"What a fucking day!" said Guillermo Del Toro,
whose "Pan's Labyrinth" scored six nominations. "I woke up without my glasses at what I believed was 5:15. I said, 'Holy crap, it's 5:15!' I ran downstairs, and of course, it was 3:30," he said. "I browsed cable and found Peckinpah's 'Wild Bunch.' This was a blessing. I stayed with Peckinpah until the nominations. And when I heard them, I tell you, there has never been so much love in that sofa than this morning." "Labyrinth" managed quite a haul, an amazing amount for a movie that was released so late in the year. Del Toro
said had it been released earlier, the score might have been different, "but the beauty of it is, whoever saw it at the time certainly loved it enough to produce this variety of nominations. What I find beautiful is whoever was touched by the movie came forth and said it in a loud voice." Del Toro
, too, is touched that a movie that was so difficult to make is getting so much love. "The financing collapsed twice, most everybody in my camp was telling me to drop it," he said. "And I'm glad I stuck with it with my friends Alfonso (Cuaron), Bertha Navarro
) and Frida Torresblanco
). We co-produced this movie with Spain through sheer will. It was not business as usual making it."
There may be no typical way to receive notification that you have received a best actress Oscar nomination, but Helen Mirren
discovered that she had been tapped for "The Queen
" in "a most extraordinary way!" While waiting on hold for an interview with NBC
's "Today" show during a break between filming scenes for Iain Softley
", she was listening to the live feed of nominations and unknowingly came in during the middle of best supporting actress. Not hearing her name, she said, "I figured they were going to come on the line and say, 'Sorry, Ms. Mirren, we're not interested now.' But then I heard the actual announcement, literally live on television. I'd been cool until that point, but my heart started thumping." Talk about timing. Mirren, who this month won the Golden Globe for her titular role in "Queen" and another for HBO
I", also was a front-runner for her PBS
miniseries "Prime Suspect: The Final Act
" this year. "It was exhausting", she recalls of having to do all three roles in one year. "It was basically 10 hours of lead role acting onscreen, which is very demanding. It was just as well that when I got to do 'Prime Suspect' I had to play a sad old drunk -- that was about as much as I could manage at that point." Overall, she said she is thrilled with the fact that "Queen" received six Oscar nominations. "It is very gratifying to have the whole film recognized," she said. But there was one person who wasn't quite ready to recognize Mirren's nomination -- her husband, director Taylor Hackford, was still asleep when she called him first with the good news. "I woke him up", she said tenderly. "And I said, Hello, darling. He said, 'Do you know what time it is?' He had forgotten what day it was."
" director-producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
was forced to celebrate the film's seven nominations, including a best helmer mention, in silence. "My kids are sick with the flu", said Gonzalez Inarritu, who watched the early-morning telecast at home with his wife. "We jumped, but we couldn't shout. So it was a strange, quiet celebration. But I woke them up later to tell them the news. After all, the film is dedicated to them." As for the unconventional, global-minded film's appeal to Academy voters, Gonzalez Inarritu said, "I think there is more of an open attitude nowadays," he said. "It's been an incredible year for international filmmakers."
wasn't about to let her first Academy Award nomination get in the way of a good night's sleep. "I went to sleep at 10, but then something woke me up," said Cruz, who was singled out for her starring role in "Volver". "I was nervous, but I didn't want to admit it." The Spanish actress finally awoke to the sounds of the TV set in another room. My father yelled, 'Stop pretending you are sleeping and come out here, ' " she said. "I was very excited. I was crying and laughing at the same time." Still, the celebration was dampened by the fact that "Volver" helmer and Cruz's longtime collaborator, Pedro Almodovar
, was shut out of the foreign-language and director categories. "I called him immediately, and he said from all of the nominations the film could have received, he was the happiest about mine," said Cruz, who cites Almodovar as the reason she decided to become an actress.
learned of his Oscar nom for directing while at the Savoy Hotel in London, where he was honored in the feature film category by the South Bank Awards program for his work on "The Queen". "I'm just reeling", Frears said. "You don't make films in England with that kind of possibility. If you ran your life with the idea that this is going to happen, you'd go mad, but it's phenomenal. I've had a charmed (professional) life, and if this keeps it going on a bit longer, then I'm thrilled." Frears, nominated in 1990 for "The Grifters", said he had no idea "Queen" would attract such critical renown. "I was sent a good script, and I approached it like I direct anything, really," he said. "It's really hard to say why this one took off. You go to work, and I could see the talent was giving an extraordinary performance, but you still can't anticipate anything like this. It's quite bewildering, in the best sense of the word."
