Best director nominees


James Cameron

Actor Stephen Lang, who plays Col. Miles Quaritch, remembers when he first met with Cameron at the filmmaker's Malibu home. Cameron asked if he could film their meeting/audition, stating to the actor: "I think through the lens." During production, Cameron was the person physically behind the camera rather than a traditional camera operator. "That creates a very intimate relationship," Lang says. "It's like you're in a duet with him because he's not merely observing on the monitor. He's involved in every movement and every nuances of every scene."

Kathryn Bigelow
"The Hurt Locker"

"She's tireless on the set," says the film's producer and screenwriter Mark Boal. "She's always the first person to arrive on the set and one of the last to leave. Usually for $10 million, you get a movie where it's like two guys talking in a room. I don't think there are many other directors, if any, who could have put this much on screen for that amount of

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money. Kathryn thinks in a very complicated, visual way. She would do 40 set-ups in one day, kept 30 or 40 shots in her head, and would be constantly moving four different cameras."

Lee Daniels

"I directed the film in my fleece pajamas, my bathrobe and my slippers," Daniels recalls. "You have to be really comfy when you're working and I was too tired to take them off at night." Daniels says he also gained a lot of weight during production. "With every film, I put on about 10-15 pounds, but then I lose it. Except, every year those 15 pounds get harder to lose!" Daniels dropped his "Precious" weight, but with the "press twirl" to promote the film, "I've put it back on."

Jason Reitman
"Up in the Air"

"Jason tailors his directing style to each actor and I don't think he knows that he does that," Anna Kendrick says. "He's aware of people and their limits and knows the best way to push each individual. When we were shooting the scene where I had to cry in that funny way after my character gets dumped, I was holding back because I was embarrassed to look foolish. Jason took me aside at one point and did several silly, ridiculous cries in front of me. He went out of his way to look foolish to show me that it was OK to embarrass myself."

Quentin Tarantino
"Inglourious Basterds"

"We all know him as this wild and crazy guy, which he certainly is, but my Quentin is different," Christoph Waltz says. "The Quentin that's so important to me -- apart from his ingenious talent and never-ending source of inspiration -- is immensely polite, well-mannered and considerate. On the set, he would never yell anything across the room. He would get up and come up to the actor and whisper in his ear so that the direction is an intimate moment. It's really remarkable. He really is the epitome of the actors' director."