Oscar Reactions: What the Nominees Are Saying

Steve McQueen Jared Leto Split - H 2014
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Steve McQueen Jared Leto Split - H 2014

Jared Leto, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Steve McQueen, Jonah Hill, Amy Adams, Matthew McConaughey, Alfonso Cuaron and more react to the honor on Thursday.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth unveiled the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards on Thursday morning. Nine films were nominated for best picture, including American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street.

As nominees react, The Hollywood Reporter will include their responses below:

Alfonso Cuaron, best director nominee for Gravity: "Thank you Academy for this incredible recognition. These nominations are not just about single achievements, but rather the collective effort of hundreds of dedicated artists who made this dream a reality. On behalf of everyone involved with Gravity I want to express our deepest gratitude to the industry, the exhibitors and the public for embracing this film so passionately. A special thank you to our friends and collaborators at Warner Bros. for staying on board this journey for more than four years. I am particularly moved by Sandy's nomination. She is the heartbeat of our film. She immersed herself in the part. And I thank her for her grace, her trust and her dedication to finding the truth of this character."

Steve McQueen, best director nominee for 12 Years a Slave: "I am so happy and proud of my crew. All the comments were proven wrong about how difficult it is to watch. People want to see the difficult and challenging stories, and the proof is in the pudding," the director tells THR. He added in a statement: "This has been an amazing ride, and to receive nine nominations from the Academy is a testament to all of the hard work. And for that I am truly grateful."

David O. Russell, best director nominee for American Hustle: "I'm fighting a little cold here but this will certainly go a long way to boost my immune system," says the helmer, who added that he's especially happy that all four of his actors received nominations. "To have these actors really put their hearts in it all together, to have them each get a nod is a big deal for us because we created a family together," he says. Russell, who will head to the Critics' Choice Awards tonight, tells THR that he has made it a practice to call everyone from his film the night before a big awards nomination morning. "I reach out to everybody to say, ‘I'm grateful no matter what happens. I thank you for everything you've done.' And then I can go to sleep because I feel like the right thing." He adds that he considers Hustle the third film in a trilogy with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook and that his next film will start something new: "It will be related to this world of people and their hearts and their survival, but it's going to begin a new chapter."

Alexander Payne, best director nominee for Nebraska: "It's hard to avoid cliches, but it's great. It's very positive for the film. I'm mostly happy for the actors, Bruce [Dern] and June [Squibb]. I know what it means for them at this point in their careers." He's also happy for his longtime friend, cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, for his nomination. "He's been working a long time and had never been nominated until now. He's the one I was holding my breath for." Payne was asleep when his phone started ringing with the news. "They were all congratulating me on the film, but not what specifically. Then I Googled it and saw what happened." That is, his best director nomination.

Leonardo DiCaprio, best actor nominee for The Wolf of Wall Street: The actor, who fell asleep to the television the night before, woke up five minutes after the nominations and immediately changed the channel. He saw his name, then looked for co-star Jonah Hill and director Martin Scorsese's names, amongst other Wolf players. "It's fantastic, it feels really good," he tells THR. He says he and his team knew that the movie would be polarizing -- "Even doing a movie about Wall Street is fodder enough" -- but he credits the controversies, as well as word of mouth, for making the film stand out. When asked about this morning's snubs, he says, "I'm usually on the receiving end of that stick. I'm not used to seeing this." He did acknowledge that Robert Redford, Tom Hanks and Joaquin Phoenix deserved to be in that category. "But, you know, I've realized long ago there is no determining what people think or feel. You just have to feel grateful when these situations arise. I'm proud I even got to make this movie, which is insane in its own right." DiCaprio says at the top of his day's agenda was to call his parents and to take a "nappypoo."

Chiwetel Ejiofor, best actor nominee for 12 Years a Slave: "At no point during filming, in the sweltering heat of New Orleans, did any of us ever foresee the journey this film would take us all on. Steve McQueen created an entire family to tell one man's tale and I am delighted that so many of this family have also been recognized today. I am hugely grateful to the Academy for this great honor, and, of course, to Solomon Northup for sharing his story through his breathtaking book."

