Oscars: What the Nominees Are Saying

6:02 AM 1/14/2016

by THR staff

The nominees share their thoughts on the Thursday morning announcement.

Oscars 6 Way Split - H 2016
Photofest; Getty Images

The 88th annual Academy Awards nominations were announced Thursday morning, with The Revenant leading the race with 12 mentions, followed by Mad Max: Fury Road with 10 and The Martian with seven.

The Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock, will take place Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It will air live on ABC beginning at 4 p.m. PT.

Upon hearing the news on Thursday morning, here's what the nominees are saying.

  • George Miller

    The Mad Max: Fury Road director was up at 2 a.m. in Sydney, Australia, after his wife, Margaret Sixel, began getting text messages when she was nominated for the editing on the film. “The crew is responsible for making this movie, and I’m glad they’re being recognized in this way” says Miller, whose film got the second-highest number of nominations with 10, including best picture and best director. “I still haven’t had a chance to even look at the list. It’s great. I would never have thought this would have happened. It’s really nice to be invited to the party. It’s a really good feeling.”

    Miller told THR that a recent interview that stated he wouldn’t direct another Mad Max film got a “bit jumbled.” He explained, "I was saying I didn’t want to do Mad Max right away. ... I have a few other stories to tell. I wanted to do something small and fast. It got all very jumbled.” For now, the 70-year-old director says his immediate plans are to enjoy the morning: “I’m having a cup of tea and we’ll probably stay up for a while."

  • Adam McKay

    Adam McKay is a big fan of the snooze button. Not even Oscar morning and a small 5 a.m. waffle party at his home in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood could stop him from hitting the button and letting him sleep five more minutes, until 4:55 a.m. “I had to wake up very quickly because the door started buzzing,” said McKay, who built his career on comedy before directing The Big Short, a far more serious proposition. Those coming over to his house Thursday morning included Big Short producer Jeremy Kleiner, who works at Brad Pitt’s Plan B. “My kids kept saying, ‘What if you don’t get any nominations?’ I told them that we’re grownups and that while it wouldn’t be the best day, we’ll get over it.”

    As it turned out, McKay didn’t have to get over anything. The Big Short got five nominations: best picture, best director, best supporting actor (Christian Bale), best adapted screenplay and best editing. “Never,” said McKay, “did I imagine we would get every category we had a shot at."

    Read more 'The Big Short' Stars, Director Gather to Debate Wall Street, Trump and Hillary vs. Bernie

  • Lenny Abrahamson

    "This is an incredible day for everyone involved in Room. Thank you to the Academy for honoring us with four nominations — it’s beyond all our wildest dreams," said the director in a statement. "It is a testament to everyone who gave so much of themselves to make this film happen. I am so proud of Emma Donoghue, whose incredible novel started the journey, of Ed Guiney, my filmmaking other half who has been with me, driving the train, from the beginning, and to everyone at Element Pictures Dublin, my filmmaking home, of the extraordinary Brie Larson and the prodigy that is Jacob Tremblay. Also love and thanks go to Stephen Rennicks, Nathan Nugent, Ethan Tobman and Danny Cohen, my filmmaking team. What a day for Irish cinema! I am so delighted."

    Read more How 'Room' Landed Brie Larson and Its Young Breakout Star

  • Saoirse Ronan

    "Everyone is cheering in here,” says Ronan with a laugh. She had just walked into the Greenwich Hotel in New York as she spoke to THR on the morning of her nomination. “I ran into a shower, jumped out, and then brushed my hair and rushed over here to do press,” she says. Ronan spoke to her Brooklyn director, John Crowley, right after the nominations and called her friend Eileen O'Higgins, who played Nancy in the movie. “As soon as I heard her voice I cried. She really helped me through some stuff in the film,” says Ronan.

    As for the film, Ronan says her view on it continues to morph and change over time. “Before I shot it, I thought, ‘This film is my first Irish film and that’s what it is to me.’ But when we went into it, it took on the role of representing home and homesickness and my relationship with my mom. And then going through all this, I’ve never done this before, it’s been an eye-opener.” After the Oscars, Ronan will jump into her first Broadway play, The Crucible. “It’s a really good time to jump into something like a play. It’s my first one, and I’m absolutely terrified,” she says. “To go from all this industry stuff — which has been really exciting — but I want to go back and do what I do and get to work."

