Oscars: Stars React To 2020 Nominations

After a very early morning and sleepless night for most, the waiting is over for this year’s Oscar nominees. Here’s a round-up of some key reactions.

“It’s a mixture of excitement and relief that it’s all over,” said Anthony McCarten, who received his fourth Oscar nomination for Adapted Screenplay for Two Popes. “I didn’t sleep much last night. I normally sleep like a log. I woke at 3 in the morning thinking this is ridiculous, it’s just an award and I shouldn’t care. But I clearly do.” Two Popes is his fourth consecutive film to earn an Oscar Best Picture nom following Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour, and The Theory of Everything. “I’m drawn to stories that combine the intimate with the epic. There’s something about that macro and micro combination that gives a profundity to it. He adds, “If you see an astonishing event in a movie and then you add the fact that this actually took place, it has an additional power.”

Saoirse Ronan, nominated for Lead Actress for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, had entire teams of family and friends paying close attention to this morning’s nominations, among them her mom and dog at home in Ireland. (You can watch the clip below). “I didn’t realize they were coming out so early,” Ronan said from Los Angeles. She is celebrating her fourth nomination and has become the second-youngest performer to reach that milestone. “I was so, so happy to hear the news,” she told Deadline. “But as soon as I heard that we got Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay especially, I just burst into tears, because the movie for me is one of the best of the year and Greta’s going to be able to go and represent the movie as she should. I’m so happy to be a part of that.” Asked about her real moments of pride and pleasure in adapting Little Women with Gerwig, Ronan warned that she might tear up. “I think the combination of being given the permission to play Jo March and working with somebody like Greta Gerwig allowed me to open up as an actor in a way I don’t think I’d done before, and have freedom in the way I speak and move and am to try different things. To break through a little more.”

Florence Pugh, nominated for Supporting Actress for Little Women, may have missed the Little Women rehearsal, but she had a very good reason. “I was on the set of Midsommar and I was burning my boyfriend in that exact moment,” she says, “so I would just keep on sending them pictures of me doing mad stuff in my flowered dress and they would keep on sending me pictures of them doing very normal things and were quite confused as to why I was wearing a flower crown. But when I got there, they had such open arms, they were so ready to welcome me and bring me into the family.” Greta Gerwig’s script and Pugh’s portrayal of Amy March certainly shook up earlier interpretations of the character, taking Amy back to her truly feminist, survivor roots. “With Amy, I think Greta went back to the book and she just picked out this girl that we’ve unnecessarily hated for so long,” Pugh said. “For an actor to hope to persuade people otherwise is pretty cool. It’s a nice canvas to be stepping up to and I had so much fun.”

With a Best Picture nomination in the bag for Little Women, producer Amy Pascal is “so happy”, but she credits it all to the film’s writer/ director Greta Gerwig. Pascal championed the project from her first conversation with Gerwig. “She had the whole film that she already directed in her head,” Pascal says. “She knew that it was going to be a movie about the importance of money, and the importance of independence, and the importance of the sacrifices you make as an artist to live in the real world. She knew she was going to tell it in those two timelines. She knew it was going to be about the idealization we have of our childhoods. She had the whole thing and it was awe-inspiring from the very first moment I met her.”

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