Among the many, many people nominated for Oscars this morning was one name familiar to fans of the Coen brothers: Roderick Jaynes, recipient of a nod for Best Editing for the Coens' No Country for Old Men. It's Jaynes's second Academy Award nomination, following his nod for Fargo, and the longtime Coen collaborator is presumably thrilled by the recognition. Except for one thing: Unlike all this morning's other nominees, Jaynes doesn't, in fact, exist. He's a pseudonym used by the Coens, who edit their own films but for reasons of Guild membership and general puckishness credit the editing to Jaynes.
At last week's National Board of Review awards dinner, we asked Joel Coen about Jaynes, who in addition to editing the Coens' films also once wrote a memorably cranky introduction to a collection of the Coens' screenplays. Coen told us he'd love it if Jaynes were nominated, "but he’s very old — late 80s, early 90s — so I don’t know if he’d make the trip." Would you accept his award for him?, we asked. "We can't," Coen said with a rueful smile. "They don’t allow proxies to accept awards at the Academy Awards, ever since Marlon Brando and Sacheen Littlefeather." —Jada Yuan