From Hollywood with love, the entertainment industry’s finest got Valentine’s Day telephone calls in sometimes far-flung locations with word their dreams had come true - an Oscar nomination.
“I’ve got a champagne glass in my hand, and the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day makes it a double whammy,” said Duncan Kenworthy, producer of best picture nominee “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Oscar nominees at 5:38 a.m. during a Beverly Hills ceremony designed to give national exposure on the morning network TV shows. The winners will be announced March 27.
“We’ve got valentines to hand out this morning,” said Arthur Hiller, president of the Academy.
“Pulp Fiction” star John Travolta, who turns 41 on Saturday, was ecstatic about his best actor nomination.
“It is 100 percent a thrill for me. You have no idea. It is really exciting,” said Travolta, who was on the Los Angeles set of his latest film, “Get Shorty,” when word of the nomination came.
Travolta has come a long way from the underachiever Vinnie Barbarino on TV’s “Welcome Back, Kotter” to gyrating disco king on “Saturday Night Fever” and the mechanical bull-riding cowboy on “Urban Cowboy.”
“It’s been 17 years since my last nomination (`Saturday Night Fever’). I never dreamed it would take so long to get another one. I’m so delighted that I was able to be part of the game again,” Travolta said.
“Forrest Gump” co-producer Steve Tisch set his alarm an hour early.
“I didn’t want to miss it,” said Tisch, whose film led with 13 nominations. “I was up at 4:30 watching the digital clock tick down to 5:30. It was thrilling.”
It was also his 46th birthday.
“It’s a great birthday present. It’s a great Valentine’s Day,” he said.
“Tom & Viv” star Miranda Richardson, a best actress nominee, was at work in a London studio when the nominations were announced.
“I rang through to see if there was any news during a break. I’m very pleased. It’s very nice to be there,” she said.
Publicists, agents and even industry movers and shakers scoured the nominations list before dawn in the Academy theater and many of the lucky ones placed urgent cellular calls of congratulations.
“I was asleep. I just got in from New York and I was so tired,” said Gillian Armstrong, director of “Little Women.” “I told the publicist just call me if we get one for best picture or director and wait an hour if it’s anything else.”
She was pleased with the best actress nomination for Winona Ryder.
“Obviously every producer and director thinks the entire cast and crew deserve a nomination,” Armstrong said. “But I think it’s an interesting, thoughtful mix of nominations.”