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Matthew McConaughey, best actor nominee for Dallas Buyers Club: McConaughey's wife, Camila Alves, set the alarm for 5:15 a.m. on Thursday morning so that they could watch the nominations live together. The actor, who won a Golden Globe for his performance just a few days ago, says he isn't exhausted from the awards season marathon in the slightest. "I've got a pretty full tank of energy when it comes to what we did in this film. I've got a lot of stories to share," says the actor, who lost 40 pounds to take on the role of the hard-living Texan with AIDS. "It excites me to share the story each time I talk about it. There's always a fresh subject. It means something different to everyone." McConaughey says many people have been asking him what his next job will be, but his answer is that he's focusing on his current one: "supporting Dallas Buyers Club."

Bruce Dern, best actor nominee for Nebraska: "I crawled out of bed because I saw it was 5:44 [a.m.]," says Dern. "My best friend and business partner were with me. I'm absolutely thrilled, and most thrilled at our six nominations. That's pretty God damned good. Laura [Dern] was the first one to call me, which is very appropriate." Dern, who was at the Four Seasons with her father, congratulated him, adding: "I pray for this to happen to every artist. Don't you dream of saying at 77 years old, 'I did my finest work? It's such a victory to me.' " Her father agrees: "How cool is it, here's June [Squibb], Miss [Judi] Dench and there's me! Three people who have done a quarter of a millennium of acting."

Amy Adams, best actress nominee for American Hustle: "It's a very good thing to wake up to; we were all asleep! Am I still recovering from last weekend? Not really. I'm never really out late anymore at this stage in my life. Making Hustle was very challenging, so it's really nice that people not only recognized the film but all the actors as well. And I'm so proud to have been in Her too, which has been recognized with a best picture nomination. As for celebrating today, maybe we should go out for a family hike? Then again, everyone looks pretty tired around here right now!"

Lupita Nyong'o, best actress nominee for 12 Years a Slave"It's very overwhelming," the first-time actress tells THR. "It feels strange. Like I'm a boat on really funky waves. I'm not really sure what's happening, but I'm just filled with so much gratitude. A year-and-a-half ago, I could've never [have] known this is what my Thursday, Jan. 16, would look like." Nyong'o was in her hotel room with her best friend last night debating whether or not to watch the live announcement this morning. "We decided, one way or another, I'm going to find out, so I might as well find out from someone saying it. I woke up and remember being so mad at the weatherman for him to finish up before the announcement. My heart was beating so fast."

Meryl Streep, best actress nominee for August: Osage County: "I am so happy for our film that Julia and I have been nominated. We are both so proud of August: Osage County. This honor from the Academy, for which we are truly grateful, will help bring attention to our film from audiences across the country, which is thrilling."

June Squibb, best actress nominee for Nebraska: "It's very exciting and my first nomination. Both my son and I got up and we watched the announcement together. Before they announced my category, he came over and put his arm around me," Squibb tells THR. "When I read the script the first time, I felt like I knew this woman and it wasn't hard finding her emotionally, but no, I'm not like her!"

Judi Dench, best actress nominee for Philomena: "This is just the loveliest news. I'm so happy for everybody involved, and so proud to have been part of the wonderful experience that Philomena has been."

Jared Leto, best supporting actor nominee for Dallas Buyers Club: For a moment, the actor's hopes were dashed. "I thought I didn't get the nomination because I woke up and [mistakenly] thought it was getting light outside. But then I got a knock on the door from Emma Ludbrook, who produced Artifact with me," says Leto, who was at his home in Los Angeles. "It feels absolutely amazing, and I'm incredibly honored to be part of this insanity. It's an absolute dream and I'm so proud to be part of a $4 million film about people fighting for their lives." Both Leto and Matthew McConaughey -- nominated for best actor -- had to lose a substantial amount of weight. "Every scene, every day was incredibly challenging," he says. So how will Leto spend the rest of the day? "I'm going back to bed and then wake up and make vegan pancakes."

Michael Fassbender, best supporting actor nominee for 12 Years a Slave: "I'm really chuffed with the Oscar nomination especially being recognized alongside such great actors. It's a real honor."

