The actor previously took home a Gotham Award for his performance in the film, and was nominated for Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards
After his much-buzzed-about performance in May December opposite Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, the 33-year-old was left out of the list of stars up for Best Supporting Actor when the nominees were announced Tuesday morning.
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May December stars Portman, 42, as an actress named Elizabeth who's preparing to play a role based on the life of Gracie (Moore, 63), who made headlines 20 years ago for entering into a relationship with teenager Joe (played as an adult by Melton).
The love affair between Gracie and Joe is the controversy at the film's core, which began when she was 36 and he was 13. It eventually landed her in prison due to their age difference — though after her release, the two married and had a family together.
Director Todd Haynes, who began working on the script in 2019, opened up about the influence the real-life case of Mary Kay Letourneau had on May December, in addition to "tabloid culture of the '90s" as a whole. "That was the real jumping off point for me," he said.
May December has received critical acclaim since its release. Melton, former star of The CW's Riverdale, received a 2023 Gotham Award for his supporting performance in the film. His costar Moore celebrated his honor on Instagram during the ceremony in November 2023.
Melton recently said that Riverdale "helped me refine this work ethic," as he told i-D, "I learned so much being there. I formed relationships that I will have until the end of my days."
He then went a step further, crediting the show for teaching him what the likes of a professional acting program would teach, as he said, “Riverdale truly was my Juilliard — I was learning and growing and playing and taking risks. I was allowed to do that.”
Melton played football player Reggie Mantle for the show's entire seven-year run and called ;ast August's series finale "bittersweet."
“But I’m so happy it brought joy to so many people,” he added.
The 96th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air live on Sunday, March 10, from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
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