2021 Oscars nominations: Riz Ahmed, Chloe Zhao, Viola Davis and more react
Some of the biggest names in film are waking up Monday to find out they’ve been nominated for an Academy Award.
Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas delivered the nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards from London, giving film lovers something to discuss until the Oscars take place on Sunday, April 25.
“Mank” led the pack with 10 nominations while a slew of films garnered six, including “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
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Below are reactions from some of this year’s nominees:
Daniel Kaluuya, who was nominated for best supporting actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was one of the first to react, saying in a statement he was “humbled” to have been nominated for playing Fred Hampton.
“Chairman Fred Hampton was a light, a beacon of a being who would illuminate all he touched with his incredible message,” he said. “With the ability to command any stage and robbed of his opportunity to captivate a global audience. He created strategies that supported and uplifted the black community but also unified other communities with his laugh, his mind, his passion and his love.”
He continued, “Today, I am humbled to be nominated for portraying a man whose principles I deeply respect and for guiding me to walk in his footsteps. With the blessing of Chairman Fred Hampton’s family, and the unwavering support from Ryan Coogler, Shaka King and Charles King, and the cast led by LaKeith Stanfield and Dominique Fishback, I became a vessel for Chairman Fred’s spirit at a time when we need his rally cry for equality and justice more than ever. I commend my fellow nominees for their impressive work. To be seen and celebrated by my peers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is beautifully humbling and I am deeply grateful. Thank you.”
This is Kaluuya’s second nomination, having first been nominated for “Get Out” in 2018.
Leslie Odom Jr.
“Good Morning America” was on the phone with first-time nominee Leslie Odom Jr. soon after he was nominated for best supporting actor for “One Night in Miami.” When asked how he was doing this morning, he said he was “feeling just amazing.” He added, “They can wake me up like this anytime.”
“I left the Broadway stage four or five years ago and I started this journey in film,” he went on. “I wanted to learn how to be on camera, I wanted to learn if I could be useful in this medium, and thanks to [director] Regina King and [screenwriter] Kemp Powers and this film, I really do feel like I’m on my way. It feels like a good beginning.”
Youn Yuh-jung, who was nominated for best supporting actress for “Minari,” said she is “humbled by the honor.”
“Never in my dreams did I ever think a Korean actress would be nominated for an Oscar, and I can’t believe it’s me! I am incredibly humbled by the honor,” the actress — a first-time nominee — said in a statement. “Thank you so much AMPAS, A24, Plan B, my Minari family and our entire cast and crew. We made this film with love, and I thank you for loving us back. And thank you, Isaac. This is all because of you!”
“Absolutely thrilled!! Congratulations to the whole @MaRaineyFilm team! Deserved!” Viola Davis, who is now the most-nominated Black actress at the Oscars, wrote on Instagram after the nominations were announced.
First-time nominee Thomas Vinterberg, who was recognized for directing “Another Round” (which was also nominated in the international feature film category for Denmark) reacted to the “wonderful news” in a statement.
“This is wonderful news. Thank you very much to the Academy, and congratulations to my fellow nominees. I’m honored to be in your company,” he said. “I’ve made some films over the years, but none of them have meant so much to me as this one. During a long journey like this, it matters most to be surrounded by great collaborators who are also great friends. My actors, Mads, my co-writer Tobias, Sturla my DOP, my producers from Zentropa and the amazing behind the scenes talent were all on this journey with me and gave all they had. Thank you from Denmark.”
Mads Mikkelsen, the star of “Another Round,” added, “It is truly overwhelming to be elected among such strong and deserving colleagues. Our journey could not dream of a finer or more honorable peak. Thank you so much, Academy.”
Riz Ahmed, who was nominated for best actor for “Sound of Metal,” thanked the Academy and everyone who starred in the critically acclaimed film, which earned him his first nomination.
