Oscars: What the Nominees Are Saying

7:05 AM 1/24/2017

by THR Staff

'La La Land' leads the race with 14 mentions, followed by 'Arrival' and 'Moonlight with eight each.

From left: Emma Stone in 'La La Land,' Naomie Harris in 'Moonlight,' Andrew Garfield in 'Hacksaw Ridge,' Dev Patel in 'Lion,' Lucas Hedges in 'Manchester by the Sea'
From left: Emma Stone in 'La La Land,' Naomie Harris in 'Moonlight,' Andrew Garfield in 'Hacksaw Ridge,' Dev Patel in 'Lion,' Lucas Hedges in 'Manchester by the Sea'
Courtesy Photos

The 89th annual Academy Awards nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, with La La Land leading the race with 14 mentions, followed by Moonlight and Arrival with eight each.

The Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will take place Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It will air live on ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Upon hearing the news, here's what the nominees are saying:

  • Emma Stone

    Best actress nominee for 'La La Land.'

    Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

    "What a morning. I am so grateful for this honor and I'm so happy to share this feeling with my La La Land family. The greatest part of life is connecting with people, and I love the deeply talented, kind and passionate people I was lucky enough to work with on this movie. I'm also overjoyed that the movie has connected with audiences in the way it has, and that it's hopefully bringing a kick in their step to those who watch it. This is beyond any of our wildest imaginings and we can't wait to celebrate together."

  • Ruth Negga

    Best actress nominee for 'Loving.'

    Austin Hargrave

    “I am truly humbled by the news this morning, and I thank the Academy for this recognition, which I share with my co-collaborators Jeff Nichols and Joel Edgerton. It has been such an honor to have been given the opportunity to tell the incredible story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who serve as an inspiration that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. The Lovings fought quietly yet tirelessly, and changed the course of American legal history. Today, to be among such extraordinary women - my fellow nominees, my peers with films this year, and the legendary performers whose work of years past has long inspired me...this means a great deal to me.”

  • Natalie Portman

    Best Actress nominee for 'Jackie.'

    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    “I am so honored by the Academy's recognition for Jackie, and congratulate Mica and Madeline on their well-deserved nominations. I couldn't be happier to share this moment with our incredible Director Pablo Larrain and the entire cast and crew who worked so hard on this film. I am also humbled to join Isabelle, Meryl, Ruth and Emma - all incredibly accomplished women I admire very much. Jackie Kennedy was a study in strength, compassion, resilience and integrity and she provided hope for our country at a time when it needed it most. It was one of life's great honors to be able to portray her on film.”

  • Denzel Washington

    Best actor nominee for 'Fences.'

    Paramount/Screenshot

    “Thank you to the Academy for this wonderful recognition and for honoring August Wilson’s brilliant words. I am just lucky to have been entrusted with this project and to have the chance to work with the amazing Viola Davis and the rest of my talented cast and crew.”

  • Casey Affleck

    Best actor nominee for 'Manchester by the Sea.'

    Claire Folger/Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

    Due to flight delays, Casey Affleck had arrived late into Vancouver, where is he prepping his latest directorial effort, and was going on two hours of sleep when he woke up to a barrage of phone calls and texts. “It’s one of the best way to be be woken up,” he enthused. The actor said he’s been trying to come up with phrases and words to describe his feelings but “None of them have been sufficient.” Affleck has been nominated previously for 2007’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, “and I don’t think I had the presence of mind to appreciate what it actually meant. This year, this movie, has been an amazing experience. It’s really overwhelming and it means so much more to me at 41 than it did 10 years ago. I’m grateful to Kenny Lonergan and I’ll never forget that. It was such a giant leap of faith.”

    Manchester by the Sea became the first movie released by a streaming service to receive a best picture nomination. Affleck thinks the debate between theatrical and digital is over: “I think all that is behind us. I think people are finding stories in lots of different places. I’ve never been on a movie that has been more wholeheartedly supported by a distributor than this move. Amazon has been perfect. I cannot overstate it.”

  • Viggo Mortensen

    Best actor nominee for 'Captain Fantastic.'

    Courtesy of Sundance Institute

    Viggo Mortensen’s journey with Captain Fantastic began a year ago, at 2016’s Sundance Film Festival, where the first film premiered. It has since traversed the globe, screening at Berlin, Rome and Cannes, among other festivals. “We have done hundreds of presentations and Q&As not only in the U.S. but all over the world, but I think that was the only way a movie like this would have stayed in people's minds.” In the Matt Ross-directed movie, he plays a father who chooses to raise his kids in the wilderness of Washington state, with a steady diet of physical exertion and Noam Chomsky. Mortensen is the sole nominee for the film. “With small movies like this, maybe one each year sneaks in and people say, ‘How the hell did that happen?’ But I think we have more than earned our place.”

  • Isabelle Huppert

    Best actress nominee for 'Elle.'

    Guy Ferrandis/SBS Productions, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

    "I am infinitely grateful to the Academy, it is a tremendous joy and honor for me. This film means so much to me and, with this nomination, [director] Paul Verhoeven is also rewarded. I would like to sincerely thank our French producer Said Ben Said. I am also so grateful to Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and the great, great team from Sony Pictures Classics who supported the film and my work with such confidence from the beginning. Thank you, thank you, thank you..."

  • Andrew Garfield

    Best actor nominee for 'Hacksaw Ridge.'

