Oscars Best Actor

​Oscars 2016: Take our Best Actor poll

Which of this year's nominees for the Best Actor Academy Award do you think should take home the Oscar?

Check out below the interviews and clips of each nominated performance; then, vote in our poll at the end of this article!

Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"

The star of "Breaking Bad" earned his first Academy Award nomination for his performance as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted by Hollywood studios in the 1950s for having refused to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee's hunt for Communists in the film industry. He continued to work anonymously, and even saw two of his scripts, credited to his pseudonyms, win Academy Awards.

"The story was just so big and so great. The jeopardy of losing your First Amendment rights under the pressure and penalty of imprisonment for no crime committed, and these men went to prison for years, it was so compelling to me and I had to do it.

"John McNamara's script then backed up that story with such nuance and beautiful language and crafting ... For us whenever we read something that really resonates, that really leaves an impression on you, it's the same as when you read a great novel that you want to get back to and [re-read] chapter by chapter."

Watch a clip of Cranston, Alan Tudyk and Madison Wolfe in "Trumbo":

Matt Damon, "The Martian"

"The Martian, " featuring Damon's earnest and funny performance as an astronaut stranded on Mars, is science-fiction with the emphasis on science. The botanist must grow food and protect himself from a deadly environment for two years while awaiting a rescue mission.

"I mean, it's not a superhero movie, " Damon told Rolling Stone magazine. "It's a guy-trying-to-survive movie, and done really intelligently. [Screenwriter] Drew Goddard kept calling it 'a love letter to science' - it's all about using ingenuity and knowledge to adapt to your environment. That, to me, was the key."

Without the benefit of costars for much of the film's running time, Damon must hold his own on the 3D screen against a vista of Martian landscapes. His monologues - staged as video diary entries recorded by a bevy of GoPro cameras - help pull the audience right up onto the lonely Red Planet with him.

Damon, who shared a Best Original Screenplay Oscar with Ben Affleck for "Good Will Hunting, " had two previous acting nominations, for "Good Will Hunting" and "Invictus." He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor/Musical or Comedy for "The Martian."

Watch a clip of Damon from "The Martian":

Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"

DiCaprio won the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA Awards for his physically and emotionally demanding performance as a frontiersman who, after being mauled by a bear and left for dead, crawls 200 miles to get revenge against the man who killed his son.

The actor called it was one of the "toughest films I've ever been a part of."

"There for nine months in subzero temperatures in Calgary, real locations, far-off locations, we looked at this as a grand sort of artistic experiment, " DiCaprio told CBS News' Charlie Rose. "We rehearsed meticulously all day long with [cinematographer] Chivo [Lubezki] and [director] Alejandro [Iñárritu] to pull of some very crucial and hard-to-do shots. And then we'd have an hour-and-a-half of natural light, and it became like live theater at the end of the day, this frenetic pace and intensity that we needed to keep up with."

This is DiCaprio's fifth acting nomination, after "What's Eating Gilbert Grape, " "The Aviator, " "Blood Diamond" and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Watch a trailer of "The Revenant":

Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"

Playing a character as challenging as the brilliant but strident founder of Apple, the man most credited with technological innovations that have revolutionized modern life, was "the hardest thing I've ever done, " Fassbender told "60 Minutes."

But he did not find Jobs to be unsympathetic, even though the character as written by Aaron Sorkin had a reality distortion field that was perhaps greater than anyone's.

"When you have such strong convictions and a lack of patience that goes with it, and a sharp tongue and, you know, elements of cruelty perhaps, it can come across as maybe a bit harsh for people to take on board. I think he was an extraordinary person. And he changed the way we lived our lives. I never looked at him or approached him as an unsavory character. Unsociable, I would say, yeah.

"Approaching it as actor, 'unpleasant' isn't really something that I want to set out to play, you know? I can't really play unpleasant. But if somebody said, 'Play somebody who's got a lack of patience, who's got a very strong vision, is unrelenting in that vision, has a problem perhaps with emotional connection, ' now I'm going somewhere. Now I can start putting together something."

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