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'Panda 2' Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson On Gary Oldman’s 'Well Deserved' Oscar Nod

Nelson won the Annie Award for best direction for "Kung Fu Panda 2," and talked about Oldman, who voiced the film's “deathly frightening, cerebral villain."

"Kung Fu Panda 2"
Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

“It is so well deserved for him to be nominated,” said Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson on Gary Oldman’s Academy Award nomination for his role as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

In addition to his live action role in Tinker Tailer, the veteran actor did the voice acting for the villainous peacock Lord Shen in DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, which is nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature.

“We have always thought of Kung Fu Panda as a very sweet panda bear in a dead serious situation, and in order to get that level of threat, we had to get a villain that was really scary,” said Oscar nomineee Nelson, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Saturday at the Annie Awards, where she won the trophy for best direction of an animated feature for Panda. “Jack (Black) brings such a sweetness and funniness to the bear, and we had a complete contrast in Gary as being a deathly frightening, cerebral villain.

“He made Shen such a great villain,” she said. “The level of threat he brought to a frail white peacock to make him really frightening is wonderful. He is an amazing actor to work with.”