Oscar Reactions: What the Nominees Are Saying
Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón announced the nominations early Thursday morning.
Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams, Alfonso Cuarón and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards on Thursday morning at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Eight films were nominated for best picture, including American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash.
As nominees react, The Hollywood Reporter will include their responses below:
Bradley Cooper, best actor nominee for American Sniper: "This is a tribute to Chris Kyle, his family and all of the service men and women who sacrifice their lives for their countries and their families. It is a privilege and an honor to play Chris and I share this with Sienna [Miller], Clint [Eastwood], Jason Hall, the rest of SEAL Team 3 and everyone involved with the film."
Michael Keaton, best actor nominee for Birdman: Keaton had been following the weekslong record-making ascent of two climbers of Yosemite National Park's El Capitan peak, which they finished Wednesday. He saw parallels in the timing and the accomplishment of the feat with his own career climb with his work in Birdman and the early-morning Oscar announcement. "It's symbolic and cool," said the Birdman star. "I'm grateful and thankful. I'm excited about the film's nine nominations, [director] Alejandro [G. Inarritu]'s especially. People are not quite getting what he accomplished in 29 days." Earlier, Keaton was woken up to the sound of his phone ringing. It was his brother Paul calling from the East Coast. "The first thing he said was 'Well, what do you think?!' and I go, 'What do I think about what?'" Keaton recounted. "And of course, then it hit me." A deluge of calls and texts followed. "Grateful. If there's one word right now, it's grateful."
Benedict Cumberbatch, best actor nominee for The Imitation Game: "I am knocked for six by this. So excited and honored to receive this recognition. It's wonderful to be included by the Academy in this exceptional year of performances. To ring my parents, who are both actors, and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life."
Eddie Redmayne, best actor nominee for The Theory of Everything: The actor woke up to rapping on the door of his pitch-black room at the Sunset Tower. When he opened it, there was his manager, breathlessly holding a phone with screaming at the other end. "I was hoping it was good news," he recalled. "I went from sleep to a hundred miles an hour." Less than an hour later, he was on the phone with THR, still trying to process the news. "I'm trying to collect how I'm feeling. The extremes of excitement of too much to take in. But it's a great privilege." Everything received a nomination for best picture, best actress for Felicity Jones, and best adapted screenplay among others, but no nomination for its director, James Marsh. "For Felicity and I, we know what he gave us. For me personally, my performance is down to him. He allowed me to fail, to try, to investigate." Redmayne is rehearsing for his next movie, The Danish Girl, and in the early hour didn't have any plans to celebrate. Yet. "At what point can I start drinking?"
Marion Cotillard, best actress nominee for Two Days, One Night: "I really didn't expect this nomination this morning. I was sleeping in my bed, and then the phone started to ring, and I thought, 'Oh my god, what's going on? Something's happened,' but I didn't expect this at all. I knew the nominations were this morning and I made fun of people who would think I had a chance to be nominated, and I honestly genuinely thought they were out of their mind. I'm in shock, and I'm super happy for the movie, and I'm super happy for the brothers [writer-directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne]. I really wanted to take their movie to the Oscars and I was sad when we didn't make the shortlist. I thought that was it, that I couldn't take the movie to the Oscars, and today it's changed, I'm actually taking this movie, or this movie is taking me, anywhere it goes. It makes me so happy."
Rosamund Pike, best actress nominee for Gone Girl: "It was the first time in more than six weeks that I was woken up by someone that wasn't my baby," said Pike of getting a call from her manager about her nomination for best actress. Pike, who had her second child in December, was home with both her kids when she found out about her nomination. "It feels like we've been on a journey. I sent one email to David Fincher just saying thank you. That's the main thing. I wouldn't be here without him," she said. Even Pike's calls with press were interrupted by her 2-year-old son, who needed some attention. "It's not going to mean anything to him," she said. "We'll go to the park. This is life. It's grounding." Pike said she hasn't thought of what she'd wear to the big show. "I'm literally operating on a minute-by-minute basis," she said. "I'm literally on the roller coaster. I don't see the drop until I'm at the top of the hill. I don't even know what day the Oscars are."