Bradley Cooper, best supporting actor nominee for American Hustle: "This is so special and surreal and I'm truly honored. The nominations by the Academy for my fellow cast members, David and the film are a true tribute to David O. Russell, our mentor. I feel very lucky and humbled today."

Jonah Hill, best supporting actor nominee for The Wolf of Wall Street: "I am in complete and total shock. I honestly was not expecting this, on a level you can't even imagine. Again, I'm clearly in shock. I didn't have a plan for celebrating today because I truly did not expect any of this! But I am going to the Critics' Choice Awards and it will be great to see everyone from the film there tonight. Truly, this is shocking."

Julia Roberts, best supporting actress nominee for August: Osage County: "This was certainly a once in a lifetime experience and the recognition from it is an absolutely thrilling bonus. I simply could not be more excited right now."

Steve Coogan, best original screenplay nominee (with Jeff Pope) for Philomena: "I heard the phone ring this morning and thought, 'OK, it has to be good news.' In Hollywood, good news travels fast; bad news you have to eke out of people. It's so wonderful how this film has changed the landscape this year. It's a really loving story and I'm so pleased with how Philomena herself has been affected by the film. It's definitely helped her heal telling her story -- everyone wants to give her a hug after all the Q&A sessions. I definitely want to celebrate this achievement with my co-writers today, but I was raised Catholic, so I can't let it go to my head. I have to put in a decent day's work first."

Eric Singer, best original screenplay nominee for American Hustle: The co-writer on the film had been up all night with his crying, teething daughter, so it was inevitable he slept through his alarm. "I was catatonic in bed when my wife woke me up, kicking and punching me," he says. Relishing in the moment for only minutes, he was greeted with a blast of reality: "My dog pooped all over the carpet, and then my daughter and son both woke up, and I gotta get them ready for school. So it's back to the daily routine." Nonetheless, he's been exchanging emails of congrats back and forth with everyone involved in the film. "To everyone's fingers who touched this movie, I'm grateful to David [O. Russell]'s monumental contribution to the movie, our once-in-a-lifetime cast and our incredible producers. I have such joy, pride and deep gratitude."

Bob Nelson, best original screenplay nominee for Nebraska: "My wife was going to wake me up, but my manager beat her by about five seconds," Nelson says. "With so many original screenplays this year, I'm really lucky to get in, and I owe a lot to everyone who worked on the film. Alexander Payne took it to another level from the film we thought we would make 10 years ago." Nelson, battling a cold up in Seattle, says any celebration plans will be low-key. "People up here in the Northwest celebrate with a sit-down dinner, so that's the type of enjoyment I'll have."

Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, best original screenplay nominees for Dallas Buyers Club: Wallack was asleep when she got the call from her brother in Minnesota letting her know of a nomination. "He said he slept with a screener under his pillow for good luck," Wallack says. Craig Borten was awake with his friends "who were ready to console me when we didn't get nominated," he joked. "We are just blown away. It's an incredible end to such an epic journey. My heart was beating very fast. We really didn't think we would get nominated." Wallack says when she received the news of a nomination, she thought it was for the film and its actors, not in the writing category. "I didn't believe it and was completely stunned."

Terence Winter, best adapted screenplay nominee for The Wolf of Wall Street: "I was watching it on TV in our apartment in New York and my wife [Rachel Winter] was watching it in Los Angeles, we were on the phone together and she was nominated for [co-producing best picture nominee] Dallas Buyers Club. There was a delay, so I saw it about three seconds before she did. It was pretty unbelievably exciting. We were rooting for each other up until now, but that's it! A line has been drawn in the sand, every man for himself. This means war! Seriously, though, neither of us ever expected to be here. We're so thrilled. Whatever happens from here on out, we're both happy. I don't know what the odds are that two projects so risky, with people behind them, especially the actors, rolling the dice in a big way. That makes it all the more satisfying. And that it would happen to both of us at the same time the same year -- it's like lightning in a bottle."

John Ridley, best adapted screenplay nominee for 12 Years a Slave: "It feels very special, but I just really appreciate how people have responded to Solomon Northup's story and his life. I'm just so happy for the whole crew and cast who brought Solomon's memoir to the screen. It's been a great year for film, and for people to consider 12 Years a Slave to be among the best is more humbling than you can imagine."