    Read more How 'Brooklyn' Mirrors Saoirse Ronan's Own Coming-of-Age Story

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

    "I am so grateful to the Academy for their recognition of this film," said DiCaprio in a statement. "Making The Revenant was one of the most rewarding and collaborative experiences of my life. None of this would have been possible without Alejandro's talent, vision and determination. Our dedicated crew also deserves to share in this moment. Together, they have created a truly unique cinematic experience. Congratulations to all of my fellow nominees this season. Thank you to the Academy."

  • Brie Larson

    "I’m unbelievably honored and excited to be recognized by the Academy, and even more thrilled to share this honor with Lenny Abrahamson, Emma Donoghue and the entire Room family of filmmakers, cast, and crew," said Larson in a statement. "I'm so lucky and humbled to be a part of this beautiful story, in a once-in-a-lifetime role. Congratulations to my fellow nominees. Truly, I am very grateful this morning."

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Jennifer Lawrence scored her fourth Oscar nomination for Joy, loosely based on the life of Miracle Mop creator Joy Mangano. She was fast asleep Thursday morning at her home in Los Angeles when awoken by her assistant, who told her she'd been nominated. "It feels amazing, and I'm really honored," she told THR. It was the only nom the movie received, ending a dazzling run for director David O. Russell, whose last three films — American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter — were all nominated for best director and best picture. "This certainly doesn't drive him. He's not petty," she said. "Everyone worked on the film just as hard for me. And it's such a personal movie for David."

    Read more Making of 'Joy': How Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell Survived Endless Blizzards

  • Sylvester Stallone

    "I was on a jet coming back from England and I arrived here around 3:30 in the morning, and rather than wake up my wife, which could end badly, I decided to stay in the bedroom, pacing back and forth, and then I turned on the TV," Stallone, who stars opposite Michael B. Jordan in the Rocky sequel, told THR. On being part of awards season, he said, “It’s something that’s so different than I’m used to. It’s making me very reflective about what has come before and how journeys take you here and there, and now I’m back where I started, but obviously now a lot wiser. I didn't realize how special it was back in 1977 because I was really green and naive."

    Stallone did say he was disappointed that his director didn’t receive any recognition. "I think Ryan Coogler is a brilliant director. I know I forgot to mention him at the Golden Globes and I’ve been flogging myself over that. I think what he did to overcome, ‘Oh, it’s another Rocky film’ and create his own entity within a Rocky world is amazing,” said Stallone, who says he plans to head out later to celebrate. “I have to go out with a couple of my friends, a couple of the old timers who were there in the beginning."

  • Mark Ruffalo

    "I'm very humbled today. I'm incredibly proud of this film and of Tom, my dear friend who has made something that we all are so passionate about," the Spotlight actor said in a statement. "I share this with Rachel, the entire cast and the amazing group of journalists who were brave enough to make a difference. A very special thanks to Mike Rezendes who opened his work and his life to me. And Michael, Liev, Brian, John, Stanley, ... these are actors I have admired throughout my entire career, and I feel honored to have told this special story with them. This film is very important to me, and is even more important to journalism."

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh

    "This is incredible news to wake up to. I am thrilled. I didn't think the experience of working with Quentin and this cast could get any more rewarding," said the Hateful Eight actress in a statement. "To get this recognition for this role is such a joy."

  • Mark Rylance

    "I was sitting here at my kitchen table in Boston when I got the call," said the Bridge of Spies actor of his first Oscar nomination. "I have a play here that I am working on and I have co-written that is going to New York next month. It's about ice fishing." Of Steven Spielberg's snub in the best director category, Rylance said, "If Steven wants [it] — I would love Steven to get whatever he wants. I think it is a very beautifully and subtly crafted film, but I am sure he has had enough awards that he won't be too upset about it."

    Has he discovered anything new about the film doing the awards circuit? "I bumped into Sting, and he was the first man I met that knew who [my character] Rudolf Abel was, because Colonel Abel grew up in the same city as Sting in Newcastle. And when he drew that to my attention, I had to apologize because I made him slightly Scottish!"