Felicity Jones, best actress nominee for The Theory of Everything: "I never thought I would find out about an Oscar nomination in my PJs," said Jones, who received the news in her hotel room in L.A. "It's unbelievable. You make the film, and you never know how it's going to turn out. This is a huge honor. This is a film and a part that I cared so deeply about. It was one of those projects that you can't have any distance from. We were all so emotional and passionate about it." She hasn't yet talked to fellow nominee Eddie Redmayne. "I've spoken to my mom, my family, my friends, but I need to speak to Eddie and [director] James [Marsh] and celebrate with them because it was such a huge collaborative effort. There probably won't be many words. Just lots of screaming and excitement."
Ethan Hawke, best supporting actor nominee for Boyhood: "I was just taking my kids to school [when I got the news]. Today's also my son's birthday — he turned 13 today. It really is wonderful. When Rick and I first started talking about this, making his movie, he'd just been born. I've found it incredibly moving. There's never been a time in his life I wasn't working on Boyhood. I've never made a more challenging or personal film in my life, and usually when you put those two words together, it means a little indie movie that plays OK at festivals. There's an ethos to this movie, that's what I believe in. It's a movie that's incredibly humble, a movie that is celebrating the smallest events in our lives, and I knew that people would care about it. It makes me feel like we like our own lives more than we let on. It's really powerful for Rick and I. This is our eighth film together, and it's is our craziest pipe dream. This makes Before Sunrise look mainstream. It's transcended all that. There's an emotional core to the movie that becomes more important than how experimental and how unique the architecture of the film is."
J.K. Simmons, best supporting actor nominee for Whiplash: Simmons is in Atlanta for work, but is suffering from a cold that's made his voice raspy. "I'm a little under the weather but I gotta go to work in half an hour," said Simmons. Of Whiplash's nominations, which included one for best adapted screenplay, Simmons said: "The whole thing is very exciting. I'm so glad that [director] Damien [Chazelle] is getting some of the recognition he deserves." Awards season has already been eventful for Simmons, who won the supporting actor Golden Globe over the past weekend. "The most fun is being in a room with all the people I'm in the room with, many of whom are colleagues that I don't see often," he said. "And then many are guys I haven't had a chance to meet. I walked up and met Bill Murray at the Golden Globes. The whole 'Welcome to the club' aspect is pretty fun." He calls his work as the abusive band teacher in Whiplash a highlight of his career. "This will always be near the top of the movies that I'm proud of," he said.
Laura Dern, best supporting actress nominee for Wild: "It's a lovely morning and I feel very honored and I feel super excited," said Dern, who was asleep with her child — who was suffering from the flu — when she found out about her nomination. Dern said she is especially happy that many of her friends including Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo have also been nominated. "I think this year it really is about partying with friends," she said about attending the Oscars. She said she's been flooded with calls and texts from well-wishers, including John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars (she starred in the film adaptation). "I think it'll just be a day filled with wonderful conversation," she said. "It's so amazing."
Keira Knightley, best supporting actress nominee for The Imitation Game: "What an exciting morning! I'm so honored and grateful for this nomination and to be in the company of such talented and inspiring actresses. Thank you to the Academy for this recognition and also for honoring so many of the film's storytellers. I would like to think the many recognitions the Academy has given our movie is a celebration of Alan Turing's legacy."
Emma Stone, best supporting actress nominee for Birdman: "Well, this is surreal. I am completely knocked out. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of Birdman and can't believe it came to this. I am so f—ing excited. Are you allowed to say 'f—' when you're making a statement for the Oscars? I'm just really f—ing excited."
Wes Anderson, best director, best original screenplay and best picture nominee for The Grand Budapest Hotel: "I've been asked to make a 'statement' even though I feel it does sound more like bragging. Nevertheless, my producers and I send our very deepest thanks to the Academy and its 8,000 members for a whole slew of Oscar nominations, especially for my longtime collaborators Robert Yeoman (our cinematographer who has worked with me on seven movies, if I count them right), Milena Canonero (our Italian costume designer), Alexandre Desplat (our French composer), Barney Pilling (our English editor), Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (more English, hair/makeup), and Adam Stockhausen out of Wisconsin. Also, my friend Hugo Guinness (who co-wrote the movie with me) expresses his own gratitude. We feel very deeply honored and thrilled and, frankly, very, very pleased with ourselves all around."