"I woke up with my agent screaming in my ear," said "The Departed"'s Mark Wahlberg,
who was in bed at his home in Los Angeles when his nomination for best supporting actor was announced. "I thought something terrible happened at first. We didn't think it was going to happen. I hoped it would happen." Wahlberg credits his "real-life experience" and being inside his "comfort zone" for the performance of his career in "Departed". "It was not a lot of preparation or learning lines," he said. "I came up with a lot of different ways to insult these guys. I spent a good part of my childhood getting in trouble with the Boston police. I had the accent. Marty encouraged me and gave me the freedom to say what I wanted. He knew I was familiar with that world. Having that freedom, having him on the other side of the camera, and making a movie inside my comfort zone, I had to pinch myself that it was real." Wahlberg said he also had inspiration from the colorful language he heard at home. "My mother liked to drop the F-bomb, all in terms of affection where I come from," he said. "After I was nominated for the Globe, my mom called in tears. When she told my dad, he started screaming in the background that I had won the Academy Award. So today my dad said, 'Again? Now we can call you a professional actor.' He was never impressed with my paychecks. It was amazing to see how proud they were."
It might not be yellow, but Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton
celebrated in true "Little Miss Sunshine" fashion -- driving in their van. The married directing duo were taking their kids to school -- three children, two stops -- and doing media interviews simultaneously. They might not have scored a directing nom, but they still were thrilled that "Sunshine" earned mentions for best picture, supporting actor (Alan Arkin
) and supporting actress (Abigail Breslin
). Still, their celebrating will be put on hold because they are busy putting together their next project, "The Abstinence Teacher", for Warner Independent Pictures. "The benefit of the deal taking so long is maybe our price went up," Faris joked. The two are shocked, though, that a comedy was nominated among a slew of dramas. "People refer to it as a comedy, but what we love about it is the emotional component. We think audiences connected to that," Dayton said. Added Faris: "Everybody knows what it's like to be a member of a family. It's a familiar subject that everyone can relate to in some way."
In the wake of "The Departed"'s five nominations, including one for best director, Martin Scorsese
said, "I am very pleased that 'The Departed' has been honored with five nominations for this year's Academy Awards. I am particularly happy that the hard work of the entire cast and crew has been rewarded with a best picture nomination and that the specific contributions of Mark Wahlberg, our screenwriter William Monahan and my longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker
have been recognized with nominations as well."
"I don't know what to do with myself," yelled "Little Children
" best actress nominee Kate Winslet.
"I'm pacing and screaming and laughing and crying. I'm so thrilled, I really am. I did not expect it. I was all ready to not get a nomination at all." This is Winslet's fifth nomination, and the bloom is still on the rose. "We're talking about the Academy Awards! That could never be old hat." Winslet was in between dropping off her daughter and son at their respective schools in New York when she received her first call, from husband Sam Mendes
; the director was in London. "Literally as I jumped into the car my phone rang, and it was Sam. I exploded into this ridiculous display of whooping and screaming. My poor son could not work out what the hell was going on. " 'Mommy what is it, what is it?' " she said. Winslet was especially pleased with fellow actor Jackie Earle Haley
's nomination. "I have to call him", she said. "You have no idea how much this is going to literally change his life. Not as an actor, but also as a person. He didn't work for 15 years, you know." And though Todd Field
might not have received a nomination for directing -- Field and Tom Perrotta
did nab a nom for adapted screenplay -- Winslet said, "If it weren't for Todd, Jackie and I would not have received these nominations. This whole movie was to Todd's vision. So I do feel that Todd has been acknowledged in some way."
