The actor wins his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Maximus in Gladiator. He wins the award over fellow nominees: Javier Bardem, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and Geoffrey Rush. On accepting his award:
A dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. But this moment is directly connected to those childhood imaginings. And for anyone who is on the downside of advantage, relying purely on courage, it’s possible.