    Mark Rogers/Summit Entertainment

    Garfield is currently in London preparing for a turn in Angels in America at the National Theatre, and found out about his nom while leaving morning rehearsals. “I’m happy with the way people have responded to a story about humility and love and helping your fellow human beings, which is something the world so desperately needs right now,” said the actor, who plays Desmond Doss, a WWII combat medic who refused to carry a gun during battle. “I’m just glad people are going to know who this man is.” To celebrate his first-ever Oscar nomination, Garfield has plans to go out for a drink. “I’ll be surrounded by friends that keep me caring and valuing the things that matter, so even if I hadn’t been nominated, I am the same in their eyes.”

  • Mahershala Ali

    Best supporting actor nominee for 'Moonlight.'

    Courtesy of TIFF

    The actor had just gotten to the set of the James Cameron-produced Alita: Battle Angel in Austin, when he learned of his first Oscar nomination for his performance in Moonlight, which nabbed a total of eight noms, including for best picture. (Ali also is featured in best-picture nominee Hidden Figures.) He said he appreciates the Academy working to diversify its membership following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. “But I hope I wasn’t nominated because I was black. That has no relevance,” Ali told THR. “I hope I was nominated for my work.”

  • Lucas Hedges

    Best supporting actor nominee for 'Manchester by the Sea.'

    Claire Folger/Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

    The 20 year-old still can’t believe he’s nominated. “It's just simply not real. It's not f—ing real! It can't be real. There's just no way!” Jumping out of bed at his parent’s house Hedges told THR, “I jumped up and I ran downstairs and was screaming to my parents. It was just a f—ing crazy morning.” To be recognized for this role specifically means the world to this year’s youngest acting nominee. “This is probably the best role written for anybody my age in the last 20 years. Certainly for guys. This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity and it means the world to me that I got to play this part, because it was such a matter of timing that this came my way and that the movie didn't happen a year later or a year earlier. I grew up with kids like [his character] Patrick and in many respects I was a lot like Patrick in high school and in many respects he was the polar opposite of me. But I feel like my heart exists in him. We have the same heart. His story is a story that I really wanted to tell.”

    As for Manchester by the Sea's six nominations, Hedges has yet to talk to co-star Casey Affleck and director Kenneth Lonergan after the nominations, telling THR, “They're also not the most openly awards-y people, so I'm not entirely sure what the deal is yet in terms of talking to them, but I absolutely plan on shooting them a text. I'll see Kenny soon. They're both people who are going to be in my life for a long time, so there's no rush.”

  • Michael Shannon

    Best supporting actor nominee for 'Nocturnal Animals.'

    Courtesy of Focus Features

    "I am thrilled! Loved making this film. I would work with Tom Ford anytime, anywhere. Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Karl Glusman made it easy for me. Nice to get some good news in the midst of all the carnage, so to speak."

  • Dev Patel

    Best supporting actor nominee for 'Lion.'

    Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

    Dev Patel’s mom may be more excited about his Oscar nomination than he is. “I just talked to my mum in London and she is screaming and crying and people are looking into her office to see what’s wrong,” says Patel, who is currently on location filming in Mumbai. In Lion, which also scored a nom for best picture, Patel plays Saroo Brierley, who was separated from his family when he was five and lived on the streets of Calcutta before being adopted by a family in Tasmania. "These nominations only mean we will get more butts in the seats for a movie that talks about something that is very important — those lost children on the streets of India."

  • Naomie Harris

    Best supporting actress nominee for 'Moonlight.'

    Courtesy of TIFF

    First-time Oscar nominee Naomie Harris couldn’t take the anticipation and had to shut off this morning’s Oscar nominations live stream, telling THR, “I’m in shock! My friend told me the nominations were being announced. I started to watch a bit of it and then I couldn’t deal with the tension at all so I had to switch it off! And then I was just sitting there in fear and anticipation (laughs). And then my brother Matt called me to say, 'You’re a nominee!' I’m just so thrilled because it’s such a deserving movie. This is a movie that has the ability to really be transformative. It’s one of those rare movies that has that ability. It’s such a beautiful, inspiring movie. It’s so relevant for now. It’s a healing movie, a unifying movie. It reminds us of our shared humanity. For all of those reasons, I couldn’t be more thrilled that it has been recognized in this way!”

    As for her celebration, Harris' modest surprise by the nomination has left her without any plans so far. “I don’t know how I’m going to celebrate because I was so preparing myself for different news, I really wasn’t prepared for this at all! My next step is to just go for a walk in the country side. I think I just need fresh air and sunshine and the grounding of being outside. At the actual ceremony I’m obviously going to take my mom. Just having her there with me and just being included amongst these extraordinary actresses that I’ve admired my entire life and looked up to and respected, just to be included in the same category as them, to me is absolutely mind blowing. I couldn’t be happier. I’m a huge fan of Emma Stone, Natalie Portman. I loved Casey Affleck’s performance in Manchester by the Sea. I was really blown away by that performance. It was such a privilege to get to meet him and talk to him and tell him in person how fantastic he was. That’s one of the other huge perks of being nominated and included in these discussions is that you get to meet these extraordinary filmmakers and meet them on such an intimate, personal level.”

  • Viola Davis

    Best supporting actress nominee for 'Fences.'

    David Lee/MMXVI Paramount Pictures Corporation

    “Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!”

  • Octavia Spencer

    Best supporting actress nominee for 'Hidden Figures.'

