Veteran actors share gratitude for Oscar nominations

Mon Feb 2, 2015 7:10pm EST
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By Mary Milliken

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - As the nominees for this year's Oscars gathered at a luncheon in Beverly Hills on Monday, industry veterans took the opportunity to reminisce on their journey, some for the first time, to the Academy Awards platform.

"This nomination would not have come when I was in my twenties, because I was figuring out how to do this," said J.K. Simmons, best supporting actor favorite for "Whiplash."

His sentiments were echoed by fellow nominees including Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon, all of whom have been acting for more than two decades.

"At 46, it's really beautiful, I can appreciate how meaningful it is," said "Boyhood" best supporting actress contender Arquette, a first-time Oscar nominee.

Simmons and Arquette joined more than 200 nominees across all branches of the film industry at the annual power lunch hosted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, organizers of the glitzy Oscars ceremony on Feb. 22, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Most of this year's 20 acting contenders are veterans of the film industry, who shared their appreciation at being recognized for Hollywood's top honor at later stages in their career.

"The word grateful, I'm just going to keep saying it," said best actor frontrunner Keaton, who at 63, earned his first Oscar nod for dark showbiz comedy "Birdman."

British actress Rosamund Pike, 36, first-time Oscar nominee for best actress in "Gone Girl," said the recognition "certainly isn't an end point" in her career.   Continued...

J.K. Simmons, best supporting actor nominee for his role in "Whiplash", arrives at the 87th Academy Awards nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills, California February 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni