REEBOK’S ACADEMY EFFORT: With “Wonder Woman’s” Gal Gadot, “Baby Driver’s” Ansel Elgort and “Atomic Blonde’s” Charlize Theron earning strong reviews for their chiseled physiques this summer, it’s not surprising that Reebok is appealing to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences to create an Oscar for best fitness trainer.
In an open letter to academy president John Bailey posted Wednesday afternoon, Reebok president Matt O’Toole noted that the best scenes and story lines often require “amazing physical transformations” thanks to a small field of expert trainers.
While uber-fit overhauls aren’t exactly new (as Sylvester Stallone, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jennifer Lawrence can attest) the C-suite lobbying is an unprecedented tactic. O’Toole notes that for the last 36 years the Academy has handed out Best Makeup and Hairstyling awards. And he made reference to the fact that sound mixers have been recognized by the Academy since 1930. “Why not also reward the people who keep our role models in peak condition?” he wrote.
Reebok wasted no time in reaching out to Bailey, a cinematographer in his own right, who was voted in to head up the academy Tuesday night. But reached Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for the organization said he was unfamiliar with the appeal. While next year’s Oscars on March 4 might be out of the question, Bailey will have plenty of time to mull over the prospect for the 2019 Oscars.
In the meantime, O’Toole’s competitors at other athletic companies may be wondering if his open letter wasn’t a marketing ploy more than anything.