John Gordon, producer of best picture nominee American Hustle. "This is my third movie with David O. Russell after Silver Linings Playbook and Flirting With Disaster," says Gordon, who immediately began texting with Russell after the nominations were announced. One of his read: "Gratitude. To you. For this whole experience." 

Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, producers of best picture nominee American Hustle: "It's an amazing feeling when your peers recognize your work. I feel blessed and humbled," says Roven, who is no stranger to American Hustle star Christian Bale, having produced Christopher Nolan's Batman pics. Suckle was more lighthearted, saying, "It's a great way to start off your morning." Roven learned the news while in Pontiac, Michigan, where he is in preproduction on Batman vs. Superman.

Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, producers of best picture nominee Nebraska: The producers of Nebraska were each at their respective homes in L.A. when the announcement happened. "I was preparing coffee for what seemed like a very anxiety-ridden moment," Yerxa says. "My family and I were all huddled in front of the TV," adds Berger. "Hopefully it will encourage people to come and see it and give them an opportunity to connect with the film," Berger says. " It's been a really great morning, with Bruce [Dern] and June [Squibb] and first-time screenwriter Bob Nelson -- we even thought for a moment about ourselves," Yerxa jokes. "Everyone on our side couldn't be happier."

Gabrielle Tana, producer of best picture nominee Philomena: "Thank you so much to the Academy. I cannot tell you how honored and thrilled I am to be nominated. This film has been a privilege to be a part of throughout and I have been lucky enough to work with such wonderful talent. I'm so proud of this movie, and the story that it tells, that for it to be recognized like this is absolutely wonderful. [The real] Philomena is here with me today and I know that this means the world to her, too."

Emma Tillinger Koskoff, producer of best picture nominee The Wolf of Wall Street: "The minute Jonah [Hill]'s name was announced, I felt like we were in really good shape. I'm over the moon," Tillinger Koskoff says about the now-two-time Oscar-nominated actor's nod this morning. "I've seen how hard Marty [Scorsese] and Leo [DiCaprio] have worked to get this movie made, but I feel like Jonah [Hill] had been overlooked. I'm so beyond thrilled the Academy recognized his incredible performance." The producer, whose BlackBerry is dead from the amount of texts and calls she's received, was about to head into hair and makeup to prep for tonight's Critics' Choice Awards, her celebration for the night.

Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, producers of best picture nominee 12 Years a Slave: Gardner had little time to savor the announcement of the movie's nine nominations as she had a chaotic household of children to get ready for school. "It was a mad house," she says. Kleiner, meanwhile, was woken up to the news by a call from his excited mother and, after waking up his daughter, had what he described as a "nice quiet moment" at breakfast. "One of the awesome things about the process has been seeing [the film] embraced by the public. It's impacting people's hearts and minds and encouraging people to talk," says Kleiner. Gardner says the producers never started out thinking about the Oscars -- "You go into it because you believe in the filmmaker and you believe in the story, and then come what may. Even good movies don't get seen sometimes. I just feel tremendous admiration for Steve McQueen, who asked the question several years ago, 'Why do you think there hasn't been a movie that addressed the institution of slavery?' He never wavered."

Dana Brunetti, producer of best picture nominee Captain Phillips: "Sorry if I'm talking quiet," whispers Brunetti, who was next to his sleeping girlfriend. "We watched the broadcast together, and she went back to sleep." He notes the best picture nomination for the film comes as a bittersweet announcement. "I'm surprised about Tom [Hanks] and Paul [Greengrass]. The film wouldn't have been possible without them." He was, however, thrilled for Barkhad Abdi's best supporting actor nomination. "You can never be disappointed about getting a nomination," he adds. "It makes all the time being out at sea every day and drilling holes in the wall of a big container ship, it makes all that worth it."