Morten Tyldum, best director nominee for The Imitation Game: "I'm honored and thrilled beyond my wildest dreams to be recognized today alongside four other filmmakers whom I respect immeasurably. Being a part of The Imitation Game and paying homage to the exquisite genius Alan Turing has been quite simply the experience of a lifetime. My immense gratitude goes to the Academy and my congratulations to the rest of the team on this film, who to me is second to none."
Cathleen Sutherland, producer of best picture nominee Boyhood: "I feel truly graced by this honor, to know that all the energy and time and talent devoted by so many people was not unwarranted, that it meant something. The heart of this film beats with the heart of each and every person who gave so much of themselves; from our wonderful cast to our hardworking and dedicated crew. It took a family to create a family and I could not be more proud of them. Richard Linklater had a vision for all of us and for this film. It has been an unparalleled pleasure to work beside him all these years."
Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky, producers of best picture nominee The Imitation Game: While Ostrowsky tried to sleep in this morning but was awoken by all the phone calls, Grossman was awake and watching the announcement with Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore. "We were with some friends from up the street — and a baby. There was lots of jumping up and down, high fives and a lot of hugs," said Grossman of hearing The Imitation Game nominated for eight awards. "I think to get eight nominations was overwhelming and unexpected and really thrilling." Ostrowsky and Grossman will be in a very celebratory mood tonight when they head to the Critics' Choice Awards together. "I think it's safe to say that five years ago when we first read about Alan Turing we did not, ever, in our wildest dreams, think it would get to this point. We're completely thrilled and elated that it has," said Ostrowsky.
Teddy Schwarzman, producer of best picture nominee The Imitation Game: "Our third child was born a month ago, so she was up well before the announcements came out, as were my wife and I, so we'd had time to have breakfast and put the announcements on. I've just moved to L.A. about six days ago, so we were at our place, and got to watch it on TV. It's a wonderful thing, it's exciting for our crew, it's exciting for our cast, it's exiting for Morten. This is a film that everyone made a lot of sacrifices for, and we did for all the right reasons. Everyone knew the importance of telling Alan Turing's story, of getting it into the public consciousness, and doing our best to tell that story right. A morning like this, it's incredibly satisfying and incredibly rewarding — to know that Turing's story is going to be heard."
Anthony McCarten, producer of best picture nominee The Theory of Everything and best adapted screenplay nominee for same: "Thank you, members of the Academy! I am humbled to learn of our most prestigious nominations. To be in the company of such great writers and producers and artists is a tribute to our film, to our talented team who worked so hard to bring this story to life, and, most importantly, to the extraordinary example provided us all by Jane and Stephen Hawking."
Tim Bevan, producer of best picture nominee The Theory of Everything: "It's a great day for British film and a great day for The Theory of Everything, great for Felicity and Eddie. I think they're both getting quite used to it. But it's fantastic to have an academy nomination because it is the big one." He added: "It's particularly great, from our point of view, to see Anthony McCarten recognized for his script because that's where it all began and it was a labor of love. And he's our fellow producer so he's got two nominations, so that's fantastic." The producer also said, "There's one that we didn't get, which would have been great, which is for the director because it's always odd when you get a script, two actors and a film and you think, hang on a second, there was someone who created this alchemy, as it were. Sad for us that James Marsh didn't get recognized because in many ways all of the awards are because of him. We were lucky enough to partner with Focus Features in February after we wrapped, and we knew that we were headed in the right direction creatively. Since then, the film has taken on a bit of a life of its own but in a wonderful way, and people are seeing themselves in this film or understanding the historical significance of this film, seeing the prejudices people faced and seeing the triumph of an outsider who was willing to do things his own way and not give up. It's probably the most important film I'll ever be a part of in my career, and it's a wonderful morning to get the recognition."
Lisa Bruce, producer of best picture nominee The Theory of Everything: "I am thrilled that the Academy members have embraced The Theory of Everything, as it is truly one of the most inspirational stories I have ever known. I hope our movie inspires people around the world to do as Jane and Stephen Hawking did: to reach beyond their realities and discover the unimaginable."
Gary Michael Walters, executive producer of best picture nominee Whiplash: "I'm super excited that both of Bold Films' projects, Nightcrawler and Whiplash, were honored with a total of six Oscar nominations today. Our mission is to support passionate, creative voices and tell unique stories. We feel incredibly fortunate to have collaborated with such amazing talent as Dan Gilroy and Jake Gyllenhaal and Damien Chazelle and J.K. Simmons, who all delivered extraordinary work."
Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, distributor of best picture nominee Whiplash: The specialty label received 18 nominations Thursday, eclipsing its previous best showing of 13 nominations in 2001, when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a major contender. "A best picture nomination for Whiplash is incredible," Bernard said. "And it is a movie that just keeps growing. We opened it up quite a while ago. Word of mouth continues, and this will just put it in the forefront." Whiplash, which SPC bought one year ago at the Sundance Film Festival, made a strong showing Thursday morning with five nominations, including best supporting actor for J.K. Simmons. "We thought we had a shot [at a best picture nomination]," added Bernard, who watched the nominations on his iPad in his New York City apartment. "There were Academy discussions when we were buying it. We saw it as on the Academy track from the beginning."
Don Hall and Roy Conli, director (Hall) and producer (Conli) of best animated feature nominee Big Hero 6: "As kids growing up in Canada and Iowa, Chris and I both dreamt of becoming Disney animators. Never could we have imagined that, one day, we would get to make a film like Big Hero 6, and that one day, the film and all of the talented artists who made it would be recognized by the Academy. Roy, Chris and I are deeply honored by the nomination and thank everyone at Disney Animation who made this possible."
Chris Williams, director of best animated feature nominee Big Hero 6: "It's been a pretty exciting morning," said Williams, noting that he has exchanged texts and emails with co-director Don Hall and producer Roy Conli, who are in South Korea promoting the film. "I'm most excited that the crew will be so excited. Hundreds spend years of their lives on these films." He said he was surprised by the omission of The Lego Movie from the animated feature nominations, "though it's hard to argue that any on list are not worthy." While nothing is determined regarding a possible Big Hero 6 sequel, he said, "The idea of working with the characters again is appealing for sure."
Dean DeBlois, director of best animated feature nominee How to Train Your Dragon 2: The writer-director says he woke up to "wonderful, blurry positivity." His Oscar nomination for the sequel (he was also nominated for the first Dragon) capped an "amazing week" during which he also received a Golden Globe, and the film also earned nominations from groups including the VES and CAS. He said of the Oscar nomination: "For me it's recognition is validation for what I believe were the risky, more daring elements of the story [notably, the decision to kill protagonist Hiccup's father, Stoick]. I was able to include ideas that were personal for me and challenging for the audience. Tearful, emotional moments."
Bonnie Arnold, producer of best animated feature nominee How to Train Your Dragon 2: "I could not be more thrilled for our artists by this recognition from the Academy and just so proud of our fearless leader, writer-director Dean DeBlois. There is a great line from the script that Cate Blanchett's character says to Hiccup: 'You have the heart of a chief and the soul of a dragon.' The same can be said of our entire cast and crew. They are the soul of this movie and we could not have gotten this far without each and every one of them; they make my job such a pleasure!"
Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, directors of best animated feature nominee The Boxtrolls: Heading to Los Angeles for tonight's Critics Choice Awards, the directors were going through airport security when they learned of their nomination. "I dropped my phone and my shoes," Stacchi said, adding that they were congratulated by the TSA representative after he learned what was going on.
Travis Knight, producer of best animated feature nominee The Boxtrolls: "Not bad, a decent batting average," said a happy Knight, who is also CEO of LAIKA, the stop-motion animation house that made the film. LAIKA is now three for three, having also earned Oscar nominations for its prior two features, Coraline and ParaNorman. He joked that in keeping with The Boxtrolls' setting of Cheeseville, the team would break out the "most ostentatious cheese plate" to celebrate. The Boxtrolls is based on the novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, which LAIKA found nearly 10 years ago. The stop-motion process is such that these films take years to make, and they also don't do test screenings at LAIKA. "We have to trust our instincts," Knight said. "Every time out, each film is a fairly pure representation of the filmmakers' [vision], so we have no sense of how people are going to react. This validation is really meaningful."
Torill Kove, director of best animated short nominee Me and My Moulton: "This is really wonderful news! One of the many great things about an Oscar nomination is that I will get some chances to express my gratitude publicly to all my colleagues and collaborators. They are all amazing people and I can't wait to rave about them."
