Golden Globe nominees' reactions
Colin Farrell, Penelope Cruz, Leonardo DiCaprio, moreThere is a circular kismet in Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon" nomination for best directing: In 1977 he was nominated for best supporting actor in "The Shootist," and attended the ceremony while at the same time broadcaster David Frost was holed up at the hotel and working with his research team on the history interview. "It's funny to think, 31 years later, that I was actually downstairs him."
The nomination is Howard's fifth, and the feelings are not old hat. "What I'm realizing is that I don't think you ever become blase about this kind of acknowledgment. It's the immediate recognition of the challenges that your most recent work presented; each time I make a film, anyone makes a film, it's a huge undertaking and two years of your life.
And Howard, used to making high-concept, big-budget, star-driven Hollywood movies, is also grasping with how much the awards season means to films that are opposite of that.
"I've never made a film before that actually depended upon awards season recognition to even stand a chance to find an audience. This is the furthest thing from a movie that is high concept and easy to market as I've ever done."
When Leonardo DiCaprio learned of his best actor nomination for "Revolutionary Road," he did what a character on "Entourage" might do: He called a buddy and shared his enthusiasm in a moment of male bonding. As it turned out that was a fitting reaction, since the buddy in question was Kevin Connolly, the actor who plays straight-laced manager E. on "Entourage" and who was nominated for a Globe himself. (The two are set to go out for a "nod lunch," DiCaprio said Thursday morning.)
The actor said that his own nomination for "Road," the suburban drama based on Richard Yates midcentury novel, validates the kind of film Sam Mendes and Par Vantage undertook. "This is a a throwback to the kind of actor's studio film from the '50s and '60s where the story is driven by the characters," DiCaprio said. "There are no phenomenal disaster elements. It's about people who are their own worst enemy. If you were making a film today without the book you'd have to put a dead body in there, or someone winning the lottery."
James Franco stayed up all night, working on the sound mix of his NYU Film project and then watching David Cronenberg's "Videodrome" until 4 a.m., and then fell hard asleep, missing not only his morning class but also the announcement for his nomination in stoner-action-buddy comedy "Pineapple Express." His manager finally woke him up, giving him the news, which caught him by surprise. If anything he thought maybe his work in "Milk," which already garnered a Spirit Award nomination even as the movie rose to the top of critics lists, would be recognized. "I was a little surprised because this is one of Gus' best movies. So I was a little sad for him and a little surprised. ... Maybe it's a polarizing movie, or a topic that is very appealing to some people, and then other people, maybe they just aren't ready for it."
You can't blame Colin Farrell for not setting his alarm to wake up for the Globes announcement Thursday morning; not even adventurous awards pundits were predicting a slot for the Irish badboy's turn as a gangster in Martin McDonagh's hit-man comedy "In Bruges," which came out nearly 10 months ago. "It was drawn to my attention that I should be aware there's an outside possibility," Farrell said diplomatically of how he pegged his odds coming into Thursday. An agent woke the actor up loudly with the news at about 5:45 am, and, with three nominations, a movie that many had forgotten about was suddenly back on the radar.
Of all the where-were-they-when-they-heard stories, Penelope Cruz's takes the prize. When her publicist called with the news, the "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" actress was flying from London to Paris with ... Bono. She and the U2 frontman, who are friends, were headed to a Nobel Prize dinner, and Cruz said she and the superstar would now have an opportunity to raise a glass together. Not that the Spanish siren was expecting a nomination; despite all the pundit predictions that had her landing a supporting actress slot, Cruz says she "didn't want to assume or expect this was going to happen. I'm always good hearing things that make me insecure about myself and blocking out the things that are good."
"WALL-E" director Andrew Stanton had to go online to see the nominations for the animation category, quite a difference from four years when his the category didn't exist at the Globes and his Pixar movie "Finding Nemo" was nominated in the musical/comedy category. Stanton isn't pining for those days but wishes things weren't as segregated today.
"It's nice to know there's a definite place for animation, but it's a little frustrating because with the Foreign Press, if you're in the category, you can't run in any other. Still, it is very exciting to be nominated."
And despite "WALL-E" being one of the best-reviewed movies of the year and an almost sure bet for a nomination, Stanton was still nervous before the announcement. "You never want to take anything for granted. I knew we had a shot at it, but I'm way too superstitious to take anything for granted."
