How did you find out about your nominations?
We had some people come over. We figured, “To heck with it. We’ll take the risk. We’ll have some waffles.” It was strange that it was pitch-black outside. We’re usually not having waffles at that time. Everyone was in a daze.
When we first spoke in early December, the concern was more about audiences finding the movie, not Oscar nominations.
It’s definitely a different kind of movie. Some people, at the beginning, thought it might be too challenging. But clearly there’s a hunger for the information. We knew from early screenings that people were responding but you never know it’s going to go this far.
Winning nominations from the directors and writers branches … people are taking you very seriously now.
I’ll soon rectify that. You know what it is? Not to get hokey, but it’s a testament to the power of a good story. This is one of the biggest stories of the past 50 years with amazing characters played by amazing actors. And then I would give ourselves some credit and say we didn’t muck it up.
The movie has been finding its way into the political conversation too. Has that been gratifying?
Very much so. We really wanted people to connect with this story, something we feel is helpful and needs to be out there in the world. Next week we’re taking it to the Brookings Institution in Washington and we’re supposed to meet with some of Obama’s economic advisors. We’re not fools. We don’t think it’s going to change the world. But it’s thrilling to be part of the discussion.
Yeah, forget the two Oscar nominations …
I won’t go quite that far. (Laughs) But it’s thrilling.
Most pundits had you as a screenplay nominee. But not everyone figured you’d earn a directors nod, even with the DGA nomination.
I didn’t think director. I didn’t think it would happen. It was amazingly flattering and exciting.
This year, in the academy’s eyes, you’re a better director than Ridley Scott.
Don’t ever say that! (Laughs) I never want to hear that sentence again! He’s literally one of my all-time heroes. I was very surprised by that. But it’s the nature of the format. It’s never completely fair.
What do you have planned for the rest of the day?
You can guess what’s next. Sleep. I’m a great sleeper. I actually have work to do today too, reading a couple of scripts at our production company. Tonight I’ll do a little celebrating with the family. What a great day!