    Courtesy of Hopper Stone

    “I was lying in bed, a nervous wreck, waiting for the phone call,” says Spencer of the moments before learning of her second Oscar nomination for best supporting actress, this time for Hidden Figures (in 2012, she won for The Help). “A nomination is one of the biggest moments in a person’s career and that’s why I don’t watch, or listen, to the announcement.”

    Hidden Figures, based on the true story of three African-American mathematicians who helped NASA put men into space, is also nominated for best picture and best adapted screenplay. Spencer said her good friend Allison Janney was arranging a toast for Tuesday night. “I’m literally over the moon,” she continued. “Pun intended.”

  • Nicole Kidman

    Best supporting actress nominee for 'Lion.'

    Courtesy of Weinstein Co.

    “I want to thank the Academy for all of the acknowledgements you have given this heartfelt film. But, most importantly, I want to thank the Brierley family for putting themselves in such a vulnerable place and sharing their story with the world. And thanks to Garth Davis for putting his heart and soul into all of us. Woo-hoo!”

  • Michelle Williams

    Best supporting actress nominee for 'Manchester by the Sea.'

    Courtesy of Calire Folger/Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

    "Thank you so much to the Academy for this recognition. Making this film was incredibly rewarding and none of it would have been possible without the guidance from our fearless leader, Kenneth Lonergan. I am thrilled to share this nomination with Kenny, Casey, Lucas and the rest of the cast, producers and crew. Congratulations to my fellow nominees. It is truly an honor to be included among such amazing women in this category."

  • Donna Gigliotti

    Best picture nominee for 'Hidden Figures.'

    Hopper Stone/Twentieth Century Fox

    Producer Donna Gigliotti watched the live stream Oscar nomination reveal on Tuesday morning, but missed the old format. “I was watching online, which was a new and unusual experience. It’s efficient, I’ll say that. It’s a little more clinical than it has been in years past when I have been nominated. You kind of miss the publicists in the room “ooing” and “ahhing” over what’s being announced. But it’s efficient, so in that regard I guess it was a good thing.”

    As for what she looks forward to most about attending this year’s Oscars, Gigliotti joked to THR: “What do I look forward to the most? Do you want the real answer? This is my fourth Oscar nomination and it’s a great honor. What I look forward to most is people lend me millions of dollars of jewelry. Somebody’s always giving you jewelry.”

    As for Octavia Spencer, one of her film’s stars, garnering an Oscar nomination, Gigliotti said: “When her name was announced, I did have tears in my eyes. She’s making Oscar history. No African-American woman who has won has been nominated a second time. The nomination represents a real tribute to the actual people the movie is about. It pays tribute to their lives. Octavia was, for me, such an important part of getting the movie made. When I had that script she was one of the first people to read it, she came in to see me, she said, 'I love this. I don’t know what part I want to play, but I have to be a part of it.' She put the wind in my sails to confirm that this was a well-written script that had real value. She has great meaning to me personally because she was the first person to say, 'I want to sign on.'”

    With three Oscar nominations for the film, Gigliotti has her perfect idea of how to celebrate all of the recognition: “I’m going to crack open Vogue tonight and try to figure out what the heck I’m going to wear.”

  • Shawn Levy

    Producer of best picture nominee 'Arrival.'

    Paramount Pictures

    “I was literally in the Upside Down when I got the news,” says Levy, who was on set directing a episode for season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things. (No word on if Barb gave him a shout-out.) This is the first Oscar nom for Levy, whose production company 21 Laps was behind the sci-fi feature, and he's excited for the big night, telling THR, “I grew up in Montreal and I was that kid that was fascinated by the Oscars and wanted to be a part of that world."

    He said of Arrival: “It is that rare movie that combines cerebrally challenging material, with skeptical and emotion. A lot of those movies are one or two of those things, but I have never made a movie that is all three." Director Denis Villeneuve got a nom for directing, and the movie was recognized for production design and cinematography, among others. Many were surprised by Amy Adams' absence from this year’s noms, including Levy: “She was in every frame of that picture and is the beating heart of that movie, so to acknowledge the movie is to acknowledge Amy.”

  • Damien Chazelle

    Best director nominee for 'La La Land.'

    Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for AFI

    "It's really unbelievable," he told THR. "Just after it was announced, my girlfriend got a text message and told me how many nominations we'd gotten, and I really thought she was just kind of saying what she hoped would happen or was, like, bullshitting me. It took me so long to believe it — I had to ask her literally three times before I actually believed her. We're all at this hotel in Beijing to promote the movie, so we quickly ran down the hall to Ryan's room and barged in. He had Emma [Stone] on Facetime on his phone, so we just kind of screamed in each other's faces for a few minutes."

  • Mel Gibson

    Best director nominee for 'Hacksaw Ridge.'

    Anthony Harvey/FilmMagic

    "What could be more exciting than listening to the nominations being announced while holding my newborn son! This is a truly wonderful honor. I'm especially happy for Andrew Garfield, our producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, our editor John Gilbert and our incredible sound teams. The Academy's recognition of our film is a testament to every single person who worked on Hacksaw Ridge, and to every soldier who made the sacrifices they made to fight for their country, including Desmond Doss."

  • Kenneth Lonergan

    Best director nominee and best original screenplay nominee for 'Manchester by the Sea.'