The call from Marisa Tomei's publicist came early, waking her at her L.A. home around 6 a.m. Thursday to inform her of a nomination for best supporting actress in a motion picture for "The Wrestler." "I was dead asleep, and I didn't know why the phone was ringing," Tomei said.
Tomei plays the love interest of Mickey Rourke's character in "Wrestler," which netted a nom for Rourke as best actor in his comeback film. There wasn't much time to get to know him during the shoot, which was a quick 35 days. "It was really kind of a fast and furious shoot. We didn't get to know each other well," Tomei said. "Now we'll have more time thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn."
"I really felt strongly about working with (director) Darren Aronofsky. "I really trusted him and I knew it would be challenging," Tomei said. "He got me really excited for the challenge. It was a dare."
Sally Hawkins, the British actress behind the indelibly quirky Poppy in "Happy-Go-Lucky," has been sidelined by a collarbone injury that's hampered some of her work. But a trip to the doctor today came with a bit of good news -- she was in the cab coming home from the visit when her mother texted with the Globes news of her best comedy actress nom. "Of course because it came from my mum, I didn't believe it," Hawkins said. "But I think she's hooked in to some kind of Google alert. She knew ahead of L.A. I think she even knew ahead of the Golden Globes."
For Kristin Scott Thomas, the role of Juliette in the French film "I've Loved You So Long" was quite a change from the roles that she's done in the past. She describes her character, which earned her a best dramatic actress nom, as a "very secretive, mysterious, unlovable woman" who has recently come out of prison and is living with her sister's family and a terrible secret.
"I'm thrilled because it's a role that takes me out of the things that most people have seen me in before. I've never played a character like this before," she said. "I've always played a character with wit or an agenda, with a defense mechanism. This woman has no defense mechanism at all."
The woman, in the actress' words, was scruffy. And Scott Thomas was fine with that. "I'm not looking glamorous at all. Those things were intriguing to me. There wasn't once the word 'beauty' that came into the screenplay. Who cares? It wasn't about that, for once."
"Bolt" director Chris Williams was in the shower during the announcement and stepped out to his very excited, award-show addicted wife. "She was watching and is thrilled because she now gets to go the Golden Globes. She's always dreamed of going to one. And probably when she met a guy who likes to draw pictures a lot, she had no idea that one day she was going to achieve her goal."
Williams planned to go work at Disney and share the good news with his crew, who have been under a bit of a shadow. "We came out the same time as a little movie called 'Twilight' and hopefully this recognition will bring more people to the theater. We really believe we made a great film."
"Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle, in London, had planned his day around attending a school performance of a Samuel Beckett play directed by his 17-year-old daughter, but the day took a detour when his Mumbai-set movie scored four Globe noms. "I've got a lot of messages from Mumbai today. They've been through a tough time, but they are so exhilarated. Bollywood is an extraordinary industry in its own right, but they also watch Hollywood and it's very exciting to get this kind of honor out of Hollywood."
The movie will hit Mumbai on Jan. 23 in two versions -- the semi-English language version, which will play in art houses, and a second version, fully dubbed into Hindi. Although Doyle said he could not have predicted the reception the film has received in the states, "I did realize," he said, "when I first screened it in the U.S., that it's the basically the 'Rocky' story retold."
"With 'The Full Monty,' that was the first script I'd ever written, and I thought this would always happen -- you know, Oscars, nominations, what's the big deal?" joked "Slumdog Millionaire" best screenplay nominee Simon Beaufoy, who was nominated for an Oscar for "The Full Monty." "Now, 10 years later, and no nominations later, I realized how hard you have to work and how good your film has to be to get anything like a Golden Globe nomination. So I appreciate it 100 times more, because I really know what a tough business it is."
Beaufoy fielded calls about the news of his first Globe nomination while sitting in a suite with director Danny Boyle, producer Christian Colson, and stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto at the Soho Hotel in London. "We were all gathered around Sky News just holding our breath," he said. "It was very tense, I tell you. I've been feeling sick all morning." But Beaufoy sees the honor as a worthy result of what could be considered an underdog film. "We went (to Mumbai) with a very open heart, to make a rather ridiculously unfashionably romantic film," he said. "And somehow the world suddenly felt it needed a bit of that. It was a bit tired of sophistication and nuance and cleverness. Everyone thought, 'Let's have a bit of open, uncyncial passion and romance!' "
"Slumdog Millionaire" producer Christian Colson was at a press junket with Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy and the cast watching the nominations. But the room didn't explode in cheers when the film trotted away with four nominations. "There were some handshakes, a few 'well dones,' a pat on the back. I'm sorry to say it was all very British. But everyone is extremely thrilled."
One emotion that Colson is not feeling is righteously vindicated. The film was to have been released by Warner Independent, but that division was absorbed into Warner Bros. proper, and the film ended up at Fox Searchlight. "I know this sounds blandly conciliatory, but what happened at the studios didn't feel like a judgment on our film. Poor Warner Independent was a victim of corporate rethink. We were lucky to have Peter Rice and Fox Searchlight step in."
Colson said he won't have much time to celebrate as the "Slumdog" gang focuses on the film's all-important Jan. 23 opening in India.
Eric Roth nabbed his fourth nomination for best screenplay for his adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." "They all have their own feeling of satisfaction," said Roth, who has also been nominated for "Munich," "The Insider" and "Forrest Gump."
"But I am very satisfied because of how close I am to David Fincher and how close we worked together to get this to reflect something we thought was well done." Anxious about the awards, Roth lost some sleep and spent much of the night before reading "The Northern Clemency" by Philip Hensher before Warner Bros.' Desiree Finnegan called him with the news. "I was going to be in some sour way if David (Fincher) didn't get nominated, because I have such respect for the guy. We just had a nice hand-in-glove relationship on this movie. I've had that with other directors, but this has been very special because of the unique nature of the material."
John Patrick Shanley had just checked into a hotel in London when he learned he'd been nominated for his screenplay for "Doubt." He acknowledged that just being nominated can be "a nightmare. Everybody always says glowing things to you and then things happen or they don't happen; it's a roller coaster."
But he's convinced the movie speaks to a world thrust into a moment of uncertainty, explaining, "the whole country, the whole Western world seems to be stopping in their tracks and saying, 'We're not certain which way to proceed,' and it seems to me to be a real opportunity for discourse on the community level, rather than the dug-in debate we've seen over the last decade. And I think that's a good thing. The film is coming out at a time when it has big echoes of the state of the world the way it is now."
More immediately, he said, "I'm going to have a nice dinner, I hope, here at this fine hotel they've put me up in and maybe have a glass of very good red wine and raise it to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association."
Alexandre Desplat was flying through the streets of Paris on his Vespa when he heard the news that he had secured a fourth nomination (he won in 2007 for his score for "The Painted Veil"). "I feel really lucky to be nominated so many times in such a short period of time," said Desplat, who pulled down a best original score nomination for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." "This movie has been such an extraordinary artistic journey with David (Fincher), so I'm really glad for me of course, but also for the movie and for all the nominations everybody got."
Already thinking ahead to a celebratory glass of champagne, Desplat noted the similarities between his working style and a taskmaster like Fincher's. "I'm afraid we're really the same," Desplat said. "We are both very obsessed by detail and trying to approach perfection, which of course you never grasp but you always think that you are better and you can grasp. So you just sleep less, I suppose. And wake up even more early."
"Gomorra" director Matteo Garrone wasn't exactly in prime Globes viewing territory when the nominations were announced -- the Italian helmer was attending the Habana Film Festival in Cuba, where "Gomorra" was screening, and only heard about his best foreign-language film nom when a producer friend called him. Despite his location, he won't be marking the occasion with a cigar. "I would like to be with all my friends who made the movie, so I'm probably going to wait until I get back to Rome to celebrate."
"Frost/Nixon" best screenplay nominee Peter Morgan could barely contain his excitement, as a Viennese fire truck siren blared in the background of his crackling phone call. Although Morgan has picked up the award once already -- for "The Queen" two years ago -- this honor has special resonance for him.
"I don't know why, this feels better somehow," he said. "The pinch-me factor is doubled for some reason. It really is! I don't know if we didn't expect it. ... I feel like the flower pot's gonna hit my head soon. I'm overdue for some really bad luck."
It's especially startling to him that his original play, which he wrote when he was pennliess and had to borrow money to come to America to do research, didn't seem to have great commercial appeal. "I promise you, the only hopes I had for this play were that it would play for three weeks in a pub theater somewhere in North London," he joked.
