British hopefuls attend Oscar lunch


Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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British Oscar hopefuls Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike celebrated their nominations in the company of their rivals at a star-studded lunch ahead of the Academy Awards.

The annual Oscar nominee luncheon brings together contenders from all categories for a “class photo” and a chance to celebrate each of the films before the live Oscar broadcast on February 22.

Eddie Redmayne, who is vying for a best actor gong for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, has already collected a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe for his performance.

But he said he has not yet prepared a speech for Oscar Sunday or subjected his new wife Hannah Bagshawe to rehearsals.

He said: “It’s bad luck if you start to over-prepare; the whole thing has been such an extraordinary flood of emotions and euphoria that I’ve tried not to find too much method in the madness and I’m taking every day as it comes, but Hannah has been very grounding.”

He added: “I’ve been lucky enough to win and I had the most wonderful experience after the Golden Globes of taking the Golden Globe in my hand luggage through the x-ray machine at the airport.

“I did that thing where I went through and saw the bag go through and then I saw the woman stop the machine and go close up on this weird shaped thing and say: ‘I think it’s an award or something.’ And I was just praying they would make me open it up but they didn’t.”

Notably absent from the festivities was Benedict Cumberbatch, who is also nominated for the best actor prize for his portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

The two English actors will compete with Birdman star Michael Keaton, Foxcatcher actor Steve Carrel, and third-time nominee Bradley Cooper, who plays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in American Sniper.

Redmayne’s co-star Felicity Jones, who plays Jane Hawking in the film, is nominated for best actress, but said at the luncheon that the journey to the Oscars had overwhelmed her at times.

“The past few months have been all these events where you’re so nervous that you reach the point where you can’t get any more nervous, so it’s nice to finally be at the luncheon and now actually be enjoying it and celebrating the film and taking stock of it and letting it all sink in.

“The whole time of making a film that I cared so deeply about and playing a woman I think is extraordinary and to be celebrated and for people to see the film, it means an immense amount.”

Jones will compete with fellow British actress Rosamund Pike for the best actress prize. Pike is nominated for her turn as Amy Dunne in the big screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s hit novel Gone Girl and, speaking at the lunch, said she saw the nomination as an endorsement of her career so far.

She said: “I suppose it means recognition and someone saying to you did ok, more than ok.

“I was very privileged to get an award in Santa Barbara last night called a Virtuoso Award, and I grew up in a musical family where virtuoso is a term usually reserved for musicians, meaning someone of skill and deftness and something very spontaneous and free.

“I thought I’ve always strived to be spontaneous and free and to get more skilled as I carry on working so even being nominated for an Academy Award means someone saying you’re going down that road in the right direction.

“It certainly isn’t an end point, I feel I’m just about now getting good at what I do, that’s what it feels like, and then I rely on writers and directors to give better opportunity for inspiration and that’s exciting. It means somebody thinks you’re doing ok and that’s good enough for me.”

Jones and Pike are joined in the best actress category by Still Alice star Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon for her performance as Cheryl Strayed in Wild and French actress Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night.

The Academy Awards will be presented at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 22.

Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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