    Claire Folger

    The director tells THR: “It’s unbelievable. I was really happy. I was just happy for everybody. Happy for myself, happy for the movie. It’s great that people want to see this kind of movie and are responding to it. I knew it would be good because of the kind of actors I had in it, but I really didn’t know if people were going to want to see a movie about grief. What turns out is that it’s not just about grief, it’s about people that really try to be there for each other and really try to stand up for each other. Every scene of the movie Casey’s character is trying so hard to do the right thing, despite the duress that he’s under. I wanted to make as truthful of a movie as I could and not sugarcoat it or sentimentalize it or pretend things are OK that are not OK, but at the same time when you do that you find in the fictional world all of these beautiful, heroic moments that you find in real life when people are suffering. People really show up for each other in life and they do in the movie. That’s what makes it something worth watching."

    Lonergan says the movie is not meant to be depressing or bleak. "I just find these characters so admirable the same way ordinary people are when they get in trouble," he says. "Casey [Affleck] is in Vancouver and Lucas [Hedges] is in play rehearsal, so we’re just emailing each other excitedly. I’m going to take my daughter to dinner. If Lucas wasn’t working, I’d go find him and make him go out with me. Maybe I’ll try Gretchen [Mol] and Michelle [Williams], they live in the city. Everybody’s got kids — that changes your celebrations!”

    As for his excitement for attending this year’s awards show, Lonergan says, "I’m dying to see Lucas Hedges at the Oscars! I’m dying to see Kimberly Steward at the Oscars. It’s her first movie. She’s the only second African-American woman to be nominated for best producer, and if we win she’d be the first ever to win. She took a big, big chance on the movie. I’m just grateful and happy for her.”

  • Barry Jenkins

    Best director nominee for 'Moonlight.'

    “I’m not too bad and by that I mean I am really damn good,” said Barry Jenkins of his post-nomination mood. The Moonlight director is currently in Amsterdam and didn’t watch the live-streamed ceremony, during which his movie garnered multiple nominations, including a best picture shout-out. “I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it,” he said. Instead, Jenkins found out about his nomination after a note was slipped under his hotel room door. “The least interesting thing are the nominations that have my name on them.”

    Of the film’s incredibly personal story, he said: “You watch this movie and you don’t think a kid like Little, the character in our film, is gonna grow up and make a film that receives eight Academy Award nominations. I know that there is someone back home in Miami that is feeling the same thing.”

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Best original song nominee for “How Far I’ll Go” from 'Moana.'

    Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

    An elated Lin-Manuel Miranda sensed he was on the right path with the uplifting tune, one of several he wrote for the best animated feature film nominee, after writing the chorus. "That notion of staring at the horizon and wanting to know what’s on the other side of that. That’s a universal feeling, especially when you’re a teenager and everything’s a possibility and the distance between you and your dreams is like an enormous gulf,” he said. "That’s what I tried to tap into.”

    Should he win, the Hamilton creator will become the youngest EGOT [Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner ever, but he’s concentrating more on enjoying the ride. "It’s so crazy, dude! I’m an Academy Awards dork. I’d cry at the Chuck Workman montages. I’d wait for them to shout out to Bill Conti when he was conducting. I’d memorize Billy Crystal’s monologues that he used to write with Marc Shaiman, who I’m working with on Mary Poppins Returns right now, so to get to go to that party is really a great thrill.” Plus, Miranda already has got his Oscar date picked out — his mom, who clearly knew her son was destined for glory. “My mom called dibs when I was a little kid,” he said.

  • Mike Mills

    Best original screenplay nominee for '20th Century Women.'

    Courtesy of A24

    Mike Mills said he went to bed last night “expecting the worst,” but woke up to some pretty great news. The writer-director was nominated for best original screenplay for the feature that centers on a single mom raising a teenage son in late-1970s Santa Barbara. “When you wrote something so personal and you aren’t following a lot of the rules, and to have it connect, is such a personal home run,” said Mills.

    When his screenplay nomination was announced, he was greeted with a less-than-enthusiastic response at home. “My wife is away and I’m alone with my four-year-old and he doesn’t care about the Oscars. All he wants to do is color and wear his crazy tiger outfit,” Mills explained. But he has big plans for the rest of his day: “I’m going to my dermatologist.”

  • Allison Schroeder

    Best adapted screenplay nominee for 'Hidden Figures.'

    Twentieth Century Fox Films

    Allison Schroeder was enlisted to adapt Margot Lee Shetterly’s book because she’d done an internship at NASA in high school — she grew up not far from Cape Canaveral in Florida — and studied economics at Stanford University. To it put another way, the right side of her brain is well developed. But she gave up a lucrative consulting gig to move to Los Angeles and pursue writing, and Hidden Figures was her first script to actually be produced. Schroeder, who shares a writing credit with Hidden Figures director Theodore Melfi, is the only woman to boast an Oscar nomination for best screenplay this year, whether in the adapted or original category. “I will do my best to represent,” says Schroeder. “And I think we need to do better in the future. I look forward to these categories being filled with women.”

  • Ted Melfi

    Best adapted screenplay nominee (and director, producer) for 'Hidden Figures.'

    Hopper Stone/Twentieth Century Fox

    “I think it should be #OscarSoGood,” declared Ted Melfi, who directed and co-wrote Hidden Figures, on this year’s crop of diverse nominees, a stark contrast from last year’s which inspired a movement dubbed #OscarSoWhite. “We have great films being celebrated, so I hope we can put #OscarSoWhite behind us and just work on films that represent the entire population. I think that’s where Hollywood is headed anyway … people will think that this year’s nominees shows that Hollywood is reactionary but l like to think as an anomaly. None of the films are films are reactionary. Barry has been working on Moonlight for years, and Denzel [Washington] has been has been working on Fences for years. Hollywood isn’t reactionary. To me, Hollywood is always looking for a great story to tell, always, and they come when they come.”