"That it should have an evening like this in its trajectory, which has been mind-boggling to say the least, is really just amazing. I'm just very sorry Michael Sheen (who plays David Frost) isn't there to join us." The British writer spends half his time in the Austrian capital and is there now with his family for their annual Christmas holiday. But the evening's only planned festivities were an eye test. "That's how I'm gonna celebrate tonight," he said. "(On the eye chart) I can spell out F-L-U-K-E."
"It never gets boring," said Hans Zimmer, nominated for best original score for "Frost/Nixon." The German-born composer already has eight nominations and two wins in his bag, for "The Lion King" and "Gladiator."
"This is a bit special," he said from bed in his Beverly Hills home, where his family was gearing up for school and his large golden retriever Happy was jostling for blanket space. "I feel if you talk about 'Frost/Nixon,' you need to talk about the writing first, you need to talk about the acting, you need to talk about Ron (Howard)'s fantastic direction -- all of that steers my hand towards something. The thing I tried to do the hardest was to stay out of the way of all those things. And to stay out of the way of sentimentality."
Having grown up during the '70s all over Europe, Zimmer was very aware of David Frost and President Nixon, and found that each recent screening of the film around this year's presidential election changed the contextual nature of the film. "I've never felt a movie that has that much zeitgeist," Zimmer said. "As a German, you cannot help but be aware of what bad leadership can do to a country."
People in Los Angeles might have been pulling themselves out of bed at a predawn hour to hear Globes nominations, but David Hare didn't even have that luxury. The screenwriter of "The Reader" was just landing on a red-eye from Los Angeles to London when the announcements came in -- and didn't even know what he was missing.
"I live in a complete fool's paradise. I didn't even know it was Golden Globes today," said Hare, who earned his second Globe nom. "I was taken aback when someone rang me to tell me I was nominated."
The writer said that the four Globes nominations for a drama about postwar Germany disproved a certain piece of conventional wisdom. "People always say during a recession that audiences don't want such serious pictures," he said. "That's what's so gratifying about this. I think the American audience wants to find out about something they didn't know about before."
"It can only go downhill from here," joked best original score nominee James Newton Howard ("Defiance"), who was finishing an early breakfast before running off to record the score for Tony Gilroy's new film, "Duplicity." A three-time previous nominee who has not yet snagged the award, Howard had a personal connection to Ed Zwick's fact-based movie about the Bielski brothers' miraculous survival during the onset of the Holocaust.
Raised Protestant, Howard learned 20 years after his father's death that he was in fact Jewish and that his father's original last name was Horowitz. "I always felt Jewish, so it didn't come as a great surprise," he said. "It was a haunting experience to work on that movie. I found that the more time I spent in front of it, the more I just became immersed in the whole feeling of it. And I spent a lot of time away from the movie thinking about what it must have been like for those people."
It may be Michael C. Hall's third nomination as best actor for the title role in "Dexter," but what really makes him happy is the fact that the show was nominated. "It's validating. It gives me and all of us involved with the show, validating that we're maintaining a quality and an audience, and people remain interested in the show," Hall said.
He thinks that the "Dexter" run on CBS and iTunes, along with the Golden Globe nominations, raise the show's profile among people who don't necessarily subscribe to Showtime. "The show has certainly benefited from what essentially was a seasonlong free advertisement for the show on CBS," he said.
He's taking a little time away from the character as the cast and crew just finished several weeks of photography. But he loves playing Dexter. "There are so many colors in the spectrum of the character, it never really gets boring," he said.
What's ahead for the serial killing serial killer?
Hall said that there's a fine line to taking the show beyond the "who's he gonna kill this week framework" but that he thinks there will be more development and growth for the character. But don't worry, he's not going to grow a heart unless Dexter joins a monastery or something equally extreme. "I don't think that's going to happen," Hall said.
After missing out on an Emmy nomination for his supporting role in HBO's "In Treatment" amidst strong buzz in July, Blair Underwood didn't have Golden Globe expectations. When his phone rang early Thursday, he rolled over in bed and when he saw it was his publicist, his first thought was that she was calling about his recently canceled ABC sophomore drama "Dirty Sexy Money."
"I thought maybe they're calling to say they'd made a mistake and had changed their minds," Underwood said. This is Underwood's second Globe nomination, after scoring one in the same category 18 years ago for his role on "L.A. Law." No celebration though -- he was on daddy duty Thursday, taking his kids to school.