Patrick Osborne, director of best animated short nominee Feast: "In a year with so many beautiful animated shorts, we are surprised, humbled, thrilled to be included among the nominees by the Academy. Making Feast alongside my favorite artists and best friends at Disney Animation was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is their hard work and talent that made the film what it is and I am so excited to share this nomination with them."
Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, directors of best animated short nominee The Dam Keeper: "We are excited and surprised," said co-director Tsutsumi, saying that they did a Google Hangout to watch the nominations with the team. "Duncan Ramsay, our producer, was in London. It was a staggered cheer. It was like a wave going through a stadium."
Alexander Dinelaris Jr., best original screenplay nominee for Birdman: "I think looking back at this, we weren't expecting to be in this position six months ago, let alone three years, when we started this process. I think the film, starting with Alejandro and our team, was an act of courage. He had a crazy idea, and we kind of jumped off a ledge with him. The actors were walking a tightrope every day, that was courage, the producers had courage to tackle so experimental a film, even the audiences and the critics have an amount of courage to accept this movie. That's the most amazing part — we all took the leap together."
Nicolas Giacobone, best original screenplay nominee for Birdman: "This movie comes from Alejandro, from this need he had to do something new, do something that would put him out of his comfort zone. It was so surprising that the only thing we could say was yes. Then, of course, when you discover what the story behind that first impulse is, it became about the four of us, and it became such a fascinating ride. Being part of it is fantastic, and having this recognition, we couldn't ask for more."
Dan Futterman, best original screenplay nominee for Foxcatcher: "I was in the dog park with the dog when the wife finally called me," said Futterman. "I'm honestly surprised. We've been on the bubble a little bit. It's been a little unclear what's been going on with the movie. It's a total thrill, and in particular to share it with Max Frye." When asked about the scathing comments from one of the film's subjects, Mark Schultz, Futterman said: "He was really brave in sharing his life with all of us. It can't ever go perfect with everybody. It's an upsetting period of his life," he said. Futterman said he will celebrate tonight with a night out with his wife and his friend Amy Ryan.
Dan Gilroy, best original screenplay nominee for Nightcrawler: Amazingly, Dan Gilroy, the writer-director of Nightcrawler who was up to hear his name called out for best original screenplay, did not wake up his wife, Nightcrawler actress Rene Russo, to tell her his news. Russo has to present Kevin Costner with an award at Thursday's Critics' Choice Awards but was fighting laryngitis, Gilroy said. "She's still sleeping. She told me to wake her if there was exciting news but I'm going to give her an extra hour," he said. For him, the experience of hearing his name was a trip. "I've never had that experience before. You start to hear your name announced, it becomes surreal for a second or two, and then they move on, and you're left to process the news." Another piece of news he processed was his actor Jake Gyllenhaal not receiving a best actor nomination despite the accolades. "I'm probably being very subjective but I thought Jake gave the performance of not just the year, but the performance of any year. He threaded the needle for that character. He deserved every award out there, at least every nomination." Gilroy is working on a new script and said he would tackle that today. "I'll be able to stay focused [despite the excitement of the nomination]," he insists. "There are always distractions, every day. This is just a bigger distraction than most."
Graham Moore, best adapted screenplay nominee for The Imitation Game: "I've been working on this film for five years, pretty much every day of my life for five years, so I got up for [the nominations announcement] because I am simply too obsessive compulsive to let even the chance that our movie might get something go by without being awake," said Moore. When the screenwriter heard his name announced for best adapted screenplay, he said it was "crazy." "I yelled. I was fiddling with how to use my coffee maker and I was literally spilling water all over myself," he said. "To have been involved with this film has been the most fulfilling experience of my life. I've been obsessed with Alan Turing since I was a teenager, so to be involved with a film about him is everything I could have dreamed of." Moore said he may go out to dinner with his Imitation Game cast to celebrate tonight but he also "may crash by 2 p.m." He added: "Among my New Year's resolutions is going to be figuring out how to take effective naps."