  • Rooney Mara

    "To be acknowledged this morning along with Cate, Phyllis, Ed, Carter and Sandy is an incredible honor," said the Carol actress in a statement. "Todd made a beautiful and quiet love story with Carol. I am proud to have been a part of it and feel privileged to have worked with some of our finest artists and one of our greatest directors."

    Read more Making of 'Carol': Why It Took 60 Years to Film the Lesbian Love Story

  • Mary Parent

    "It's midnight here in Australia, so I watched it on my phone from my hotel room," says the Revenant producer (pictured second from left with producers James W. Skotchdopole, Steve Golin and Keith Redmon) of the nominations announcement. "I just got in yesterday so now I probably won't be able to sleep for another 24 hours!" With the survival epic leading this year's Oscar race, "we have all been texting and calling — it is so great to see so many people deservedly recognized. [The shoot] was such a bonding experience going through this movie, so this is just surreal icing on the cake." Parent won't be celebrating during her current Kong: Skull Island shoot alone. "Brie Larson [nominated for best leading actress for Room] is starring in the movie, so it will be an exciting day on set tomorrow."

  • Simon Kinberg

    "I set my alarm for 5:15 but my body decided to wake me up at 4 a.m.,” says Kinberg, who received his first nomination as a producer of The Martian. “It felt completely surreal for me. It’s wonderful because I love the movie and I’m so proud of the movie, but this is the first time I’ve been around anything like this; so for me it was more of an out-of-body experience."

    While the film, which received seven nominations, did get a nomination for best picture, its director Scott was left off the best director list (after winning a Golden Globe just this past weekend). “I was very disappointed and completely shocked by it. I still haven't processed what happened. He is the master behind the movie, and this movie is a testament to his talent, his heart and his leadership. We’re very happy the movie was honored, but to honor it without honoring him it hard to fathom." However, Scott is a producer on the film, so a best picture win would be a win for him as well. “I know it would mean a lot to him to win an Oscar, so hopefully for all of us, he’ll get a chance to get his Oscar."

    Read more 'The Martian's' Matt Damon Talks 'Bourne' Return, Politics and PC Flubs: "Oh My God, I Look Like an Asshole"

  • Ridley Scott

    "We are genuinely honored, delighted and grateful for the very generous recognition our film received today from the Academy," said the director in a joint statement with fellow producers Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam. "The Martian was a demanding shoot and a true collaboration between every single person associated with it. So to see so many of our team members receive nominations this morning is particularly gratifying. A deeply heartfelt thank you to all the members of the Academy."

  • John Crowley

    "It’s kind of crazy. We haven’t had time to process anything because the phone has been nonstop," said the Brooklyn director. "Who would have thought that we would have gotten here?" Saoirse Ronan, the film’s star, received a best actress nomination while Nick Hornby got a screenplay nomination along with the film’s best picture nomination. "It’s a quiet film. It’s quite different than a lot of things that are around,” said Crowley. "It’s been remarkable. I’ve never had so many reactions from people where they need you to know something. They come up after a screening, and they have to communicate to you very specifically and personally that it is their grandmother’s story, or their father’s story. That’s been the most startling thing for me.” And Crowley, who’s based in London, does have plans to celebrate: “I'm gonna pop the top of a bottle of champagne!”

  • Steven Spielberg

    "A cliche is the truth many times over, so to say we’re just so honored to have been nominated is the plain truth," said Steven Spielberg in a joint statement with fellow producers Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger. "On behalf of all our colleagues who worked on Bridge of Spies, we are all very proud to have been nominated for best picture. To be included in such a spectacularly creative and diverse field of movies this year, makes this a nomination we’ll never forget.”

  • Ed Guiney

    The Room producer watched the nominations live from Dublin. "It was great that Brie [Larson] got nominated, and the film — but the one I think I am most pleased about is Lenny's director nomination. We didn't think that was even in our orbit," he told THR. "I am also very pleased as well for all of the nominations from Ireland. There were also three for Brooklyn and one for a short film, and Ireland has never had this many nominations. To get eight for a country the size of Ireland — it is not even the size of Brooklyn! I am really glad we got these nominations because more people will get to see this movie and it is a movie that deserves to be seen." To celebrate, "we'll have a good night out in Dublin tonight."

