'Nebraska': Meet Bruce Dern's Character Woody Grant (Exclusive Video)

Dern, who won the best actor award in Cannes, plays a curmudgeonly man who is convinced he's won $1 million in a sweepstakes.

Meet Woody Grant.

Bruce Dern plays the curmudgeonly man who is convinced he's won $1 million in a sweepstakes in Alexander Payne's Nebraska.

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A new featurette -- hosted exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter -- introduces viewers to the colorful character, who enlists his son (Will Forte) to help him drive to Nebraska to pick up his supposed winnings.

Dern's charming performance in the black-and-white film has already earned him several honors and the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in May. 

At the AFI Fest, where Dern was honored with a special tribute ahead of the film's screening, Payne told THR that the actor was his first choice for the role.

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"He was the first guy I thought of nine years ago, which isn't to say that I didn't meet with other guys his age because I had to do my due diligence, but I circled back around to him -- and I was right," he told THR. "You know, sometimes you have to go around the world to come back home again."

Dern, 77, told THR that the role of Grant was the closest he's come to playing himself in a film.

"Throughout my career, I've been asked to be quick, to be clever, to push, to overperform sometimes, make the role a little bigger than it is, or brighter, and I didn't do that in this film because he had to shut a lot of things out, not be aware, not be any of those things. I got used to the sounds of silence. I got used to trying to get a nap every two hours," he said. 

Paramount began its platform release of  Nebraska on Nov. 15. The film will open in more theaters Friday.

Watch the special featurette above.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford