The 20-year-old scored a nomination for his role as teenager Patrick Chandler. Hedges’ immediate reaction? “It’s not f—ing real!” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter after hearing the news. The Kenneth Lonergan-directed film received six nominations and made Amazon Studios the first streaming service to score a best picture nomination.
Hedges hasn’t gotten the chance to congratulate his director and co-star Casey Affleck, whom he pegs as “not the most openly awardsy people,” but spoke further with THR about his first-ever Oscars nomination and what he looks forward to most about this year’s ceremony.
Huge congrats. This is your first Oscar nomination. How does that feel?
It’s just simply not real. It’s not f—ing real! It can’t be real. There’s just no way!
Where were you when you found out you got nominated?
I was in my bed. I didn’t actually know they were announced and I got a call from my publicist who told me I got nominated. I jumped up and I ran downstairs and was screaming to my parents. It was just a f—ing crazy morning.
What was your parents’ reaction?
My mom was actually secretly watching the announcements! My dad was in the shower. My mom was ecstatic and my dad was crying!
Have you heard from Casey Affleck or Kenneth Lonergan yet? Do you plan on reaching out and congratulating them?
I didn’t see a version where this wasn’t going to happen to them. They’re also not the most openly awardsy 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.
What does being recognized for this role specifically mean to you?
Wow. 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 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.
How do you plan on celebrating?
Dude! I’m actually doing a play right now in New York so I got to go to rehearsal in a few hours. We’re in previews right now so I got to go on tonight. I’m going to celebrate by doing the show. I need to go run a mile. I think I need to run a mile. That’s what I need most.
Throughout awards season who have you been most excited to meet or get to know more?
Probably Dev Patel and Andrew Garfield. They’re two young actors who I respect so, so much and so deeply. The great thing about both of them is that they’re men who are defined by their vulnerability and not by their toughness. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. I aspire to be a similar man. I really look forward to getting to know them hopefully. That would be really meaningful for me.
What are you looking forward to most about attending the Oscars?
Oh God! My favorite thing about the Oscars always is watching the clips of everybody and the host and the jokes and the bits. I’m excited to just see it all from the inside looking out instead of the outside looking in. It’s a full-access pass inside the mystery realm of the Oscars.