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Actress who grew up in New Orleans East nominated for Oscar for work in 'The Whale'

Hong Chau is from New Orleans East and Brian Tyree Henry plays a man from New Orleans in "Causeway"
Credit: AP
This image released by A24 shows Hong Chau in a scene from "The Whale." Chau is from New Orleans East. (A24 via AP)

NEW ORLEANS — The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards were announced from Beverly Hills, California on Tuesday, including acting nominations for Hong Chau from New Orleans East and Brian Tyree Henry, who plays a man from New Orleans in Causeway. 

Chau was nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role in the "The Whale," where she plays Liz, a personal friend and medical aid to a dying man named Charlie, played by Brendan Fraser. 

In the film Fraser's character struggling to make amends with his daughter and dealing with a drastic weight gain that has led him to develop congestive heart failure.  

Chau grew up in the Vietnamese-American neighborhood of Versailles. 

She attended the Eleanor McMain Secondary School and Ben Franklin High School. She graduated high school from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches Parish.

Chau was also recently featured in the comedic thriller "The Menu," where she plays a server that collaborates with a menacing chef, played by Ralph Fiennes, in a plot to kill all of the wealthy patrons of his exclusive restaurant. 

Brian Tyree Henry also scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination for "Causeway," a film set almost entirely in New Orleans.

In the film, Henry plays a mechanic named James, who lost his leg in an accident. James' wounds bond him with a veteran named Lynsey, who was injured in Afghanistan.

Lynsey is played by Jennifer Lawrence, who won an Academy Award in 2013 for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook." 

"Causeway" had a premiere at the Prytania Theater during the New Orleans Film Festival in November. The movie was filmed locally and the title refers to the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Henry was the only nomination for that film. 

Henry, who grew up in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., has been best known for his role as Paper Boi on the FX comedy series "Atlanta."

Nominations were announced by actors Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams. The action-comedy "Everything Everywhere All at Once," led the pack of nominees with 11 acknowledgements. 

Chau's film "The Whale," was nominated for two other awards; Fraser for Best Actor, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Fraser wore heavy prosthetics to portray a 600-pound man.

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