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Hildur Gudnadóttir won the award for best original score at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards. She is the first woman to win the award solo, and the second in 19 years.
Presenting the award was Hustlers star Jennifer Lopez and Living With Yourself actor Paul Rudd.
Fellow nominees in the category included Alexandre Desplat for Little Women, Randy Newman for Marriage Story, Thomas Newman for 1917, and Daniel Pemberton for Motherless Brooklyn.
Gudnadottir thanked many people in her acceptance speech, including her family and her agent as well as the conductor for the film, Jeff Atmajian, but her biggest praise was saved for Joker star Joaquin Phoenix.
“Thank you, Joaquin, for making my job really easy with that spectacular, unbelievable performance,” she said.
Backstage, she was asked by reporters whether she was inspired by any previous themes in films featuring the Joker character when composing the score for Joker.
“I think the history of the character inspired me a lot, and growing up with all these incredible performances of the character definitely inspired me,” she said. “But I wanted to make sure I didn’t get influenced by any of them. It’s always a little bit dangerous when you start referencing other work when digging into a character. I deliberately didn’t watch or listen to any other interpretations of it.”
Gudnadóttir also composed the score for another award-winning project, HBO’s Chernobyl, but noted she’s been composing for nearly 20 years.
“I don’t really know exactly what happened at this point for everything to explode so massively, but it’s been a beautiful year and incredible to get both of these opportunities at the same time,” she said. “Both projects were so different and incredible. It was all encompassing. It was really fantastic.”
The last time a woman won the award was in 2001, when Lisa Gerrard took home the award alongside Hans Zimmer for Gladiator.
Said Gudnadóttir: “I’ve definitely noticed a bit of weariness sometimes in the last decade or so to trust women for these bigger projects. But I believe because of all the awareness raised in the last couple of years about the position of women in the industry, I have definitely benefited a lot from that. I think people are just a bit more open toward trusting women.”
Ricky Gervais hosted the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, which took place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Jan. 5. Tune in after the telecast for The Hollywood Reporter and Twitter’s official live aftershow.
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