got the news of his nomination for "Blood Diamond" in London, where he took a break from doing press interviews for the movie to watch the nominations announcement live. He has been on an international press tour on behalf of "Diamond" and "The Departed". The day after the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 15, he flew to Tokyo with Martin Scorsese
to premiere "Departed"; then, he jetted to London with Djimon Hounsou
and director Edward Zwick
to promote "Diamond", which premiered there Tuesday night. After London comes Rome and Madrid. "I'm honored to receive this nomination from the Academy -- especially in a year full of such worthy nominees," DiCaprio said. "I'm grateful to everyone who has supported 'Blood Diamond.' Being nominated is a tribute to everyone who worked on this film, especially Ed Zwick. I am also thrilled for Djimon, Mark (Wahlberg) and Marty, who are all so deserving of this recognition."
is a great champion of "The Last King of Scotland". The reflective actor, who received his first Oscar nomination for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin
, was trudging through New York, booking appearances on "Today" and "Late Show With David Letterman" to promote the movie that bowed at the end of September but has been rereleased to capitalize on the recognition for his performance. "This is an amazing time and an amazing moment," said Whitaker, a frequent meditator who had to use moments in the taxi to center himself. As for celebration, Whitaker plans to do some dining, dancing and toasting with his wife, who joined him on his New York media tour.
"I'm very pleased. I'm in frighteningly good company," Judi Dench
said of her nomination as best actress for playing a jealous spinster in "Notes on a Scandal". "It was one of the harder parts I have played. At the end of the day, I was quite glad to get back to the person I am. I had the power to do it because of (director) Richard Eyre. He steered me through the rougher waters of it."
Because his best actor nomination for "Venus" represents his eighth nomination in the category, Peter O'Toole,
who has never won an acting Oscar -- though he was tapped for an honorary award in 2003 -- said, "If you fail the first time, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again. Yoiks!"
He's thrilled on the inside, but Ryan Gosling
is definitely taking a low-key approach to being nominated as best actor for his turn in ThinkFilm's "Half Nelson". "I was a big petitioner for the 'don't be too disappointed' club," he said. "I was calling everyone around me and saying, 'Don't be disappointed when I don't get nominated.' " He was even calling to make his manager feel better first thing this morning when he imagined that the nominations had been read and his name wasn't on the list. While they were on the phone, she told him they had just read his name. "But before we could register, I heard this squeal and crash outside my window," he said, and went over to learn that a motorcycle cop had just been hit. "So I was watching this guy lying in the middle of the road and (being) loaded into an ambulance while I'm getting all these calls telling me congratulations. I didn't know what to feel or how to feel." Later, it turned out the officer had just broken his arm: "So it turned out to be an OK day for both of us." The truth is, though, Gosling said getting nominated "goes against my plan. I was planning on being ostracized," he said. "I was really going to show them. Now I'm in this strange position, and I got to prove some people right. I was tempted to make bets that it wasn't going to happen -- at least I could profit from this, somehow." When he got off the phone, Gosling said he was calling his mother back to warn her not to quit her day job or anything: "She might think we've won the lottery. I have to tell her, this is just an indie film. We're getting the (Oscar swag) basket, and that's it."
who with her best actress nom for "The Devil Wears Prada" extended her record with a 14th nomination, said simply, "I am thrilled in a way that no one can possibly imagine. It's extraordinary that anyone in the actor's branch is even speaking to me, never mind nominating me yet again. I'm very, very grateful."
was in New York working on "I Am Legend" when he received word of his nomination as best actor for "The Pursuit of Happyness". "Congratulations to all of the nominees," he said in a statement. "It is a great honor to be considered among this caliber of performers. No competition, all celebration. Let the parties begin."
was in a London hotel room taking a break from doing a press junket with some of the cast and crew of "Blood Diamond" when the nominations were announced on television. "We were having lunch, and we didn't realize that the actual nominations were being announced, and we started hearing the nominations live," he said. "Everyone was screaming" when they heard his name for actor in a supporting role, he said. It was a fitting reward for a tough job. "It was a very hard shoot, physically and emotionally," Hounsou said. "Everything was hard. For me personally, everything was difficult." Hounsou did not meet any actual diamond workers because the shoot took place in Mozambique and South Africa, not in Sierra Leone, where the movie is set. He has, however, bought diamonds. But next time he does, he said, "I would certainly ask the right questions to whoever the vendor is about their policy on conflict diamonds."
"Babel"'s Rinko Kikuchi
was attending a Chanel fashion show in Paris when her manager relayed the news of her best supporting actress nomination.