    Melfi was thrilled that Octavia Spencer received a nomination (“She’s one of the greatest actresses of our generation”), but was sad that Taraji P. Henson was overlooked. “Who knows how they work? Taraji’s work is so special and one of the best performances of the year.”

    One of the great pleasures of his morning has been participating in a group text that he has going on with Spencer, Henson and Janelle Monae (“We’ve been going crazy this morning’), but one of his fun moments was more personal: His mother-in-law called from Massachusetts. “I have solidified my position in the family,” he says, laughing.

  • Constanza Romero Wilson, Wife of August Wilson

    Best adapted screenplay nominee for 'Fences.'

    David Lee/Paramount Pictures

    “I am overjoyed that August's work is being recognized, and that millions of people are getting the chance to see Fences! I feel he would be incredibly proud of the love and care that everyone involved, especially Denzel [Washington], invested to make this film possible.”

  • Eric Heisserer

    Best adapted screenplay nominee for 'Arrival.'

    Paramount Pictures
    "I'm so honored. This is a moment where I should be the most eloquent as a writer and yet I'm struggling to put this into words. To even share a list with such extraordinary screenwriters is inspiring in its own right. Thank you to the Academy!"
  • Luke Davies

    Best adapted screenplay nominee for 'Lion.'

    Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

    "When I wrote the Lion screenplay, I set out to move people — to shift their emotional center. I wasn't entirely certain if, or how much, I might succeed. But I hoped. So it was deeply gratifying and humbling to learn at our screenings — one person, one comment at a time — that I'd had some success in the matter. But the pleasantly surreal news of an Oscar nomination that I woke to this morning added a sweet note of delight: the thought that Lion might have moved peers and colleagues who had done such great work they had earned a place in the Academy. It is a terrific boost to be thought of in such a positive light by a group of people you look up to and admire.I think of the film as an anthem to the persistence of love. I didn’t consciously set out to write a film that would spark wider conversations about the ethics of adoption or the worldwide scourge of child sex trafficking. But I am so very grateful it seems to be doing that, too.”

  • Taylor Sheridan

    Best original screenplay nominee for 'Hell or High Water.'

    Courtesy of CBS Films

    Actor-turned-screenwriter Taylor Sheridan was still trying to collect his thoughts after nabbing his first writing nomination for Hell or High Water. “You tell yourself to not want it and it doesn’t work.” His phone has been ringing and dinging and he hasn’t called anyone back. “It’s crazy: You don’t know who to call.”

    Sheridan had decided to quit acting and pursue screenwriting and things were not going well financially when he wrote High Water. Thus the morning was such an emotional experience for him. “I was in such a bad place when I wrote the script so to have this thing that I created when things were so hard for me be recognized, and to bring me such joy, is interesting and humbling. I’ve never not known what do say. And I now I don’t know what to say…One reason I’m overwhelmed right now is the Academy is made up of all these heroes for many for us. people that got us, in large part, into movies in the first place. And to be able to call them peers, and to have them recognize my work, it’s really humbling.”

  • Marc Platt

    Producer of best picture nominee 'La La Land.'

    Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

    Right after the noms were announced, Platt immediately got on the phone with La La Land star Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle. "Ryan and Damien are in China right now where the film is being released, so I just Facetimed with them. It is 9:30 right now, so they are drinking champagne and I am lying in bed [in L.A.],” said Platt, who produced the Los Angeles-set musical alongside Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger. La La Land got a record-tying 14 nominations, including nods for Gosling and co-star Emma Stone, along with two noms in the original song category, as well as sound and production design. “Every ingredient in a musical film is so vital — the sound, the visual components, the character — so to have it all recognized is wonderful.”

     
  • Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping

    Producers of best picture nominee 'Hidden Figures.'

    Twentieth Century Fox Films

    "From the first moment we read this script, getting it made and supporting our filmmaker became our mission. We were determined to make sure that this remarkable and inspiring story remained ‘hidden’ no more. We remain in awe of the talent involved in realizing this film, and we hope it continues to inspire moviegoers, including young people everywhere. We are thankful to the Academy and congratulate our partners at Fox and fellow producers on this prestigious nomination."

  • Kimberly Steward

    Producer of best picture nominee 'Manchester by the Sea.'

    Courtesy of Sundance Institute

    When talking with THR on Tuesday morning after Manchester by the Sea’s six nominations, director Kenneth Lonergan was especially happy for one person in particular: “I’m dying to see Kimberly Steward at the Oscars. It’s her first movie. She’s the only second African-American woman to be nominated for best producer and if we win, she’d be the first ever to win. She took a big, big chance on the movie. I’m just grateful and happy for her.”

    As for Steward, the producer tells THR of her first Oscar nomination: “I am so thrilled and over the moon right now! Our film really speaks to everyone. It’s real human stories that we’re really trying to get out there. I feel really grateful to be able to make projects like this.”

    Steward also commented on supporting actor Lucas Hedges receiving a first-time nomination: “We are so excited for him! This is a great opportunity for such an amazing guy.” She also shared her plans to celebrate: “Watching films at Sundance!” Steward is currently at the film festival in Park City, and what better way to celebrate a film that was first recognized at Sundance than watching more films there.