  • Matt Charman

    "I’ve just had my little boys come down to my office to celebrate. I don’t think they have any idea what’s happened but that makes it all the better,” said the Bridge of Spies screenwriter, who is based in the U.K. "I can very clearly remember where I was in my house when I [saw the] footnote [that gave me the idea for the screenplay]. To find something as a footnote and then to think about the way it grew, the opportunities that it was able to give me, the fact that a footnote can capture Steven Spielberg’s imagination, then the script got Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance to this, earning an Oscar nomination — it feels impossible, to be honest,” he added. Charman, a first-time nominee, says he and his wife have always looked forward to watching the Oscars every year. “My wife and I, for years and years, we used to stay up all night and watch them. For me, it’s a big, exciting night, so to be part of that now is kind of dizzying."

  • Lady Gaga

    "This nomination lends a voice to so many victims and their families around the world. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing the movement of people who have come together around The Hunting Ground and 'Til It Happens to You' in the name of sexual assault," said Lady Gaga. "Diane Warren and I are simply honored to represent the voices of so many survivors."

    Read more 'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Lady Gaga and Diane Warren ('The Hunting Ground')

  • Diane Warren

    Warren co-wrote the emotional centerpiece for the documentary about sexual assaults on college campuses with Lady Gaga, who also performs the tune. “When I called her and played her the song. It was more of a somber ballad, but she really made it epic,” Warren said. “She made it hers and took it to another level by arranging the shit out of it and singing the shit out of it.” Warren wanted the song to “give voice” to the rape survivors in the film, but added, “I also [wrote] a song that fits outside of the movie, that can be about dealing with [any] difficult situation from bullying to losing somebody to losing your job.” Warren, who has been nominated seven times before, hopes the eighth time is the charm. “I’m definitely officially Susan Lucci. But Susan Lucci won, too! I’m hoping this time it goes all the way. The song deserves it.”

  • J. Ralph

    Ralph, who was previously nominated for “Before My Time” from the documentary Chasing Ice, based the music for “Manta Ray” on a heartbreaking clip he saw of the last existing Kauai O’o bird. “He’s singing for a female that would never come. They mate for life, and so it was incredibly harrowing to see this bird singing this song fully unaware that he’s the last of his species,” Ralph said of the Racing Extinction track. “At that moment I knew the melody of the song had to be almost a response to this call."

    Ralph wrote the melody and then called good friend Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons to compose the lyrics and perform the song. “I said, ‘If I had one voice to represent the fate of humanity, it would be you.’ We talked about what the lyrics could be and what the song could do. She called me a few hours later and said, ‘I think I’ve got it,’ and came back and we recorded it.” His hope is that the nomination helps “amplify the message about species extinction and the fate of our planet."

  • David Lang

    When Lang, who also composed the score for the Paolo Sorrentino-directed film, heard his name announced, “I spilled coffee all over myself.” The first-time nominee wrote the operatic song before the Youth script was finished. “I would have early copies of the script and dream about the emotional arc of the [Michael Caine] character and what was going on in his life at the end. I would ask Paolo a specific question and he’d go, ‘Oh, I need to cry.’ He just wanted to feel at the end as if some emotional barrier had been crossed. I felt like the music was revealing something about this character that the script or acting couldn’t get to. I think all the praise has to go to Paolo. He build this world and he decided that composers are interesting enough to make a movie about."

  • Sam Smith

    Smith, who won four Grammys last year, snagged his first Oscar nomination with co-writer Jimmy Napes for “Writing’s on the Wall” from the latest James Bond film, Spectre. "I am sitting in a coffee shop with my mum and just found out I have an Oscar nomination,” he said in a statement. “Feeling very overwhelmed and just can't believe it. Better pick out a gown. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor and recognition.” Smith and Napes collected a Golden Globe for the song earlier this week.