Helen Estabrook, producer of best adapted screenplay nominee Whiplash: "I was at home [in Silver Lake] on my couch with my laptop on my lap when I saw the nominations. As soon as they announced Tom Cross [nominated for best film editing for Whiplash], I started crying because Tom is one of the loveliest humans. At that point, I was like, 'We've done something great if this is the recognition that this guy is getting.' And then I continued to cry throughout. I just drove over to Santa Monica to have breakfast with [director] Damien [Chazelle]. He and I were hanging out and absorbing all this." Estabrook added: "I think everybody who worked on this movie worked on it because they loved it. I know they certainly weren't doing it for the money," she said. "It's a real thrill to be a part of this crazy journey." She'll celebrate again tonight with Chazelle at the Critics' Choice Awards. When asked about the film's surprise nomination for adapted screenplay (despite the fact that the movie is based on an original script by Chazelle, it was nominated as adapted because a short was first made and played at Sundance), Estabrook said: "The way that all worked out was quite a surprise. But listen, I'm certainly not going to complain about it. It's really incredible."
Alexandre Desplat, best original score nominee for The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel: "When you get one, already it's a miracle, so to have two is a double miracle. It's like being hit twice over the head. I remember John Williams got two not long ago [2011's War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin]. I am very fortunate. How will I celebrate? I'll be on the phone for the next two hours."
Gary Yershon, best original score nominee for Mr. Turner: "I'm honored to be nominated. It's a testament to my brilliant team of musicians, conductor Terry Davis, and our recording engineer Nick Taylor. I am delighted that my colleagues Dick, Suzie and Jacqueline have been recognized too. I'm proud to be associated with Mike Leigh and his amazing work. A nomination for me is a nomination for Mr. Turner."
Jóhann Jóhannsson, best original score nominee for The Theory of Everything: "I'm deeply honored to be nominated for composing this score. Filmmaking is a collaborative medium, and I was lucky to work with artists of amazing caliber on The Theory of Everything: the actors, the screenwriter, and the director, James Marsh — who has my gratitude for inviting me to be a part of his team and for being a brilliant, inspiring and generous collaborator. My thanks to the AMPAS members for this recognition."
Hans Zimmer, best original score nominee for Interstellar: "Without a shadow of doubt, the score for Interstellar was Chris and I at our most collaborative. Even in this modern world of texting and emailing, sometimes all you need is a simple, type-written letter from your director to spark what undoubtedly became one of the most personal scores I've ever written. Chris and I make movies family-style — so much of the film's music was written with our children in mind, and that's what makes this honor by the Academy really special. This is as much his score as it is mine."
Julian Raymond, best original song nominee for "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me: "I kept notes forever about things Glen said, and one of them was, 'What are all these people worried about, I'm not gonna miss any of 'em anyway.' The song had to be simple so he could sing it — it couldn't be something complicated like 'Wichita Lineman.' He loved that piano vibe, like John Lennon sitting down to play piano. Not to compare it to Lennon, but it's a simple melody, a heartfelt song, like 'Imagine.' He wanted to sing what he felt. He said, 'Wow, this is a hit song!' like he was a kid and all his friends and family were around him. It was a pretty cool day. I saw him a few weeks ago, but he didn't know me."
Gregg Alexander, best original song nominee for "Lost Stars" from Begin Again: "[The nomination represents] the idea that the underdogs can sneak into the ball, that sometimes the girl you least expect might become the prom queen, or the skinny kid that throws the touchdown — that's us. There's so many studio films, big-budgeted films in the running, that that's kind of where we see ourselves. We're the kid that snuck in."
Danielle Brisebois, best original song nominee for "Lost Stars" from Begin Again: "I was up all night, probably more because I have 1-year-old twins. So I was up anyway, and I was watching the announcements come on, and they did songs, and then they announced our song — but last, so my heart was pounding. The first thing I did was call Gregg and I was like, 'Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!' I'm screaming and Gregg didn't know why we were screaming at first."
Diane Warren, best original song nominee for "Grateful" from Beyond the Lights: "I woke up at 5 a.m. I'm kinda like thinking, it's so competitive this year of all years, there's Coldplay, there's everybody. I got a text saying, 'Congratulations!' and I thought, 'Could that be an old text? Oh my God, holy shit, I got nominated!' I love it, I think it's one of my best songs, it's got a great message. I should listen to it. Why can't you be more grateful, bitch? You wrote that song! But a seventh nomination is good. Seven is good. My birthday's on the seventh. I don't expect to win, I'm a six-time loser. But seven times a charm! Stay tuned. And the nomination lunches are always fun because nobody's lost. For the day, you're cool."