“Wow! I’m honored to be nominated by my fellow actors alongside such inspiring performances, and am grateful to the Academy for their support and encouragement,” he began. “I’m equally thrilled for our visionary writer-director Darius Marder and the brilliant Paul Raci, as well as our editor Mikkel, sound designer Nicolas, and co-writer Abe Marder. These nominations represents the time, generosity and talents of so many — all of our incredible cast, crew, producers, and in particular I’d like to thank my mentors in the drumming, addiction recovery, and D/deaf communities.”
“Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can cut you off from your life and loved ones, and force you to grow in unexpected ways,” Ahmed continued. “In a challenging year for so many, I hope this story can inspire us to forge new and deeper connections with ourselves and others.”
Chloé Zhao, who made history as the first female director of Asian descent to be nominated for best director, said in a statement she was “so thrilled” to be recognized and said “Nomadland” is a film that is “very close” to her heart.
“I’m so thrilled for our nominations! Thank you to the Academy,” Zhao said. “I’m grateful to have gone on this journey with our talented team of filmmakers and to have met so many wonderful people who generously shared their stories with us. Thank you so much to my academy peers for recognizing this film that is very close to my heart.”
Amanda Seyfried, who was nominated for best supporting actress for “Mank,” said being honored “feels surreal.”
“Working with David Fincher on Mank has been the highlight of my career, and being recognized by the Academy for an experience that brought me this much joy and fulfillment feels surreal,” the first-time nominee said in a statement. “I won’t be able to thank David enough for trusting me with this role and for the honor of reintroducing the world to the Marion Davies that I’ve come to know. To get to study this brilliant, humble woman and help restore her legacy has been a true privilege. Congratulations to David, Gary, and the whole cast and crew of Mank today — your brilliance has not gone unnoticed and I am humbled to share this recognition with you.”
First-time nominee Maria Bakalova, who was nominated for best supporting actress for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” released a statement in both English and her native Bulgarian.
“Wow Wa We Waa! Thank you to the Academy for this honor!” she began. “I really can’t believe this – to hear my name in the company of these remarkable women and their breath-taking performances is a dream come true! I am so grateful to Sacha Baron Cohen and my Borat family and congratulations to them for their Adapted Screen play nomination.”
Carey Mulligan, who was nominated for best actress for “Promising Young Woman,” said she is “absolutely elated.”
“I’m absolutely elated this morning, and I am so honored to be in such esteemed company across all categories,” the actress said in a statement. “Thank you to the Academy for embracing this story which means so much to me. It’s all thanks to my dear friend – the fearless, hilarious, bold writer and director Emerald Fennell and the incredible cast and crew she assembled. We all signed on because we believed wholeheartedly in her vision, and I’m so grateful to her for inviting me to be a part of it.
This is Mulligan’s second nomination, having first been nominated for “An Education” in 2010.
Gary Oldman, who was nominated for best actor for “Mank,” reacted by saying it was a “great pride and an honor to be recognized alongside these other tremendous, wonderful artists.”
“After such a stressed pandemic year, there is a kind of comfort and reassurance in knowing that we soldier on in many ways with important traditions,” he said. “In our industry there is nothing more traditional than the Academy Awards, which hopefully sends a sign of hope that we will get out of this. The Oscars are such a sign that normalcy still exists. In my case today marks my third Academy Award Nomination. Not to trivialize the current state of the world, it is a source of great pride and an honor to be recognized alongside these other tremendous, wonderful artists.”
This is Oldman’s third nomination. He won an Oscar in 2018 for “Darkest Hour.”
First-time nominee Paul Raci said being recognized by the Academy is “so gratifying on a level that I can only describe as heavenly.”
He said in a statement: “Thank you to the Academy for this honor. During my 40-something-year acting career, I have always been about the work. I’ve continued to work in small theater houses, like Deaf West Theatre, doing what I was trained to do from my Chicago Theater years, but to be validated in this way is gratifying on a level that I can only describe as heavenly. I’m so grateful to Darius Marder for directing and writing a script and a character seemingly for me without even knowing me that changed my life, and to Amazon for the love and support they have provided me. My heart is full, and as always, I look forward to the work and am grateful for the stillness.”
The Oscars will air Sunday, April 25, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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