This Week's Cover: Oscar front-runners Cate Blanchett and Lupita Nyong'o sit for candid chat

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Image Credit: CLIFF WATTS for EW

We’re in the final stretch of this year’s Oscar season, and Entertainment Weekly‘s latest issue is here to bring you all you need to know before the big night.

This week’s cover story features a sit-down with two Oscar hopefuls — the veteran Cate Blanchett (the front-runner in the lead actress category for her role as a fallen socialite in Blue Jasmine) and the newcomer Lupita Nyong’o (a lead contender in the supporting actress race for scene-stealing part as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave). The two discuss the never-ending award season, what they love most about their jobs and their hopes for the future.

Blanchett, who has spent the past six years running a theater company in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, discusses her fraught relationship with her chosen profession. “I’m constantly running away from acting,” she says. “I have to get seduced back into it each time.”

Nyong’o, meanwhile, discusses her career aspirations moving forward. “In many ways, me being on the scene is doing for little girls everywhere what Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg did for me,” she says. “My world exploded by them being on screen. Hopefully I will inspire and be meaningful to other people. But I can’t take on other people’s dreams for me. I can only dream for myself.”

In addition to the cover story, EW’s Oscar package will be sure to give you a leg up in your own Oscar pool. The magazine’s own prognosticator Anthony Breznican unveils his final Oscar picks. Check out how five Academy members marked their own ballots and read detailed plans of the night from the show’s two producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Also, we give you a guide to other movies you might like based on the best picture nominees.

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For more on this year’s Oscar race, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, Feb. 21.

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