  • Carter Burwell

    After scoring more than 80 films, Burwell landed his first Oscar nom for scoring Todd Haynes’ tender and turbulent ’50s love story. He scored the film chronologically, following the arc of the lovers, played by fellow nominees Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and used their delicate restraint as a template. "The score is playing the interior life of the characters," he said. "The fact that they are so reserved and that the film is so spare in talking leaves a lot of space. That’s a nice opportunity. The main issue was how much to say. If I tried to say, ‘They’re falling in love’ and write something that gushes about that, you remove some of the mystery that provides the tension. It was about being as reserved as they were."

  • John Williams

    "I'm deeply honored and grateful to the Academy for this recognition,” said the composer in a statement of his 50th nomination overall (and fourth for the Star Wars franchise). "It's been a privilege and a joy to revisit the Star Wars galaxy and to work with the brilliant director J.J. Abrams on this very special film."

  • Ennio Morricone

    "When Quentin [Tarantino] first asked me to write the score for his new Western, I said no," said the composer of The Hateful Eight. "But Mr. Tarantino is an astute man, and he left the screenplay for my wife, Maria, to read. He had spotted who is the boss in our house. Maria realized instantly what a brilliant screenplay Quentin had written for The Hateful Eight, and she told me in no uncertain terms that I had to do it. I am so happy that I did. To work with such a brilliant young director at my age gives me great pleasure. He was just 1 year old when I wrote my first score for Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars. It is also a deep honor and very humbling to receive this prestigious award nomination for doing the profession I love."

  • Emma Donoghue

    "I'm shaking with excitement almost too much to type, but let me just say that I am blown away by Room getting four Oscar nominations, which was beyond our wildest hopes," the author-screenwriter said. I’m particularly glad that one nomination is for the extraordinary Lenny Abrahamson for best director. People don't always realise how much care and art went into his creation of the naturalistic world of Room. I’m extremely honored to be recognized by the Academy, thank you!”

  • Andrea Berloff and Jonathan Herman

    It was an "only in L.A." moment: Andrea Berloff took her son to the school bus stop to be picked up and when the door swung open, the bus driver congratulated her on her Straight Outta Compton screenwriting nomination. "She already knew!" laughed Berloff, who live-streamed the nominations with her son. Jonathan Herman, meanwhile, watched the nominations on TV while his partner of 13 years slept. When he heard his name, “I quickly woke him up,” Herman said. But there wasn’t much time for celebrating since the two had to catch a plane to Mexico for a vacation.

    Berloff and Herman were the only people who were nominated for Oscars from the Compton film team. And with Creed only nabbing a nomination for actor Sylvester Stallone, the Academy is under fire for not being diverse. It’s something that Berloff is acutely aware of, even attending a town hall on diversity at the WGA the night before the Oscar nominations. “It’s going to be big conversation that we in the Hollywood community have to have, not just today but going forward,” she said. “This is a big ship, Hollywood, and it will take a while to right the course. But we’re working on it."

  • Josh Singer

    "My wife and I got up for [the announcement] and we were texting with [director] Tom [McCarthy]," said the Spotlight co-screenwriter. “It was really thrilling. The entire cast is so great. Everyone across the board did such a great job. The performances are subtle.” Along with best screenplay, Spotlight also was nominated for best picture and both Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams received nominations. “It’s particularly exciting that Mark got a nomination. He’s not only so great in the movie, but he’s a wonderful, wonderful guy so you just love to see that. And with Rachel, her work is so subtle and so strong.” Singer adds: “Above all, what’s incredibly exciting about these nominations is hopefully it gets people out there to see the movie and gets people talking about the issues we’re tackling here.”


  • Phyllis Nagy

    "I was keenly interested to see if these female-driven films [like Carol and Room] would find some recognition. And if they did, then maybe there’s a shift and there is some progress. Today makes me very happy indeed," the Carol screenwriter told THR. "I was in L.A. in my PJs, having a cup of coffee, watching the nominations and rooting for all of my Carol pals. I just saw the Carol picture come up in my category, and I didn’t even pay attention to whether or not they pronounced my name correctly. But who cares? They can say whatever they want! They can call me Phyllis Smith for all I care. As for the Carol best picture snub, of course, all of the nominations we did get would have been impossible had the film not been so beautifully made. Of course, it tempered my own personal joy. It should have been there. Director Todd [Haynes] should have been there."