Michael De Luca, producer of best picture nominee Captain Phillips: The veteran producer, who is presently in Vancouver shooting Fifty Shades of Grey, slept fitfully before waking up to watch the announcements. He tells THR that Captain Phillips was a true "labor of love," and that he's disappointed that director Paul Greengrass and star Tom Hanks were snubbed by the Academy and left out of the nominations. "Their work is so stellar," he says. De Luca had little time to analyze the nominations before heading for the set of Fifty Shades, which couldn't be more different from Captain Phillips. "I must say," De Luca confessed, "I'm pretty eclectic in my body of work."

Chris Meledandri, producer of best animated feature nominee Despicable Me 2: "I was in bed. What surprised me was how restless my night's sleep was. I was up literally every hour checking the clock. It got to the point where I was dreaming that it was 6 o'clock, which meant that I hadn't gotten called at 5:30, so there was the acceptance that we hadn't won. When I woke and watched it online I felt a deep sense of pride. I don't think as a producer I've ever felt more proud."

Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, co-directors of best animated feature nominee Frozen: "I will try to stay far away from the people I love until this goes away," says Lee, who was in bed with the flu when the nominations were announced. Says Buck: "We have the Critics' Choice Awards today; hopefully Jen will be able to rally and come to that." He also adds, crediting the team at Disney Feature Animation: "This is extraordinary." Lee says that the pair received a text from Disney and Pixar's chief creative officer John Lasseter, who exec produced Frozen. "He has been such a great supporter."

Kristine Belson, producer of best animated feature nominee The Croods: "Wow … WOW! I'm so thrilled and so grateful to the Academy. But mostly, I'm so very proud on behalf of our incredible team of artists who crafted this film, our amazing voice cast, and most of all of our writer-directors Chris [Sanders] and Kirk [DeMicco]. They made a movie that was both hilarious and moving and I feel damn lucky to be part of this remarkable team.

Kirk DeMicco, director of best animated feature nominee The Croods: "Today's Oscar nomination is without a doubt the icing on the cake of an eight-year labor of love. We set out to make a film that everyone in the family -- especially fathers -- can relate to: a story about the power of change. You'd think as an Oscar hopeful I'd be up at 5:30 a.m. glued to my television, but instead I was in the nursery of my 10-month-old twins experiencing the real power of change -- that of diapers. This film has taken the work of over 300 talented artists at DreamWorks Animation to produce, and on behalf of our entire crew, I send a huge thank-you to the Academy and raise a baby bottle in toast to our fellow nominees!"

Bruno Delbonnel, best cinematography nominee for Inside Llewyn Davis: "I'm really happy … just disappointed [directors] Joel and Ethan Coen didn't get nominated. Without them there wouldn't be a movie," he says. This was Delbonnel's fourth nomination, and his first outing with the Coen brothers. Coincidentally, the Coens' longtime collaborator, director of photography Roger Deakins, is also nominated this year, for Prisoners (his 11th nomination). "Having him with me at the Oscars is really amazing," Delbonnel says. "I'm a great admirer of his work, and the others' work as well. Being among those guys is an honor and I'm really proud."

Roger Deakins, best cinematography nominee for Prisoners: "The experience of making Prisoners was very special, which makes this a wonderful surprise to be shared by everyone involved."

Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, best cinematography nominee for Gravity: "I'm so happy all the team is nominated. It's incredible," he says. "I'm especially happy for Alfonso." The nomination is the sixth for Lubezki, who adds that this is "very different from anything I have done before. I'm very honored my peers nominated the film. In the group of cinematographers that got nominations -- their work is just amazing." He adds: "I don't know how people can pick one from the other. Cinematography is changing fast and the technology is changing fast. It's going to keep evolving."

Patrick Tubach, best visual effects nominee for Star Trek Into Darkness: "I am honored to have been recognized by the Academy and incredibly proud to have been part of the talented team who brought J.J. [Abrams'] vision to life on the screen."

Roger Guyett, best visual effects nominee for Star Trek Into Darkness: "Very exciting! We had so much fun on Star Trek but it was a huge amount of work and this is a great reward -- just wish the other hundreds of other people in the crew got nom'd too. Director J.J. Abrams, who really understands VFX, makes the process so much more rewarding. This is a great honor -- it's a huge year for VFX!"