  • Kevin Walsh

    Producer of best picture nominee 'Manchester by the Sea.'

    Roadside Attractions

    "I am so honored and grateful to the Academy for this recognition. But, none of it would be possible without the talent and genius of Kenny Lonergan -- and the flawless performances of Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and our entire tremendous cast. I could not be more proud of this movie and my partners -- Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Amazon and Roadside -- for all of their work to make this movie come to life. These are very difficult movies to get made. When they finally get there and are discovered and embraced by audiences it is all the more gratifying"

  • Julie Yorn and Carla Hacken

    Producers of best picture nominee 'Hell or High Water.'

    Lorey Sebastian

    "We’re profoundly humbled and honored by the Academy’s recognition of Hell of High Water. To be nominated for Best Picture alongside such incredible films this year is the highest compliment to all of us who worked on this film. It was put together and made with passion, 'never-say-die' dedication, and literal grit, and the fact that it has resonated so strongly with not only audiences, but our peers, is beyond gratifying. We also want to congratulate Jeff Bridges, Taylor Sheridan and Jake Roberts on their well-deserved nominations and recognize David Mackenzie’s stunning direction. Thank you to our brilliant cast and fellow filmmakers, especially Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and OddLot Entertainment for believing in this film and making it happen, and CBS Films and Lionsgate for their support, guidance, and doing an incredible job getting the film out into the world."

  • Iain Canning

    Producer of best picture nominee 'Lion.'

    Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

    "It's pretty amazing. All of us as a team were huddled around one laptop hoping that there wouldn't be a delay and we'd all find out together. It's so incredible for so many of the members of the team to be nominated. It really does sum up for us how much of team effort this film has been, and how much of a special process it has been for everyone involved, with Dev [Patel] and Nicole [Kidman] and [cinematographer] Gregg [Fraser] and our wonderful composers. It's really a shared moment and it is lovely to see a film, which is about the best parts of us as human beings, being liked by the Academy. We're really thrilled.”

  • Justin Hurwitz

    Best original score nominee for 'La La Land' and co-writer of best original song nominees “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars” from 'La La Land.'

    Receiving three of La La Land’s 14 nominations is “incredible,” Justin Hurwitz told THR. “This has been a dream project for me and Damien. It’s something we started years ago, so just getting it made was a miracle. Having people like it was so fulfilling and to end up here is really kind of wild.” Hurwitz had yet to talk with his former Harvard roommate, since Chazelle is in China promoting the film, but knew that Chazelle could share in the small and large moments that have happened almost daily since the film’s release."Yesterday I was driving on the 405 past the Arclight Sherman Oaks. I could see the movies that are playing on the big, lit-up board above the cashiers and I saw La La Land. It was one of those many pinch-me moments to think that it’s just a title that Damien and I have been talking about for years and that existed in our e-mail inboxes and that this movie’s actually out there now...it was a strange thing."

    Hurwitz, who is a writer-producer on the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, says his day job bosses have been generous with sharing his time during awards season. “I’ve been taking a lot of time away from the set and they’ve been very understanding about it.” 
  • Travis Knight

    Director and producer of best animated feature film nominee 'Kubo and the Two Strings.'

    Focus Features

    "I’m over the moon!  An Academy Award nomination is an extraordinary and cherished gift. Two nominations is more than anyone could hope for. Every filmmaker dreams of a moment like this. But the truth is, I already lived my dream by making this film. Movies have always given me great joy. They enriched my life. They inspired me to dream. That’s the kind of film our team at Laika sought to make with Kubo and the Two Strings. A film is a slice of a hundred souls. In this case many more. An incredible, immense community of artists gave ceaselessly and selflessly to breathe life into this story. I’m so thankful for their talents and efforts and so proud of what we've done together. I’m profoundly grateful to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who somehow saw fit to include us among the finest storytellers in film. It is a tremendous honor to stand alongside them."

  • Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj

    Best animated short nominees for 'Borrowed Time.'

    Courtesy of Quorum Films

    “We’re absolutely overjoyed,” said Hamou-Lhadi, who also with Coats made the short during off hours while working at Pixar. “And to be in the company of so many great films is hugely humbling. I think there were tears flowing.”

    Adds Coats: “It was made over five years, after hours and weekends. It’s a dream come true. We met our producer, Amanda Jones, for breakfast before heading to Pixar. We are excited to congratulate (fellow nominees) the team on Piper.”

  • Byron Howard and Rich Moore

    Directors of best animated feature nominee 'Zootopia.'

    Photofest

    “We came about the topic because we were researching animals and how they cooperate,” Howard says of the film’s themes of bias and fear mongering. “Bias is dangerous. We love that Judy [the film’s protagonist] isn’t a perfect, and she steps up and owns her actions. It doesn’t try to come up with a fairy tale ending; it says hope is what we have. After the Women's March, so many people came back to us and said how positive it was to see so many people who believe in open-mindedness. We are so hoping people felt hope when they walked out of the theater.”

    Moore was excited to get to Disney animation to see the entire teams that worked on “not just Zootopia, but Moana. We have two movies nominated. Especially with animation, it’s so collaborative and you work on these films for such a long time.”

  • Claude Barras

    Director of best animated feature nominee 'My Life as a Zucchini.'