  • John Seale

    "This is very exciting, for an action film to crash into the Academy Awards. It’s an action film and was released nine months ago," said Aussie cinematographer Seale, who previously won for The English Patient. "It's my fifth nomination and it’s as exciting as the first. And Max Max is now the most nominated film to come out of Australia. To work with George Miller again [after Lorenzo’s Oil] was very exciting, and when the opportunity came up I didn’t hesitate to jump on a truck and help him make Mad Max.”

    Read more How 'Hateful Eight,' 'Mad Max' Cinematographers Got Their Oscar-Contending Looks

  • Jason Smith

    "I finally got to sleep last night around 3:30, but I set the alarm and woke up for the announcement; it was very exciting,” said the first-time nominee. “I’m really proud of the team, and really excited about the film’s nominations.” Commenting on the attention the bear has received, he said, “It’s been fun. When Jonah Hill played the bear at the Golden Globes we were cracking up."

  • Andrew Whitehurst

    "It's an astonishing day and an incredible achievement by the crew. I am so proud that the artistry and hard work that they all contributed to the project has been recognized in this way," he said of Ex Machina. "For a film with such a modest budget to receive this attention is beyond anything I could have imagined. It must also be said that the work owes a huge debt to the other departments and talent on the film whose input enabled the VFX to shine, especially Rob Hardy's beautiful pictures and Alex Garland's vision and direction. Lastly, we in VFX will never be able to repay Alicia Vikander for the performance that brought Ava to life and gave us such a tremendous foundation on which to build our work. It's a wonderful day for all involved."

  • Colin Gibson

    “Like most things, [filmmaking] is a team sport. And when it’s done well it’s that much more fun. Seeing everyone else get nominated as well, especially George [Miller] for best director — which I think he is — made my morning," Gibson said, chuckling that he already heard from some of the team. “It’s 2 a.m. [here in Australia] so most of the crew is up. We only need two or three hours of sleep. But George is 70, I’m hoping he’s asleep."

  • Eve Stewart

    “I’m so happy and running around with no shoes on!" chuckled Stewart upon learning of her fourth nomination, her third with director Tom Hooper. Catching up with THR while she was at Elstree Studios in the U.K., she said, "It was really brilliant to portray a gentle story about transgender and the fact that it’s very much talked about now."

    Read more How Eddie Redmayne's Transgender Role in 'The Danish Girl' Went From "Commercial Poison" to Oscar Contender

  • Arthur Max

    “I’m very excited and proud,” said Max, who caught the announcement live. “I’m usually up that early, and then there was a bombardment of emails. It was a very international project." But he admitted that Scott’s omission from the best director category was “a surprise and a bit of a disappointment. But we got seven nominations, and he did get one for best picture.”

    For the Oscar ceremony, he plans to wear cufflinks that he received from NASA while the agency was consulting on the production. “They are my lucky cufflinks,” he said. “They were very big fans of the film, and they were very complimentary about the work. ... They even incorporated a little of what we did on Prometheus into some of their test panels.”

  • Richard Stammers

    "I’ve been [responding to] emails and I have been sending thank-yous. I’m very pleased for the whole team; it was a big team and there are a lot of people to thank for their contributions." he told THR. "It was great working with Ridley Scott, he’s such a visual director. [On Scott not earning a directing nomination, I] was disappointed. He’s utterly awesome and it’s a great shame. Seven nomination means that there was plenty of good work in the film."

  • Roger Guyett

    "The fact that we have been recognized for the work on this franchise that carries so much legacy and history, it’s a great moment. We’re all very excited, it feels fantastic,” said the film’s VFX supervisor. "It would have been awesome to get a best picture nomination — that would have been fantastic — but it wasn’t to be. But I’m very happy for everyone on the project."

    Will Chewbacca now take on the Revenant bear in the Industrial Light & Magic VFX department? Guyett responded with a laugh, "We’ll have to have Harrison Ford and Leonardo DiCaprio in there too. We should organize that this afternoon."