Tim Webber, best visual effects nominee for Gravity: "It's very exciting, particularly being out here there's been quite a buildup," the U.K.-based VFX supervisor says of being in Los Angeles. "It's a big moment for Framestore," he adds of the London-based lead VFX house on Gravity. "I started at Framestore when it was 12 people [he estimates it is now close to 800]. It’s been a long journey and hard work. I'll be excited to see the people back there."

Tim Alexander, best visual effects nominee for The Lone Ranger: "It is amazing and exciting to be nominated! I'm so happy that the work of the amazing Lone Ranger artists was recognized by the Academy, we are honored to be a part of this year's awards!"

Joe Letteri, best visual effects nominee for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: "Exciting" is how four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri describes his eighth nomination. He had just arrived at Weta Digital in New Zealand. "I think we'll pop some champagne later, but first we have some work to do," he says, citing the upcoming third installment of The Hobbit and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. On the VFX category as a whole, he says, "The work is represented really well across the board. The Lone Ranger is interesting -- the work was really good [though it wasn't a box office hit]. It's nice to see the Academy looked at the work." Asked if he was surprised about the omission of Pacific Rim, which was on many Oscar predictions lists for the VFX category, he said, "I feel bad for the Pacific Rim crew," but didn't take away from the nominees, adding "on the other hand the five all had really good work."

Judy Becker, best production design nominee for American Hustle: "It feels incredible; I really didn't expect it. I'm so proud of the movie, seeing it get so many nominations and appreciation is great," says Becker, who previously worked with director David O. Russell on The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. About this year's crop of production design nominees, she says, "The production design nominations tend to be movies either very deep period or very design-oriented. I expected to see the nominations go more in that direction. To see Her nominated was a wonderful surprise. That sort of quiet design is not often recognized. And mine was a surprise."

Andy Nicholson, best production design nominee for Gravity: "I’m deeply humbled, and really pleased. We all worked so hard. I’m so pleased for Alfonso," he says, adding that he was looking forward to seeing and celebrating with the team later Thursday at the Critics' Choice Awards. On the production design category, he adds: "There’s good selections. I’m really flattered to be included."

K.K. Barrett, best production design nominee for Her: "I didn’t think this was an Oscar type of production design," he admits, noting that this year's nominations are quite diverse. "There's some really tasteful, stylish things," he says. The first-time nominee -- whose prior collaborations with Jonze include Being John Malkovich -- says over the coming weeks he looks forward to "meeting people and seeing familiar faces. It’s really nice to be in this community, take a break and see each other."

Richard Hymns, best sound editing nominee (with Steve Boedekker) for All Is Lost: "We are ecstatic about the nomination. For such a small independent film to be recognized for its great sound is a rare thing indeed. Fantastic."

Glenn Freemantle, best sound editing nominee for Gravity: "I was in a mix with Danny Boyle," says Freemantle, who called in from the U.K. "We were just screening his [TV movie Babylon] and my phone started lighting up." Gravity is Freemantle's second Oscar nomination, the first, coincidentally was for Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. And Freemantle related that Boyle gave him heartfelt congratulations. "It's pretty cool," says the nominee, who was sharing emails with his Gravity collaborators. "Gravity was a massive team effort. I'm so pleased for everyone."

Chris Munro, best sound mixing nominee for Captain Phillips and Gravity: "I'm pretty excited; it's great," says double nominee Munro, who was in London. "Nothing beats an Oscar nomination," says Munro, who previously won an Academy Award for Black Hawk Down. "It's your peers saying, 'We recognize that this probably wasn't an easy movie and we think you did a good job.' " He admitted that he was surprised that Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass didn't make the directing shortlist. "With a small team, Paul is able to work on a big movie in the way we all worked on documentaries years ago. He never lost that skill of making everyone feel involved."

Joe Walker, best film editing nominee for 12 Years a Slave: "I celebrated by putting on a cup of tea. Isn't that British?" asks Walker, who relocated from London to Los Angeles this past year. On the film's nine Oscar nominations, he says, "I'm a little sad [director of photography] Sean Bobbitt didn't get a nomination, but we did very well. ... I'm thrilled." He adds: "We made the film that we wanted to make, with remarkable intensity and passion for all the departments ... We already won. It reached the audience it needed to reach. It's part of the conversation."