    Courtesy of Sundance

    "To see My Life as a Zucchini nominated as one of the world’s five best animation films is a rare and incredible feeling. Our foremost wish was to tell a story to children, one that teaches them not to be afraid, not to respond to violence with violence and to break down the walls that prevent us from sharing our differences. The way in which the film and its message have been received have completely overwhelmed us. We have to thank all of those who created this film with much love. To receive such love in return today is the most beautiful of rewards for all of us. We would like to share this honor with all of those who supported us in Switzerland, in France, in Europe and now in the United States."

  • Michael Dudok de Wit

    Director of best animated feature nominee 'The Red Turtle.'

    Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

    Michael Dudok de Wit sat in his London home glued to the Oscar website to see if his film would be nominated for best animated film. “It was a tense moment,” he recalled. “I had won an Oscar in 2000 for best animated short but this was different. This was a big project, with 200 people participating. I felt responsible for the whole team, and to the producers who took the risk. And when he heard his movie’s name? “I screamed!”

    Dudok de Wit believes the nomination shows that “hand-drawn animation is not out. People like to say it’s phasing out. It’s not. It’s one of the styles. And this is an acknowledgment of that art form. They could have picked five computer-generated films like Kung Fu Panda or Finding Dory or even Little Prince. It’s a big honor.”

  • Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

    Directors and producer of best animated film nominee 'Zootopia.'

    Photofest

    "We want to thank the Academy for honoring the hard work and passion that each and every artist put into Zootopia — the film, and its message of unity in a complex world, has been recognized in ways we couldn’t have possibly imagined.”

  • Alan Barillaro

    Best animated short nominee 'Piper.'

    Courtesy of Pixar

    "I was watching my kids grow, learn and take brave steps in the journey of growing up when the idea for Piper came to me. Since bringing it out into the world, I have realized Piper is very much like a child to me, and I’ve watched with awe as it has been embraced by audiences worldwide. Now, to be recognized with a nomination is truly humbling. To the Academy, and all those that have helped shepherd Piper along her way, I am truly thankful.”

  • Nicholas Britell

    Best original score nominee for 'Moonlight.'

    David Bornfriend

    "This is totally unreal — I am so incredibly humbled by this nomination. Working with director Barry Jenkins was such a phenomenal experience — congrats to Barry and the whole Moonlight team!” Nicholas Britell said in a statement. "Every composer dreams of the opportunity to collaborate with a film team as wonderful, hardworking and talented as this. When I first read the screenplay to Moonlight, I was so moved by its feeling of poetry and its profound beauty. In writing the music, I was able to explore so many sonic possibilities with Barry — everything from large violin concerto-like textures to low rumbling bass suites. Scoring Moonlight was an unforgettable artistic experience, and I am so truly honored to have been a part of this amazing film."

  • Jake Roberts

    Best film editing nominee for 'Hell or High Water.'

    Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

    "I’m completely blown away and very honored. I first worked with David Mackenzie 18 years ago editing a short film in a small room in Glasgow. It’s been a great journey but I never dared to dream that it would lead here. Aside from myself, I’m thrilled that the film has been recognized in this way. It was a modest production but we all gave everything because we loved the script and believed in what it was trying to say, so it’s a very satisfying result. Just amazing. Thank you to the Academy!"

  • Joe Walker

    Best editing nominee for 'Arrival.'

    Paramount Pictures

    "I'm thrilled skinny to be nominated alongside so many members of the Arrival team this morning — it's a huge rush. It was an unusual project that was made with total passion — it's been beyond our dreams to see how our little baby has thrived."

  • Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka

    Best original score nominees for 'Lion.'

    Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

    The composers, friends since 2006, were a continent apart when they got the news of their nomination on Tuesday morning — O’Halloran in Los Angeles and Hauschka in his native Germany — but they were united in their delight, just as they were on the score. Originally director Garth Davis intended for Hauschka to write the music for the Indian scenes and O’Halloran for the Australian scenes, but instead, the score all melded together. “Garth, Dustin and I agreed it doesn’t make sense to separate the worlds — we should follow Saroo through the whole world, but in different balances,” Hauschka told The Hollywood Reporter.

    “Garth was never putting pressure on us, but at the same time he was very straight in his opinions with the cues. That’s so helpful because he’d encourage us to go back if something wasn’t right and reshape things differently with an optimistic thought that we would find the best thing for the film. It was wonderful.” The storytelling required a gentle hand, added O’Halloran. “The whole score was really about restraint. It had to be emotional, too, which is a very fine line,” he said. “That was the hardest work that we did, just trying to get into that very delicate space of letting people feel open and emotional without feeling manipulated.”

  • Ava DuVernay

    Director of best documentary feature nominee '13th.'

    Erik Tanner/Getty Images

    "My thanks to the Academy for amplifying the injustices of mass criminalization and mass incarceration that we chronicle in 13th. Now more than ever, it is important to educate ourselves, explore our shared history and elevate our awareness about matters of human dignity. It’s an honor be included in a category with such fine documentarians and to be nominated in a year that truly embraces and celebrates inclusion within our creative community."

  • Kahane Cooperman

    Best documentary short nominee for 'Joe’s Violin.'

    Courtesy of Bob Richman

    “This project is a complete labor of love. I was a longtime producer at The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. I was there for 18 years, but my background was documentary filmmaking and I really wanted to reach back to my roots and tell a story. And so I set out to do this film on the side and what unfolded was just this incredibly moving and beautiful story of the goodness of people and how a small act can have a great impact. For me, this nomination means everything because documentary storytelling is my roots. I raised all the money on Kickstarter. This was a little engine that could kind of project. It’s so thrilling to have it acknowledged in this way. Never in my mind did I expect to get to this point.”

