The Oscar nominees – and close friends – open up in PEOPLE's exclusive video

By Jennifer Garcia
Updated February 14, 2015 05:45 PM
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Credit: Peggy Sirota

They both got their starts at a young age, but Boyhood costars Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke had very different paths to the Oscars.

In a personal video for PEOPLE shot by famed photographer-director Peggy Sirota, Best Supporting Actress nominee Arquette says her family lived in a “hippie commune in Virginia,” and that’s where it all began for her.

“One of the first movies we saw was Fiddler on the Roof. We played for about three months and built a whole village,” recalls the actress, 46.

For Best Supporting Actor nominee Hawke, 44, who joined Arquette over a 12-year period to make Richard Linklater’s drama Boyhood, acting was much more accidental.

“The local theater director asked me if I would be a spear carrier in the local play,” he recalls. “I would think this is a great job – these people sit around, they talk about philosophy all day long.”

“And my parents hated their jobs so much,” he adds, “that I pretty quickly thought this was a better alternative.”

For more from PEOPLE’s annual Oscar portfolio, pick up the newest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday