The Oscar nominations for lead actor are in, and they include Michael Keaton, who in "Birdman" portrays an aging actor who once played a superhero; Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in "Theory of Everything"; and Benedict Cumberbatch as WWII code breaker Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game."
Bradley Cooper was nominated for his portrayal of Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" and Steve Carell for his transformative, somber role in "Foxcatcher."
Keaton's nomination follows his win at Sunday's Golden Globes for actor in a musical or comedy. The nominations and accolades surrounding his performance mark a comeback of sorts for Keaton, who starred in Tim Burton's Batman films over two decades ago but has remained low-profile since.
"The only words I can use for that are 'extremely grateful'," said Keaton from his home in Los Angeles early Thursday morning. The dark comedy was co-written, produced and directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who was nominated for a directing Oscar after his Golden Globe screenplay win.
"The fact it got so many nominations makes me feel encouraged," said Keaton, 63. "I'm not ever sure I'll be involved in such a great experiment like this again. To be nominated is tremendous, but to be nominated in something like this is, like, triple tremendous."
Cooper was in New York when he received news of his nomination for his portrayal of Kyle, the late Iraq war veteran. The actor, who's been nominated for two previous Oscars and Golden Globes for his work in "American Hustle" and "Silver Linings Playbook," was more interested in talking about his recent trip around America to meet vets than discussing his nomination.
"I just spent the past two days going around Walter Reed hospital in D.C., a facility in San Antonio, then Dallas last, showing the movie and talking to vets, wounded warriors," said Cooper, 40. "I gotta tell you, hearing soldiers while they're viewing the movie and feeling like we did justice to their plight was incredible, and it was everything I could have ever hoped for."