  • Craig Hammack

    Best visual effects nominee for 'Deepwater Horizon.'

    David Lee/Summit Entertainment

    "I’m in Altanta on Black Panther and I got a text from someone at ILM. There was a lot of good talk after the bakeoff, but I didn’t want to believe it was possible...I have been shooting all morning. I can’t wait to talk with the team. I hope to connect later and have a celebratory drink."

  • Rob Legato

    Visual effects nominee for 'The Jungle Book.'

    Courtesy of Disney

    “It’s incredibly rewarding and so humbling because so many people did such great work,” said the two-time Oscar winning VFX supervisor of the “virtual production” filmed entirely on a bluescreen stage. “The challenge was not relying on the graphic nature of what a computer has to offer. We chose to make it feel naturalistic, like we were shooting a regular movie. The art form is making a movie that looks like a movie. The challenge was resisting the urge to do more when less was better. Jon Favreau was so encouraging. When I wanted to adjust something when he was happy with it, he would say, ‘It’s your Oscar.’ … One reason we are now doing The Lion King is the success we had on Jungle Book.

  • James Laxton

    Best cinematography nominee for 'Moonlight.'

    David Bornfriend/Courtesy of A2

    "This nomination is a massive honor and will always mean the world to me. My name may be on that list, but its shared with so many supportive people who worked so hard to make Moonlight. We were led by a director, wizard, poet, my hero, and best friend Barry Jenkins. Barry and I have been collaborating for 15 years and his partnership continues to give me inspiration on a daily basis. It's that trust that was felt from all departments, especially our passionate and brilliant producers, notably my wife, Adele Romanski, for never letting us compromise and having not only the strength to support all of us but also the creativity and intelligence to guide us. Also need to share some love with the city of Miami for its beauty, energy and spirit that inspired us to create an authentically moving experience that is too powerful to look away from. Last but certainly not least, I share this moment with A24 who has been a light in the dark, a group of people who never let us feel alone, who trusted us and supported us every second of the way. Thank you to the Academy for this nomination, it will be something I will always cherish."

  • Stuart Craig

    Production design nominee for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.'

    Photofest

    “It’s extraordinary,” said Craig of his 11th nomination (he has won three times). “It was such a special piece of material, JK Rowling’s script, and it was such a rich opportunity on the visual side. There was something unique about each of these movies [including the Harry Potter films]. It never felt like you were repeating yourself. And Fantastic Beasts was even further removed. It was fantastic.”

  • Justin Timberlake

    Best original song nominee for “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from 'Trolls.'

    Miller Mobley

    "I am speechless, and humbled. Working on this film, and writing "Can’t Stop The Feeling" with Max Martin and Johan Schuster was such an amazing creative process,” Timberlake said in a statement. "Thank you so much to the Academy for this nomination. What an honor to be among these talented nominees."

  • Sting and J. Ralph

    Best original song nominees for “The Empty Chair” from 'Jim: The James Foley Story.'

    Miller Mobley

    Nominated for his fourth Oscar, this time for writing the lyrics for the end-title song of the moving documentary about the beheaded American journalist, Sting tells The Hollywood Reporter, "The stakes are higher when you’re writing about a person who really existed, a person with family and friends you want to honor. I’m glad I found the metaphor of the empty chair. I said no at first [when Ralph asked]. I said this is beyond my powers. I curated the song from what his family and friends said about him. It’s their song.”

    Ralph, who is celebrating his third nomination, hopes the nom will bring attention to the film: “That’s why we go anywhere we can to try to help people see this movie and see the importance of the story and this incredible heroism and compassion that was Jim Foley." As to whether they’ll work together again, Sting says, "It would be great to if the right project comes along. We trust each other. We should do a cartoon next, though."

  • Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

    Lyricists of best original song nominees “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars” from 'La La Land.'

    Courtesy of Lionsgate

    "While we might be the lyricists for La La Land, we’re having some real trouble finding words this morning,” the pair said in a joint statement. "We had the great honor of writing these songs with the singularly talented Justin Hurwitz, and it was such a privilege to develop them with the visionary Damien Chazelle. We couldn’t be more thrilled for the Academy to recognize that this film was a collaboration across all departments. And that’s about the maximum amount of English sentences we’re able to string together at this moment!"

  • Orlando von Einsiedel

    Best documentary short nominee for 'The White Helmets.'

    “We’re so over the moon! This was such a difficult, tough film to make and to have it recognized by the Academy means so much. For us really it’s a day to celebrate the white helmets themselves. Everyday we’re humbled by their work and dedication and we’re just so excited that everyone seems to have gotten behind them.”

  • John Gilbert

    Best film editing nominee for 'Hacksaw Ridge.'

    Mark Rogers/Summit Entertainment

    "Thank you to the Academy, and most especially to my peers in the editing branch who I gratefully respect. I am proud of this film and thank everyone involved with it. This film could not have been made without its formidable director and captain Mel Gibson, and I am so glad he was recognized as well today."

  • Colleen Atwood

    Costume design nominee for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.'

    Warner Brothers

    ‘Wow, I can’t believe it,” said Atwood of her 12th nomination (she has won three times). “It was a lot of work and a lot of design. It was fun to be in the world of Fantastic Beasts — it was a great project to work on.”

comments powered by Disqus