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Conversations with the 2017 Oscar Nominees

by | February 22, 2017 | Comments

It’s almost Oscar time! In anticipation of the biggest awards show of the year, we at Rotten Tomatoes gathered all of our interviews with the 2017 nominees into one big list. From La La Land to Rogue One, enjoy these 22 conversations with the actors and filmmakers that will be celebrated by the Academy this weekend.


La La Land (2016) 91%


Kit Bowen challenges Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone from La La Land to give dramatic readings of some classic Broadway movie musical lyrics. Check out the video to see how they did.

Nominated for: 
Best Picture
Achievement in Directing
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Cinematography
Achievement in Costume Design
Achievement in Film Editing
Achievement in Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Achievement in Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Song)
Achievement in Production Design
Achievement in Sound Editing
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Best Original Screenplay


Manchester by the Sea (2016) 96%


Grae Drake talks to Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, and Michelle Williams from Manchester by the Sea about the beauty and pain of real life, wailing as an acting tool, the bravery of expressing feelings, and working with the genius that is Kenneth Lonergan.

Nominated for: 
Best Picture
Achievement in Directing
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Original Screenplay


Hell or High Water (2016) 96%


Grae Drake tempts Chris Pine and Ben Foster from Hell or High Water into their first round ever of prickly pear beer (which is pretty epic), and then spoke to them about their relationship in this movie, and what “mistakes” they might bury in a hole.

Nominated for: 
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Picture
Film Editing
Original Screenplay


Hidden Figures (2016) 93%


Mark Seman gives a very special Rorschach Test to the three leading ladies of Hidden Figures, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Jannelle Monáe. Then he asks Kevin Costner and Jim Parsons about whether Costner would make a good boss (and Parsons a good employee). Lastly, Pharrell Williams describes the time he got to meet NASA scientist and mathematician Katherine Johnson.

Nominated for: 
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actress
Best Adapted Screenplay


Deepwater Horizon (2016) 83%


Mark Seman talks to Kurt Russell, Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, and Kate Hudson from Deepwater Horizon about the people behind this incredible story, being surrounded by monsters (of the acting variety), and what it’s like to have Kurt Russell as your boss.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Sound Editing
Achievement in Visual Effects


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) 74%


Grae Drake talks to Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Ezra Miller from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them about wand mastery — and innuendo. Then we get a refresher course on melodrama, and Ezra Miller talks about going Beast Mode, Harry Potter style!

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Costume Design


Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) 88%


Grae Drake talks to Meryl Streep, star of Florence Foster Jenkins, about the new verb “Florenceing,” tiara-wearing tips, and why we need Florence’s story in our lives. Then she reveals one of her favorite moments in the film. After that, Grae hits the red carpet to talk to Streep, Hugh Grant, and writer Nicholas Martin about the phenomenon that was Florence Foster Jenkins.

Nominated for: 
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Acievment in Costume Design


Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) 97%


Grae Drake talks to Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Art Parkinson, and director Travis Knight from Kubo and the Two Strings about what talismans from their childhood they would want brought to life and Laika Flims’ masterful art of scaring children.

Nominated for: 
Best Animated Feature


Passengers (2016) 30%


Air Tomatoes Flight Attendant-in-Training Grae Drake takes pro tips from Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt from Passengers (since they’re now the most experienced passengers in the galaxy) about what essentials she should serve in-flight. Does it all end in shots? Oh yeah.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Achievement in Production Design


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) 84%


Grae Drake talked to the stars of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, and Donnie Yen) about a variety of Star Wars topics. First, everyone offers their best Darth Vader impression, then Grae tries to find out who in the cast is strongest with the Force. She also asks them to tell RT how the film ends (with varying success) and gathers a few good alibis to use on stormtrooper stooges, while Diego Luna talks about an important object that does NOT exist in the Star Wars universe. Lastly, Grae challenges Felicity Jones to an “All About Jyn” pop quiz and gets a Force-related directing lesson from Gareth Edwards.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Achievement in Visual Effects


13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) 51%


Grae Drake speaks to the stars of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (John Krasinski, David Denman, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, Dominic Fumusa, and Max Martini) and the actual Benghazi soldiers (Mark “Oz” Geist, John “Tig” Tiegen, and Kris “Tonto” Paronto) about what they would like audiences to take away from this film, what it was like to be on set with the actual men who were there, what the word “hero” means to them, and Michael Bay’s vision for this movie.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Sound Mixing


20th Century Women (2016) 88%


Grae Drake talks to Annette Bening from 20th Century Women about dancing around the house by yourself (and the best music for it) and awkward dinner conversations. She also speaks to Greta Gerwig about the high-maintenance regimen of pink hair and getting a punk rock education for the film.

Nominated for: 
Original Screenplay


Captain Fantastic (2016) 83%


Kit Bowen talks to Viggo Mortensen, Kathryn Hahn, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, and Shree Crooks from Captain Fantastic, as well as director Matt Ross, about what they think the title of the film represents and great roads trip they’ve taken. Also, she discovers that Kathryn Hahn has definite plans for the next time she performs with Viggo Mortensen!

Nominated for: 
Best Actor in a Leading Role


Doctor Strange (2016) 89%


Grae Drake talks to Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, and director Scott Derrickson from Doctor Strange about what their personal relics are, how Cumberbatch’s cloak does his talking for him, and what the film’s influences are (and aren’t), and in one magic moment, Grae also discovers that two Benedicts are better than one!

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Visual Effects


The Jungle Book (2016) 94%


Grae Drake talks to Neel Sethi (Mowgli) and Jon Favreau (Director) from The Jungle Book about what was real in the movie, how it’s like a video game, and who Neel was actually singing “Bare Necessities” with during filming!

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Visual Effects


Loving (2016) 88%


Kit Bowen talks to Joel Edgerton, Terri Abney, Ruth Negga, and writer/director Jeff Nichols about Loving and what the term “soulmate” means to each of them.

Nominated for: 
Best Actress in a Leading Role


Nocturnal Animals (2016) 74%


Kit Bowen talks to Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, and writer/director Tom Ford from Nocturnal Animals about their individual interpretations of the film, from metaphors of the heart to worshiping false idols and meditations on loss. Watch!

Nominated for: 
Best Actor in a Supporting Role


Silence (2016) 83%


Mark Seman talks to Adam Driver and Liam Neeson from Silence about dropping weight, the other challenges of their roles, the hostility of Japan in the 1600s, the immense journey their characters take, and about gaining 40 pounds of knowledge over the course of the film.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Cinematography


Star Trek Beyond (2016) 86%


Grae Drake talks to Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and director Justin Lin from Star Trek Beyond about how items from Bed, Bath, and Beyond would be used aboard the USS Enterprise and what an honor and a blessing it is to be part of a half century of Star Trek awesomeness, then boldly goes onto the red carpet at the premiere.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling


Suicide Squad (2016) 26%


Grae Drake talks to Adam Beach, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jay Hernandez, Viola Davis, Karen Fukuhara, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje from Suicide Squad about what their character’s best party tricks would be, and then speaks with director David Ayer about the themes within the film.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling


Trolls (2016) 75%


Grae Drake had some probing troll-related questions for the stars of Trolls, Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, as well as co-directors Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell… and in the process, JT winds up inventing a new word.

Nominated for: 
Achievement in Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Song)


Zootopia (2016) 98%


Grae Drake talks to the stars of Zootopia (Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman), as well as the directors (Byron Howard and Rich Moore), about their first tiny apartments in the big city and what cute stuff they can hustle from the world of Zootopia.

Nominated for: 
Best Animated Feature

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