Laura Poitras, director of best documentary feature nominee Citizenfour: "The reaction to the film is incredibly overwhelming. It was made by a really small circle of people taking huge risks — the people in the film, the people who made it, and all the funders and distributors. So its popularity has been a testament for not playing it safe. To have it recognized as a film, it's incredible. I haven't talked with [Edward Snowden] since the nomination. I have been in touch with him via encryption, which I don't have set up here, but hopefully I'll speak to him soon. But I hope he's gotten the news."
Rory Kennedy, director of best documentary feature nominee Last Days in Vietnam: "Yaaaay! Isn't it thrilling? I was in my house in L.A. watching but the streaming was delayed here, so I got a text from Amy Grey just saying, 'Yes,' and then I jumped up and down in an old-fashioned kind of way. My father [Robert F. Kennedy] really jumped into that last campaign [for president], desperate for us to get out of the war in Vietnam. He saw the writing on the wall before a lot of people. That was certainly part of my childhood, and so it's nice to have this moment and have it be recognized by so many people."
Orlando von Einsiedel, director of best documentary feature nominee Virunga: "We're all over the moon. This is all very new to me. Netflix does very interesting things with docs — E Team, The Square — it's great for filmmakers and reaches unprecedented audiences, 53 million homes in 50 countries. When we got the BAFTA and DGA and PGA noms, for five minutes it's great, and then you go back to being nervous. It's all been overwhelming, but it's all about making more people to stop these mountain gorillas from being destroyed in the name of greed."
Leonardo DiCaprio, executive producer of best documentary feature nominee Virunga: "Congrats to Orlando and Joanna [Natasegara]. Everyone is incredibly humbled by this nomination. This film has always been about telling the stories of the incredible rangers of Virunga National Park. The work they do is truly heroic, and this recognition is a salute to their bravery. With only about 800 eastern lowland gorillas left in the wild, we hope that this honor will help to further raise awareness for this cause. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film in this way, and congratulations to all fellow nominees."
Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, co-directors of best documentary feature nominee The Salt of the Earth: "We are delighted to learn of this nomination for The Salt of the Earth, and we are especially happy that our subject has received so much attention — that is, both the photography of Sebastiao Salgado, as well as his other life's work, the reforestation of the tropical rain forest."
Jeff Garlin, executive producer of best documentary feature nominee Finding Vivian Maier: "I'm thrilled. Even though we're up for best documentary, I feel it's the best acting I've ever done."
Mat Kirkby and James Lucas, director (Kirkby) and writers (Kirkby and Lucas) of best live-action short nominee The Phone Call: "We are utterly thrilled and honored that The Phone Call starring Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent has been nominated at the 2015 Oscars. Sally Hawkins, who was Oscar nominated last year for Blue Jasmine, gives an incredible performance here as a helpline call center worker trying to save a man's life."
Damián Szifrón, director of best foreign-language film nominee Wild Tales: "I'm on the beach in Argentina with my family, not watching TV. I didn't want to watch — ours was the last one announced, I would have died. When I was writing the film in my bathtub, I never thought this could happen. But it makes sense. Everybody is angry about something, some injustice or abuse of power, and the film works as an experience to release the anger, for so many audiences. Brazil, Dubai, France, Telluride, Toronto, AFI, Palm Springs — it connects with audiences in a physical way."
Pawel Pawlikowski, writer and director of best foreign-language film nominee Ida: "I was in Mexico at a café with a TV, and started seeing familiar faces — to get two nominations [for cinematography and foreign-language film] is even more astounding. It's a strange, ongoing fairy tale and it gets better and better. I'm very happy for Poland, and half of Poland will be celebrating — the half that embraced Ida, that loves cinema, poetry, the open-minded Poland. The other half will be really pissed off now. The ones who think it's unpatriotic, the suspicious, envious, other Poland, full of complexes."
Abderrahmane Sissako, director of best foreign-language film nominee Timbuktu: "As I learn of this nomination, I am overwhelmed by an indescribable feeling, it is an honor for me and a great sign for Mauritania and Africa. It is the acknowledgement of work accomplished through the passion and commitment of women and men of different countries, united to defend our universal values of love, peace and justice. I am extremely touched that the Academy in the United States of America has opened the way for Timbuktu to receive the greatest recognition in world cinema, I thank all those who made this possible from the bottom of my heart. I would like to thank France for its unfailing support."