Christina Applegate was due. "Any good news is very welcome in my life right now," she said with a rueful laugh. After her new show "Samantha Who?" debuted last year to strong critical reaction and a Globe nomination for the actress, she then suffered a breast cancer diagnosis and a double mastectomy this past August. So a nomination this year for best performance by an actress in a TV comedy series for her title role as an amnesiac had special resonance.
"Just good news and upswing, as I like to call it, holds a great deal more importance to me than it did last year," Applegate said. "As honored as I was last year with everything that happened, with the new show being accepted and embraced, I think this year it means a lot to me that good things happen. Because I'm kind of done with the bad things."
Applegate, who was also nominated 10 years ago for "Jesse," managed to sleep through several celebratory phone calls after a long night working on the show, before finally waking up and fielding one in bed wearing "old lady flannel pajamas" at her L.A. home. "I'm going to celebrate by working for about 14 hours today," she joked.
Learning from his home in London that he had received two Golden Globe nominations for his roles as Benjamin Franklin in "John Adams" and James Baker in "Recount" was a pleasant surprise for Tom Wilkinson. Recovering from hip surgery that kept him from attending the Emmys -- where he won for "John Adams" -- Wilkinson said Thursday that it's a good feeling to know the work is being recognized. "It's brilliant. It's work that you do and you kind of in a way forget about it, and then it's brought back to you," Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson said that he didn't really think about it until afterward that he had signed on to play two American icons, Franklin and Baker. But he said that with Franklin, he was able to merge the British -- Franklin's father was born in England -- with the colonial American.
He's also bullish on HBO, which collected the most nominations, including five for "Recount" and four for "John Adams" among others. "We've done very well together, haven't we," Wilkinson said. "I shall certainly be banging the drum for them."
"Recount," which chronicles the events of the 2000 Florida ballot recount, premiered in the midst of one of the most thrilling primary campaigns in May and continued to play on HBO throughout the historic presidential campaign in the fall, including a run on Election Night. "It's exciting to be a part of the increased interest in politics," the film's director/executive producer Jay Roach said. But the movie relevance didn't end on Election Day. A few days later, Ron Klein, the central character in "Recount," played by Globe nominee Kevin Spacey, landed the gig as chief of staff to Vice President-elect Joe Biden.
And there is that other closely watched recount going on in the Minnesota Senate race between incumbent Norm Coleman and former comedian Al Franken. Just like in Florida eight years ago, the margin in Minnesota is small, and the totals keep swinging back and forth in midst of a string of legal challenges. "It is gratifying to see our film continues to be mentioned," Roach said.
David Duchovny is no stranger to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. He received a second consecutive nomination for best actor in a TV series for his role on "Californication," a year after winning the Golden Globe. "It's a good thing for the show," Duchovny said. "I always love that (the show's creator) Tom Kapinos can be acknowledged for the great work he's doing. He's had two great seasons."
For Duchovny, it's the kind of comedic role that he's wanted to play for a long time and unlike anything he's done in his career. He credits Kapinos and the writing staff's "smart and emotional and edgy" dialogue and the fact that the extremes are suffused with a feeling of sentimentality ad family. "It seemed very adult and very real to me," Duchovny said. "It's really an honor to be able to do it."
After tossing and turning for two hours, "A Raisin in the Sun" executive producer Neil Meron got up at 5 a.m. and turned on the TV to watch the Golden Globes announcement. But when it finally came on, the best TV movies and miniseries category wasn't part of it. "TV movies are a very neglected genre," he said. While Meron was disappointed that none of the "Raisin" actors were nominated, he was happy with the best TV movie nom. "We'll take it, it closes out our journey," he said of the Globes, one of the last major award races for "Raisin," which premiered a year ago at Sundance.
Melissa George, nominated for best actress for "In Treatment, was still asleep when the word came since she'd been up since midnight on the set of "Grey's Anatomy," "playing Sexy Sadie in my scrubs." Her reaction: "I kept just thinking of my Mom and Dad saying, 'Oh luv, we could see you being nominated someday.' " She credits the intense therapy sessions she shared with Gabriel Byrne in "In Treatment" for raising her game. "It's the dialogue," she said. "It brings it back to what acting is all about. It's just so raw. You're high from it."
Compiled by Nellie Andreeva, Laura Butler, Jay A. Fernandez, Gregg Kilday, Borys Kit, amd Steven Zeitchik in Los Angeles and Paul J. Gough and Jillian Karger in New York.