Harris, who also directed and co-financed the modestly budgeted pic, recently told TV Guide Online that although making Pollock was a labor of love, he probably won't be pouring his own money into another film anytime soon. "It's just not smart," he said. "Hopefully I'll be able to make that money back within a few years."
Geoffrey Rush, a 1996 Oscar winner for Shine, spent his entire Tuesday on a plane travelling between Berlin and Melbourne and didn't get confirmation of his lead actor nod for Quills until the aircraft stopped to refuel in Singapore. "I heard I had a great Tuesday," the thesp joked through spokesperson Stan Rosenfield. "I'm very proud of the entire production and of all the people that went into making Quills possible. An actor can only be as good as the people that surround him."
Rush's fellow lead actor nominee, Gladiator hero Russell Crowe, was unavailable for comment Tuesday morning because, according to his rep, he too "was on a plane."
Lead actress shoo-in Julia Roberts got an early wake-up call on the Las Vegas set of her next film, America's Sweethearts. "I am deeply honored and excited to be included amongst this talented group of actors," the Erin Brockovich star said in a statement.
Chocolat's Juliette Binoche who won an Oscar in 1996 for her supporting work in The English Patient was "amazed" by her lead actress nomination. However, she knows the trophy is Roberts's to lose. "I think that's where it should go," she said on CBS's The Early Show, adding that she nonetheless plans to attend the ceremony on March 25. "I'll be at the meeting, anyway. I'll be at the appointment."
Ellen Burstyn wasn't so quick to concede defeat. Nominated for Darren Aronofsky's dark drug drama Requiem for a Dream, the actress who played Roberts's mother in Dying Young told Extra that she has "warm feelings toward her... I feel proud of her in some way, [but] I want to beat her."
Roberts's main competition, You Can Count on Me's Laura Linney, was positively buoyant about her nomination. "Everybody has good days and bad days," she beams, "This is unequivocally a really great day. Not only am I thrilled for myself, but for everyone else who has been nominated." Although Linney's co-star, Mark Ruffalo, was overlooked, the film's writer/director, Kenneth Lonergan, was nominated for his original screenplay.
A "beyond excited" Kate Hudson learned of her supporting actress nod for her role as Penny Lane in Cameron Crowe's rock biopic Almost Famous while in London filming The Four Feathers. Shortly after, she boarded a plane (notice a trend here?) to meet rocker-hubby Chris Robinson for a Valentine's Day rendezvous. "Being nominated for an Academy Award is something every actor dreams of," she said before jetting off. "This is an unbelievable honor and it's a privilege to be recognized for something I love to do so much."
Marcia Gay Harden a supporting actress nominee for playing artist Lee Krasner in Pollock watched the festivities from her hotel room in Denver. (She's there promoting the film.) According to Extra, the actress heard her name called out and hugged the room service attendant delivering her breakfast. She then called co-star Harris to congratulate him on his nomination.
Supporting actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix who played Crowe's evil nemesis in Gladiator called his nod "shocking," adding that, "It's awesome to be recognized for your work."
Traffic's Benicio Del Toro couldn't have been too surprised by his nomination, considering he's long been labeled the frontrunner in the supporting actor race. The Golden Globe winner said being nominated for an Oscar is "like going to the Super Bowl!"
Then one can only imagine what it must be like to get two nominations! "I can't even put into words what I'm feeling right now," said Steven Soderbergh, who made history by being nominated for his directing work on both Erin Brockovich and Traffic. "I think that if I didn't have the distraction of shooting a film, I would have to be sedated."
Universal's feel-good ballet pic Billy Elliot failed to secure a best picture nomination, and its pint-sized star, Jamie Bell, was also ignored. Still, the film's director, Stephen Daldry, wasn't forgotten. "I am absolutely delighted, completely surprised and overjoyed," offers the filmmaker, who was in London hard at work on The Hours the big-screen adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel when the news came.
Director Ang Lee, whose martial arts fantasy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon received 10 nominations (the most ever for a foreign language film), explained to Access Hollywood that he had been working late on a BMW commercial in New York and heard about the movie's strong showing from his assistant. Conceded the soft-spoken auteur: "It's a great morning."