I used to think it was to play someone with a disability and engage in lots of scenes of noble suffering, but then they didn’t Oscar-nominate the guy in the iron lung or the woman with no legs, so scratch that.
I’ve now realized what the most efficient new way is to cop the gold!
Play a neurotic female CIA agent–a real borderline looney tune, but a genius–who becomes fixated on a sole mission which involves helping protect America from terrorism, and which transforms her as the obsession grows.
Think about it.
Oh, and it helps to be really good too.