Trent Reznor: 'I Am Truly Stunned' to Win an Oscar

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Turns out the competition was a magic feather for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
 
While the Nine Inch Nails frontman and his British composing partner each expressed disbelief over their winning best original score Oscar for their synthy, non-orchestral soundtrack to The Social Network, Reznor revealed a surprising anecdote about his road to Oscar glory.
 
“[Inception] composer, Hans Zimmer, who I’ve been battling at awards shows all year, told me, ‘In a lot of ways, I hope you win because it’s helped open up the field a bit for texture of what film scores can be,’ ” Reznor told reporters backstage. “I am truly stunned by this. David [Fincher] bugged us to do it. I’m very glad we did. It’s been the best experience I’ve ever had from start to finish.”

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Reznor, who'd already “put Nine Inch Nails on the back burner" when Fincher approached him to score Network (the two had previously together on the creepy title sequence to Fincher's 1995 film Seven) admitted that movie composing was never in his plans.
 
"Thankfully David had a very clear idea of what he wanted,” said Reznor. “The only immediate direction he gave us was that there be no orchestra, be similar to Bladerunner -- inhabit the same iconic quality -- but not sound dated. It was definitely difficult to score for a bunch of people talking in rooms. There were no landscapes, or battles scenes. It wasn’t obvious to us what shape it would have."
 
For his part, Ross said he’d “been stunned” by every bit of recognition the pair had garnered throughout award season and only when the two received an Oscar nomination did he believe their Academy Award changes. “That morning I thought, ‘Wow, this is a reality.’ I’ve come in with no expectations. It’s been incredible.”

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It’s a long way from the day the musicians saw Fincher’s first cut of the film. “We watched 45 minutes, and it had more dialogue than in last 10 films I’d seen combined. That was a quiet car ride home,” Ross said.

Next up for the Oscar-winning composers? They are currently scoring Fincher's next film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

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