“Films like these make me so happy to be part of the industry,” said Zoë Saldana at the Independent Spirit Award nomination press conference last week. The event was held at the W Hotel Hollywood.
Although the Oscars are the crème de la crème of awards worldwide, most industry types say that the Independent Spirits are the most fun. “We hold them in a tent at the beach in Santa Monica the afternoon before the Oscars,” said Sean McManus, Film Independent co-president. “The atmosphere is conducive for the actors to let their hair down.”
Although the awards are much more casual than the Oscars, Anna Kendrick, Common, and Saldana donned their Sunday best to announce nominations. Media were treated to breakfast which consisted of cold cereal, Danish, fruit, and yogurt, as well as coffee, tea, and whiskey. Whiskey at nine o’clock in the morning? Well, it was the Spirits! It also was a sponsor and a needed staple for an Irish coffee on a cold rainy morn.
“We nurture artist-driven filmmaking all year long,” said John Welsh, Film Independent co-president. “I can’t imagine a more fitting or worthy group of films to celebrate.”
Kendrick walked off the stage after her individual photo shoot, telling Saldana how aggressive the photographers were.
Saldana may know a thing or two about photographers. She has three films in post production – Star Trek into Darkness, Blood Ties, and Avatar 2 as well as being Bradley Cooper’s main squeeze.
Kendrick and I grabbed a word before the red carpet and we discussed my passion, travel. It’s ironic, but the star of Up in the Air said, “I hate flying.” She told me later the film was worth it because she learned invaluable lessons from co-star George Clooney, “a gracious and funny man.” Kendrick has a few-week break and plans to host Christmas at her home. “And I’m not a cook, so we’ll see how I do!”
Common, most known for his music, told me he loves actors and working with them. “From the time I was a kid in Chicago, I’d go to the movies and revel at the screen. I studied acting and it’s something I can’t live without. I love independent films.” Highlights:
Best Actor: Jack Black, Bernie; Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook; John Hawkes, The Sessions; Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On; Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe; and Wendell Pierce, Four.
Best Actress: Linda Cardellini, Return; Emayatzy Corinealdo, Middle of Nowhere; Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook;
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed; and Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike; David Oyelowo, Middle of Nowhere; Michael Peña, End of Watch; Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths; and Bruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom.
Best Supporting Actress: Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister’s Sister; Ann Dowd, Compliance; Helen Hunt, The Sessions; Brit Marling, Sound of My Voice; and Lorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere.
Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry.
Sue Facter owns a new agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Women’s Day Australia, as well as on broadcasts and the web.