Indiewire braved the red carpet for the 87th Academy Awards to speak with this year’s nominated talent (and one past Oscar winner) before the big show. Below are the top things we learned from the actors and directors who stopped by our spot on the carpet.
Most of the nominees managed to get some sleep.
Oscar-nominated “Finding Vivian Maier” co-director John Maloof strolled up to Indiewire looking relaxed and well-rested. “Last night was the first night in many that I actually got sleep,” he said. “I took a Benadryl. It was the first morning where we didn’t have somewhere to be… a lot of parties leading up to this!”
Oscar-nominated “Whiplash” writer-director Damian Chazelle admitted to getting good sleep the night before, but that the night before the nominations were announced was “horrible.” “You just want to get that over with,” he said of nominations morning.
Documentary filmmakers are their own wonderful breed.
“You don’t make documentaries to get rich,” said Maloof’s “Finding Vivian Maier” co-director Charlie Siskel. “The whole idea of competition among films in art… that seems like a weird thing to begin with, but in particular, with documentaries, the subject matter is so different, they’re all worthy films, all lovely people. It’s been so fun getting to know the different nominees; to get to know their work.”“I’ve been doing a lot of work in the print world and I find that much more competitive,” “Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras said an hour before going on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary. “But the documentary community is much different. We all have our own unique voices. I love the other films that are nominated. It elevates everyone when one film is recognized, or one person does an amazing film. You have a film like ‘Man on Wire’ which sets the bar so high for everyone else. So there is a huge sense of community between documentary filmmakers and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
No one could believe they were there.
Felicity Jones, the Oscar-nominated “The Theory of Everything” star, was beaming on the carpet. “I can’t believe we’re here,” she said, smiling to Indiewire. Asked how she’s navigated the awards circuit all season long, she said, “I’m just enjoying it more. You get so nervous that you end up missing most of it. You’re just thinking about how nervous you are. I just want to enjoy every moment. I don’t want it to all go fast really quickly.”
Chazelle summed it up best when he told Indiewire that being at the Oscars “does feel like a dream.” “I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be like, none of that ever happened,” he said. “Selfishly, I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was a kid. So this has a special, extra surrealness.”
Felicity Jones did a shot before the show.
“I just had a shot of Tequila, so that helps,” Jones told Indiewire when asked what she did to calm her nerves before the big event. “Now I just feel as calm as anything,” she continued. “The Oscars is a dream. It’s one of those things that as a little girl you dream of.”
Graham Moore can handle his liquor.
“What I’ve loved about awards season is that there’s been time to ramp up my alcohol consumption,” “The Imitation Game” screenwriter Graham Moore said to Indiewire before going on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. “My tolerance has been built up over the last six months so I feel impervious. I’m excited to go back to yoga.”
Damien Chazelle is an Oscars junkie.
The “Whiplash” writer-director told Indiewire he’s been “addicted to all the Oscar blogs” for years. So, imagine the strange sensation of seeing your name pop up on all of them. “I tried to keep my head clear, do less of it,” he said when asked what that’s been like. “It sometimes makes it difficult; it’s like a cognitive disconnect, but it’s fun.”
Alexandre Desplat is not human.
In-demand film composer Alexandre Desplat won Best Original Score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” He also managed the odd feat of losing in the same category this year for his work on “The Imitation Game.” “I’ll sleep in my grave,” he said to Indiewire on the carpet when asked how he keeps up his remarkable pace, made evident by his two nominations. “I’ve waited a long time to do what I do, to work with these great producers and directors,” he said. “I always wanted to be a composer for Hollywood, and I became what I was at 45. I can’t go back. I have to work. Every month is a new beautiful project coming towards me. What should I do? Rest? It’s what I do. I wake up in the morning and write music.”
Lupita Nyong’o is badass.
Last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o turned heads in a gown made of over 6,000 pearls. Asked how she was dealing with the sheer weight of the dress, Nyong’o gave Indiewire a big smile and said “I work out.”