Brow Beat

Your 2018 Oscar Season Pronunciation Guide

How to pronounce the names of Vicky Krieps, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Luca Guadagnino, Daniel Kaluuya, and more.

A collage of Saoirse Ronan, Vicky Krieps, Timothée Chalamet, Luca Guadagnino, and Daniel Kaluuya surrouding an Oscar statuette.
Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photos by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Filmfest Muenchen, Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner Image, Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP/Getty Images, Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner Image, and Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Awards season is officially upon us, and with it the spectacle of famous people butchering other famous people’s names. The Golden Globes kicked off this year’s mispronuncation season with a bang, with Shirley MacLaine introducing the star of Get Out as Daniel “Kahlua” and Jessica Chastain identifying the star of Lady Bird as “Shersha” Ronan. As bad as Chastain’s pronunciation was, she at least came closer to pronouncing Saoirse correctly than Dennis Quaid did last year.

To help you avoid your own Daniel “Kahlua,” “Shersha” Ronan, or even “Dick Poop” or “Adele Dazeem,” we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet, complete with video tutorials from many of the expected nominees themselves.

Timothée Chalamet
Actor, Call Me by Your Name

Though his parents gave his first name the French spelling (Chalamet’s father is French), the American actor pronounces his name the American way: “Timothy.” As for his last name, it’s SHALL-uh-MAY. As Pop Sugar points out, you can hear him say his name at the beginning of the clip below.

Daniel Kaluuya
Star of Get Out

Kaluuya’s last name is spelled phonetically and is pronounced kah-LOO-ya. You can hear it at the beginning of this clip:

Saoirse Ronan
Star of Lady Bird

Saoirse is pronounced “sir-shuh, like inertia,” as Good Samaritan and actor Ryan Gosling has correctly noted. Here she is walking Ellen DeGeneres through how to pronounce her name:

Kumail Nanjiani
Co-screenwriter and star, The Big Sick

You’re probably already pronouncing this one right. As the actor says, just sound it out—it’s phonetic.

If you’re still not sure, here’s David Letterman introducing his late-night debut:

Michael Stuhlbarg
Actor, Call Me by Your Name and The Shape of Water

The actor, who appeared in two of 2017’s most acclaimed films, goes by STOOL-bahrg.

Alexandre Desplat
Composer, The Shape of Water

Alex is pronounced AL-ig-ZAHN-druh en français, while the T on Desplat is silent, leaving only dess-PLAH. Hear Jon Burlingame introduce him 20 seconds into the clip below.

Hong Chau
Supporting actress, Downsizing

The name of the breakout star of Downsizing is pronounced Hong Chow. Here she is being interviewed for the Asian Global Press (name at the one minute mark).

Luca Guadagnino
Director of Call Me by Your Name

The Italian writer-director pronounces his name Luke-ah gwa-dah-NYEE-no. You can hear an Italian interviewer say his name at the beginning of the clip below.

Vicky Krieps
Actor, Phantom Thread

The Luxembourgish star of Phantom Thread pronounces her name Vicky Creeps. Hear it below.

Hoyte van Hoytema
Cinematographer, Dunkirk

If you get the first half of the Dunkirk cinematographer’s name right, you’ll probably get the second. His repetitive Dutch name is pronounced HOIT-uh vahn HOIT-uh-mah.

Agnès Varda
Co-director, the documentary Faces Places*

The French director’s name is pronounced ah-NYES VAHR-dah. You can hear it 20 seconds into the clip below.

Ruben Östlund
Director, foreign film The Square

The Swedish director’s first name is pronounced like the sandwich, while his surname is pronounced est-luhnd. (Let’s be grateful he doesn’t go by his full name, Claes Olle Ruben Östlund.)

Tommy Wiseau
Character, The Disaster Artist

As with the The Room director’s age and country of origin, this is one of life’s great mysteries. Sometimes he pronounces his surname wiz-OH, as at the beginning of this clip:

And sometimes he says it WAH-zo, as he does here:

Accept the mystery.

Martin McDonagh
Writer-director of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The British and Irish playwright pronounces his last name mick-DAWN-ah. You can hear Charlie Rose (sorry) say his name at the beginning of this clip:

Gal Gadot
Star of Wonder Woman

The Israeli actress pronounces her name Gal (like the informal word for girl) guh-DOTT. The T is not silent, as some mistakenly assume, because she’s not French.

Here she is saying it herself:

And here she is walking Jimmy Kimmel through it:

Rian Johnson
Writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rian is less difficult than it looks. It’s pronounced “Ryan.” But don’t take it from us:

Read more in Slate about the 2018 Oscars.

*Correction, Jan. 23, 2018: This post originally misidentified Agnès Varda’s latest film as People Places. It’s Faces Places.

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Forrest Wickman is Slate’s culture editor.
Rachel Withers is a Slate Brow Beat assistant.