Jay Cassidy, best film editing nominee for American Hustle: "If you are going to be nominated, you want everyone involved to be nominated because you want to share the contribution," says Jay Cassidy, who edited the film with Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten. He described David O. Russell as a "family-oriented filmmaker" who really involves the cast and crew in the process. "It's a wonderful year," he said of the editing category. "I’m especially glad to see Chris Rouse [editor of Captain Phillips] nominated. When I was nominated for Into the Wild, he was nominated for The Bourne Ultimatum (which won the film editing Oscar that year). I got to know him during that season, and I loved his work on Captain Phillips."

Felix Van Groeningen, director of best foreign film nominee The Broken Circle Breakdown: "I'm in Brussels. I didn't want to watch the live stream because I'm superstitious, so I went running, then took a shower, and at 3:30 my time -- 6 a.m. -- I opened my computer, and saw some emails, so I figured we were nominated. The whole country is going a bit crazy, because of Bullhead two years ago and now this. People are more -- not expecting it, but hoping. It's a big buildup. I didn't have a plan to celebrate because I'm superstitious about that, too. But we'll have a party, maybe not tonight, that's too short notice, but tomorrow. We'll be drinking Duvel or Chimay."

Thomas Vinterberg, director of best foreign language film nominee The Hunt: "I was in my living room in Copenhagen with my wife. That was a proud and happy moment. We just got back from the Golden Globes two days ago, and we're still jet-lagged. I went to Zentropa [Entertainment], we were drinking French champagne, and now we're in a taxi on the way back. Our 18-month-old son celebrated by bashing The Hunt DVDs into my stereo. He doesn't really understand, but he can tell we're all excited. Bashing things is a sign of happiness in young men."

Hany Abu-Assad, director of best foreign language film nominee Omar: "I was sleeping when I heard the news. My friend woke me up screaming, and I didn't know why, and suddenly she said, 'You are nominated!' It's a really good surprise. I didn't want to watch, because I couldn't stand the tension. It's too much. I can't watch it."

Morgan Neville, director of best documentary feature nominee 20 Feet From Stardom: "This makes me want to sing out loud! I'm beyond humbled by this honor. All of the praying our ladies have done for the film's success has clearly paid off! After 20 years in this business, to have our movie and these extraordinary women recognized by such an esteemed group, means more to me than I can ever say. My only regret is that our producer, the late Gil Friesen, isn't here to be a part of it -- I know he's smiling down on us and would have been over the moon with the news."

Joshua Oppenheimer, director of best documentary nominee The Act of Killing: "I was at my father's house in Maryland, on Skype with the whole office and production company in Denmark and the whole crew in Indonesia, so there was this wonderful moment of collective squealing and delight and surprise. All I can say is I'm so happy and honored and I'm always amazed that anyone comes to see anything I make, so the fact it received this nomination is astonishing and wonderful. This was not an easy film to make, with 60 Indonesians working every day for eight years, risking their safety to make the film in hopes it would open up a national discussion about a regime built on mass murder."

Zachary Heinzerling, director of best documentary feature nominee Cutie and the Boxer: "I am overcome with gratitude. After spending five years with the Shinoharas, I feel privileged to have brought their unique love story and their inspiring artistry to the screen. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition, which I share with Ushio and Noriko, without whom none of this would have been possible."

Jeffrey Karoff, director of best documentary short nominee CaveDigger: "I was staring at my cellphone because Amy, my publicist, was going to text me yes or no. I got 10 text messages a second after it was announced -- it seemed like people knew about it before I did. I haven't really wrapped my head around it. When I think about what this means, being recognized by a group of my peers -- the documentary people all vote -- my heart is full. That is really a huge honor. This is my first film. I did call the cavedigger in New Mexico, where he's been kind of hiding out under a rock. The exposure means a lot more to him than to me, even. My agenda is to put this extraordinarily creative guy on the map. He's 67, four years into a 10 year project, Magnum Opus 2."

