Where Oscar winners will show up next

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 3:32pm

In Hollywood, you're only as good as your last movie. And when you win an Oscar, the stakes are even higher. An Academy Award could be a stepping stone to a long, illustrious, and lucrative career — think Meryl Streep — or it could be a curse, mocking you when you find yourself starring in yet another desperately unfunny family flick — think Cuba Gooding Jr. The next projects that this year's Oscar winners sign up for will be critical for their careers. Below, we have a rundown of what the Oscar winners are planning to do next.

Halle Barry, the poster child for the Oscar curse, went from Oscar winner to Razzie winner in about three years. Sandra Bullock did it in a single weekend. Not surprisingly, the actress is reportedly taking her time with her next movie, making sure it is more like "The Blind Side" and less like "All About Steve." Bullock is currently attached to a number of projects — including "Kiss & Tango" a romantic comedy set in Argentina and "One of the Guys" about a tomboy who discovers her girly side — but nothing is in production right now. Don't expect to see her on the silver screen until 2011.

The Dude, however, is biding his time. Later this month, Jeff Bridges reunites with "Big Lebowski" filmmakers, the Coen Brothers, to shoot a remake of "True Grit." The original won John Wayne his one and only Oscar. Who knows? Maybe Bridges will pull a Tom Hanks and win two trophies in a row. He's also set to reprise his role of computer geek-turned-cyber-abductee Kevin Flynn in "Tron Legacy." That movie doesn't come out until December 17, but you can see the trailer below.

Christoph Waltz was a working actor, appearing mostly on German TV before "Inglourious Basterds." Now he's one of the hottest properties in Tinsel town. He's already signed up to play the villain in Michel Gondry's "The Green Hornet," opposite Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz. And if that weren't big enough, he's also slated to face off against "Twilight" heart throb Robert Pattinson in the circus drama "Water for Elephants."

Prior to her astonishing performance in "Precious," Mo'Nique was known for being a raunchy stand-up comic, the host of her BET talk show, and for appearing in movies like "Soul Plane" and "Phat Girlz." So will the Oscar winner choose more high-falutin movie fare in the future? Don't bet on it. When asked by reporters during an after-party whether she now considers herself an actor, she replied, "I'm a stand-up comedian who won an Oscar."

And finally there's Gabourey Sidibe. She didn't exactly go home with a trophy this past weekend, but she's definitely one of the biggest winners this Oscar season. The college student-turned-actress wowed everyone with her nuanced performance in "Precious" and then wowed everyone with her sassy charm and her encyclopedic knowledge of 'N Sync on the talk show circuit. Conan O'Brien dubbed her "The best guest ever!" She's already lined up a leading role in "Yelling At the Moon" opposite Tim Blake Nelson and Zoe Kravitz along with nailing a reoccurring role in the Showtime series "The Big C."

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