  • Hank Corwin

    "We all went to Adam MacKay’s house for the announcement; it was like a slumber party,” said first-time nominee Corwin. "I’m so glad for Adam — obviously I’m thrilled for myself, but Adam is the real deal. I’m so happy that he was nominated for best director. ... Adam and his wife made pancakes [after the announcement], but we were so excited nobody could eat. This whole thing is wild, surreal. It’s very special."

  • Paco Delgado

    "I was excited but tried to be calm," he told THR. "I’ll have a toast with friends and family. But I’m in Madrid for the opening of The Danish Girl tomorrow. That will take a lot of time today." So what will the costume designer plan to wear to the Oscars? “We have a saying in Spain: 'In the house of the blacksmith, they all eat with wooden spoons.' ... Because I’m a costume designer, I don’t have to wear something extraordinary. I will go traditional, black tux.”

  • Jenny Beavan

    "I’m at my desk and couldn’t bare to listen; I had been hyped,” admitted Beavan, who’s in England this morning. “We opened a bottle, and it wasn’t bubbly water!” She said that she was already exchanging emails with the team, some of whom were still in L.A. after Sunday’s Golden Globes. “I’m very please George [Miller] was recognized." Asked what she will be planning to wear on Oscar night, she responded, “I have to say, I don’t really do clothes for me, I do them for other people to tell their stories. I should be wearing something simple and black — and comfy shoes, there’s a lot of standing at those occasions.”

  • Lesley Vanderwalt

    Currently in L.A., Vanderwalt admitted, "I did wake up about 5, and the calls started. I’m so excited." She said she already emailed her fellow Mad Max nominees including director George Miller, production designer Colin Gibson and costume designer Jenny Beavan. “[I told George] congratulations and well deserved. It’s all about George. It’s his vision and his film. We’re all nominated because of George; we love him so much."

  • Randy Thom

    Thom — now also known as the voice behind The Revenant bear — spent the morning calling and texting with the filmmakers. The 15-time nominee (he won twice previously) said, "I haven’t been to the big show in quite a few years now as a nominee. It will be a thrill to go again."

    Speaking of the bear voice, he said, "It was a tough sound design assignment, one of the toughest I’ve ever had. It didn’t occur to me that people would be talking about it. ... I was so thrilled that the film got 12 nominations, and I know very well how hard they worked."

  • Pete Docter

    The Inside Out director was in bed during the nominations announcement. "My wife and I got the computer out and watched the ol' live stream and held hands in anxious anticipation," he told THR. "It's a big love fest over here. Our composer and producers have been calling me." He recalled of the cast, "At the end, we got everyone together to watch the film and we all loved each other. Everybody has such a good time hanging out and we were all like, 'Can we do it again?' Also, I have been surprised at the film's reach — how it has helped parents and kids and kids with special needs." Still, he's heading into work today. "I have a pitch late this week to John Lasseter for a new movie."

    Read more 8 Things 'Inside Out' Teaches Viewers About Emotions, Memory and the Mind

  • Laszlo Nemes

    "It has been thirty years since a Hungary film has been nominated so this is a very exciting day for the country," said Nemes from his Hungary production office. "It is my first feature so it means you can make an ambitious film and have success." The director is excited for the extra attention that the nomination, hoping more people will get the chance to see the film. He told THR about his favorite reaction to Son of Saul: "One type of reaction that means a lot to me are from people how have hesitated to watch the film and finally decided to watch it because they didn't want to see it because it they thought it would be hard or sad, some were survivors of the camps, and then they saw it and saw it as something different and was not what they expected."

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  • Deniz Gamze Erguven

    The Mustang director was at home when he learned of the nomination. "Since yesterday night, I was so nervous. I am a representative of France so that is a big responsibility," he told THR. "The subject of this film is so crucial for any woman across that world, so this is the biggest spotlight. Now we have the biggest backup." He received congratulatory greetings immediately. "The girls, the stars of the film, are sending me pictures right now. We are going to gather the team of the film and have a celebration where I am sure there will be a lot of jumping around."

