: the MoMA PS1 is a huge modern art exhibition center and Spa Castle is one of the city’s top destination spas.
Leo is as Hollywood as they come. Not only has he been its golden boy since Titanic, but he was actually born and raised in Los Angeles. Though we can’t promise you’ll see Leo, there are a few celebrity hot spots in town that are accessible to visitors: The Ivy on Robertson Boulevard is an Italian restaurant popular with A-listers and the Living Room lounge bar at the W Hollywood is a hit trendy stars.
Sandra Bullock was somewhat unexpectedly nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a lost-in-space astronaut in Gravity. Bullock, who has already won an Oscar for her role in The Blind Side, is originally from Arlington, Virginia. This little city is just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. and is best known for being the site of the Arlington National Cemetery.
Nominated for her second Academy Award in just the last two years, Jennifer Lawrence literally could not be hotter than she is right now. But before she was tearing up Hollywood, this down-home beauty was residing in Louisville, Kentucky. There are two things in Louisville that are especially worth mentioning to tourists: the Kentucky Derby, an epic horse race held each May, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.
So is Clark Kent’s love interest actually Italian? Well, not quite. Amy Adams grew up in Castle Rock, Colorado, but she was born in Vicenza, Italy, to American parents and that makes for a much more interesting entry in our list. Because, no offense to Castle Rock, not many places can compare to Vicenza and its historic center with its numerous Palladian Villas.
Nominated for her role in the highly acclaimed Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett is no stranger to award season. Her real-life home of Melbourne also receives its fair share of praise. No matter what side of the Melbourne/Sydney rivalry you land on, there’s no denying Melbourne’s immense beauty and charm. It’s a city that’s best explored slowly, with plenty of time to visit its many distinct neighborhoods.
Dame Judi Dench is one of the most celebrated actors of our time, and travelers can see where it all began by visiting her hometown of York. The city’s most notable attraction is the York Minster, which is a 14th-century cathedral that tower’s over the city’s historic medieval center. Otherwise, simply take a stroll in its historic center’s alleyways, which are known as "snickelways."
Bradley Cooper is one of Hollywood’s hottest male leads and is nominated for his work in American Hustle. But before he was an international sensation, he was just a kid growing up in Jenkintown, a suburb of Philadelphia. There’s not much for tourists to see in his old neighborhood, but Philly itself has plenty: historic sites like the Liberty Bell abound downtown, South Street is a great place to shop and the Italian Market area is ideal for grabbing a bite to eat and people watching.
Michael Fassbender burst onto the scene in the 2006 film 300 and has come a long way to earn a best supporting actor nod for his work in 12 Years A Slave. Of Irish-German descent, Fassbender is originally from the German town of Heidelberg. Situated on the River Neckar, Heidelberg is one of the most picturesque towns in all of Germany, as it has a well-preserved castle and an old town filled with baroque gems.