Pitt, whose film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button collected 13 Oscar nods, including Best Picture, called the nominations “a great honor for the movie,” while giving props to his director. “I’m especially happy for David Fincher, for without him there would be no Ben Button,” said Pitt, who was last nominated for a supporting role in Twelve Monkeys in 1996.
Oscars aside, Changeling star Jolie also had words of gratitude for her director: Working with Clint Eastwood “was a reward in itself that will last me a lifetime,” she said.
Yet, the actress is still humbled about her nomination for her role as a mother whose son goes missing in Changeling. “To receive a nomination from the Academy on top of that is a privilege beyond any expectation,” she said Thursday. “It has been an exceptional year for acting, and I am honored to be in the company of these talented actors whose performances all deserve this recognition.”
Also nominated for Best Actress are: Meryl Streep in Doubt; Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married; Melissa Leo in Frozen River; and Kate Winslet in The Reader.
How Other Nominees Reacted
• Kate Winslet, The Reader: Best Actress
“I’m extremely happy to have been nominated. And very fortunate. Playing Hanna Schmitz will always remain one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever been blessed with. I’m genuinely thrilled not just for myself but for the wonderful Stephen Daldry and David Hare. These nominations are a testament to their unwavering commitment to this film. And I’m also very happy for all the people in Germany whose hard work on THE READER, has been rewarded by these nominations. Surely Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are smiling down on us today!
• Josh Brolin, Milk: Best Supporting Actor
“I found out when I was in bed. I woke up too early. I screwed up the whole timing thing because I’m in Utah so it’s an hour later. I woke up at 5:55 and I was thinking, ‘Okay, it didn’t happen. That’s okay.’ I felt a little bummed but then I thought, ‘I hope nobody else got snubbed,’ and waited for the calls about Sean [Penn] and about the movie and was just waiting. And no calls were happening! And then finally about 20 minutes later it dawned on me the time difference and thought, ‘Okay! We’re still in the game!.” [My wife, Diane Lane] called me. It’s her birthday and she said, ‘It’s the best present I could have gotten.’ She sung me a happy nomination birthday song.”
• Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married: Best Actress
It is such a thrill to be recognized in this category with these remarkably talented women. I was with my parents and my dog when I got the news and we were all overjoyed- although I’m not sure my dog knew what was going on. This is a great day to be an actress!”
• Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler: Best Supporting Actress
“I am so honored to be nominated for a film in which I am so proud and to be included with such a wonderful and talented group of women. It was an honor to work with Darren and the rest of the cast and crew of The Wrestler. Congratulations to Mickey [Rourke], for an extraordinary performance.”
• Viola Davis, Doubt: Best Supporting Actress
[I was] in a hotel room sitting next to my hubby. I was awake sitting with my husband and my publicist with some champagne. They had the champagne in their hands. Me, I was just clutching my husband. And then when I heard my name I just screamed! Just screamed! You feel like you dreamed the biggest dream and this is the reward.”
• Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Best Supporting Actress
“I was sound asleep thanks to Pinot Noir, and the phone rings at 5:30 a.m. I knew why it was ringing, so I woke up screaming and it wasn’t a nightmare! I wasn’t expecting anything. All I expect is for my work to touch people, to move and inspire people. That’s all I expect. I don’t get into the award stuff so this is just icing on the cake! … [Still], this is the highest honor for what I do in this industry. Think about it, for the rest of my career I will be known as ‘Academy Award nominated Taraji P. Henson.’ That changes everything!”
• Reporting by BRENDA RODRIGUEZ