  • Tobias Lindholm

    Lindholm was in Denmark when he found out about his nomination. "I actually miscounted when I was watching the nominations so when the first four was announced, I thought they had reached five. I thought I didn't get it. Then I heard the film's name and I was on the kitchen floor." The director said that the audience reaction to the film has been very rewarding, saying, "I made a Danish film about the Danish war effort in Afghanistan, but to see American soldiers and other soldiers from across the world connect to the film has been really great." He said he will be celebrating tonight with his Danish crew. "It's dark and cold and snowy here so we are going to get together and go to a bar and drink some Danish beer."

  • Asif Kapadia

    "I’m in London, so it’s one of those rare occurrences when I’m in a better time zone. It’s 1:30 in the afternoon, and I was doing my taxes and had the nominations open on the computer," said the Amy helmer. "When Amy [Winehouse] was around, a lot of people summed her up as a trainwreck or something. Through the film, people have gotten to see the real girl, the real Amy, and have fallen in love with her. I know she had a bit of an attitude and a bit of a front. She might have said [about today’s nomination], ‘Not bothered. Not interested.’ But I hope that that look she gave when Tony Bennett announced her name at the Grammys would be the kind of feeling that she’d have today."

    As for being one of the only nominees of color in today’s largely white nominees list, he said: "I guess I'll do my best to represent the 3 billion Asians out there."

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  • Matthew Heineman

    "I’m still pinching myself,” said Heineman of the Cartel Land nomination. “I think it’s amazing. It’s something we all dream of, when you start making that film. I’m really glad that people responded to the film and put a spotlight on the issues in the film and the suffering of people in Mexico."

    Heineman, whose film premiered at Sundance and follows two groups fighting against Mexican drug cartels, reflected on the recent news of Sean Penn’s interview with El Chapo. “I think unfortunately there has been so much focus on El Chapo and this story of this Hollywood actor going to this mountaintop retreat, and I think the real story here is not that — it’s the suffering of the people who are caught in this war in which 100,000 people have been killed since 2007. ... That’s why I made this film, to put a face to the violence, to show how this violence is affecting everyday people." He added, "It’s a great news hook, but I hope what comes out of it is the acknowledgement that the capture of this guy, the glorification of this guy, isn’t going to change the underlying problem, and that’s the real story."

  • Joshua Oppenheimer

    "We watched the nomination stream with a Skype hookup to the team in Denmark and the team in Indonesia," explained Oppenheimer. "There is this huge excitement from Indonesia because this is the first time an Indonesian film has been nominated for an Oscar." The best documentary nominee deals with the oft-not-spoken-of Indonesian genocide, but the director believes the nomination will bring attention to the event. "The attention that the film gets just advances the cause of the national reckoning of the genocide. While The Act of Killing helped transform how Indonesia talks about its past, this nomination helps us gain the international attention that is necessary for healing."

  • David Darg

    Darg and Mooser were in the Venice beach offices of RYOT News when they found out the news about the Body Team 12 nomination. "We had a slumber party last night at our LA office with our crew and we all woke up and watch the nominations in our pajamas." Although they are happy about the nomination, they are more excited that their story will now reach a wider audience. "I think the most extraordinary part of this is seeing the protagonist of our film stop the spread of Ebola to the rest of the world. It is a great recognition for Garmae. Looking back on this now it is great to get recognition for the unsung heroes like her who are across the world putting their lives on the line." Darg and Mooser have seven docs that they are producing in 2016.

  • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

    "I am delighted that A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness has been nominated for an Academy Award," said the director. "Honor killings affect hundreds of women in Pakistan every year, and I hope that the film and its message will catalyze awareness around this crisis and ignite change for women. This is an opportunity for Pakistan to address the issue and help put an end to this tragic abuse of human rights because there is no honor in an honor killing."

  • Adam Benzine

    "I was here in New York and I am trying to work through the texts and tweets and emails. I think I'll be doing that for a while," said the producer. "I am really happy for my crew, who worked on a salary basis with only the promise that they would get paid if the film makes money. They just did it because they knew they were making something important. This has been a long journey for a short film. It took us four years." After Oscar season, "I am hoping to come up with a project on a warm beach somewhere. But I am currently writing a book on documentary filmmaking, so I will pick that back up after Oscar season."