Kim Magnusson, producer, Anders Walter, director, of best live action short nominee Helium: "This is fantastic -- my fifth nomination," says Magnusson. "I'm so happy and honored that the Academy once again has chosen one of our films as one of the final five." Adds Helium director Walter, "For a Dane growing up on American films the Oscar show is a mythical place. To be part of that is for me as big as being offered going to the moon."

Steven Price, best original score nominee for Gravity: "I was in L.A. in a hotel watching it on TV, and when they didn't announce my category I was desperately trying to get on the hotel Wi-Fi and making such a hash of it that my wife called from England and told me about it. I could never have dreamt I would be sitting here. It was a year of experimentation -- there's no sound in space, how can music help make you feel like you were going on this marvelous journey? The banging and clashes of normal film music would've sounded corny. It's a 3D music composition, designed to be immersive. At Abbey Road in Studio 2, where The Beatles worked, I had great fun doing a string octet with eight players, like the choppy string parts in "Eleanor Rigby." My secret dream was to work it in, in the debris sequences. It's in there, a secret thing, paying my dues and my respect."

Thomas Newman, best original score nominee for Saving Mr. Banks: "I'm so proud of this movie and am very thankful to the Academy. It's an honor to be nominated alongside other great artists."

Alexandre Desplat, best original score nominee for Philomena: "I was up early watching the full moon and the stars and my daughter sent me a text from France. I just could not believe it. To be nominated even once for an Oscar is an incredible honor [this is Desplat's sixth nom]. I'm always in awe and generally surprised. This movie is a gem, very gorgeous, and it's not a score that shouts out with hundreds of musicians; it's a very subtle, intimate score that respects the drama. In many scores that get attention, there's a lot of music and it's very loud, so I'm really proud that this year it's a very intimate score that I've been nominated for. When I saw the film in the editing room last year I was in tears. The movie is so beautiful and so clear. When a movie is a gem, there's nothing you can do to hurt it. It took time for people to see it but now everyone who sees it is moved. An incredible story, a true story, I just met the real Philomena. It just worked. I'm going to celebrate by going back to work. I'm working on another little gentle gem. It's called Godzilla."

Pharrell Williams, best original song nominee for "Happy" from Despicable Me 2: "I was preparing for a speech for Columbia Records, which signed me. I said, 'Sorry … what?' My mind is blown." Does an Oscar nomination after all those Grammys feel like old hat? "Listen, all of it is a huge opportunity and a huge honor. I can't thank people enough. I'm still kinda pinchin' myself. When something goes so right, it's a surreal moment, and I'm celebrating."

Bruce Broughton, best original song nominee for "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone: "I was actually asleep. When anyone calls you at night, it's either bad news or a wrong number, but this was my writing partner Dennis Spiegel saying we were nominated. He was so excited. It's probably the best wake-up call I ever got in my life. Everybody should try it at least once. I'd been having a dream, like [Despicable Me 2 animation nominee] Chris Meledandri says he had, that I didn't win. It must be a standard thing people go through. Alone Yet Not Alone is not a big blockbuster, it comes from far behind. I think it's the first faith-based song ever nominated, and the lady who sings is it a paraplegic. It's not like she can get up like Barbra Streisand, but she sings it with all that heart. It's a song meant to be a hymn from the old country that this immigrant mother sings to comfort her children. It's a strong melody and didn't need a lot of production. What I would be very happy to have happen is to have it in church hymnals. In the meantime, I'm happy to get an Oscar nomination now."

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, best song nominees for "Let It Go" from Frozen: The husband-wife duo are bicoastal right now, Kristen on the East Coast dropping the kids off at school and racing back to watch the nominations, while Robert still attempts to wake himself up in his hotel. "This really isn't the kind of thing you train yourself to expect or feel like you deserve," Robert says. "It's unbelievable and amazing." Kristen recalls when they thought working on Frozen would kill their careers, but now she sees the hard process as all worth it. "Now that everybody has embraced it so much, I am so bewildered and incredibly pleased." Robert will celebrate tonight by attending the Critics' Choice Awards, but as for Kristen's plans? "We adopted cats, so I'll be celebrating by taking them to the vet."

Tim Appelo, Rebecca Ford, Carolyn Giardina, Brandon Kirby, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock and Stacey Wilson contributed to this article.