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Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi react to Oscar nominations

LOS ANGELES, CA – Reactions from some of the nominees for the Academy Awards:

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“Ultimately, I've been able to be fortunate enough to get to work with some pretty great filmmakers. That's always been the driving force with me. First, of course, the story and character, from an actor's perspective. I feel like we see films through the eyes of the director. The director's medium. I've been able to work with some amazing directors. Quentin is in the lineage of one of the best of our times. It's amazing to be a part of this film that's a celebration of our actors and a celebration of the countless people behind the scenes," — Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated for best actor for his role in “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," which was nominated in just about every category including best film, directing and supporting actor and screenplay.

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“It makes me feel very, very, very young.” – Antonio Banderas said in an interview about being a first-time nominee at age 59. He earned a best actor nomination for his role in “Pain and Glory."

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“I feel a little giddy. It’s so crazy. I was on a plane to Japan, so I found out after everyone else. I was able to log into Wifi and suddenly my phone started going crazy, with all the messages coming in. I had to recalibrate my entire brain. ... I don’t think I expected any of it. To actually have realized it is just a dream. I actually HAD a dream where there were no nominations.” - Cynthia Erivo, a double nominee for her acting and singing in “Harriet,” in an interview.

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“I think they’re probably more interested in me taking them to the park with their scooters, or making a fort, or playing in a teepee. I’d be worried if my 4-year-old was thinking, ‘What are we going to do about these Nazis?” – “Jojo Rabbit” director Taika Waititi, on whether his daughters are old enough to be aware of his film on intolerance in Hitler’s Germany and its Oscar nominations.

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“We never thought we would be in the awards conversation. This is so meaningful because this nomination comes during such a strong year of writing. It’s surreal.” - Rian Johnson, director of “Knives Out," which was nominated for best original screenplay, said in an interview.

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“I didn’t expect to be quite as emotional as I was when I heard the news. To be acknowledged by your peers is just the best thing. I am so grateful to them. I am thrilled too for my fellow pope Anthony Hopkins. We had such a good time together. We both thrived on Anthony McCarten’s superb script and the inspirational direction of Fernando Meirelles. Huge thanks for the support of Netflix and Tracey Seaward and everyone who worked on the production of this very special film," — Jonathan Pryce, nominated for best actor for his role in “The Two Popes," said in a statement.

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“This movie was a labour of love for many people — myself included — so to see it recognized in this way is very moving for all of us. I would like to thank the Academy on behalf of my fellow producers, and on behalf of every single person who put their heart and soul into this film. Thank you,” — Sam Mendes, director of “1917," earning three Oscar nominations for best picture, director and original screenplay, said in a statement.

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“I’m just so thrilled that our Little Women has been recognized by the Academy. Greta made something so special that I’m just thankful to have been a part of, let alone nominated for. Thank you to my academy peers for loving and appreciating this film that is so close to my heart," — Saoirse Ronan, nominated for best actress for her role in “Little Women," said in a statement.

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“You gotta believe," - director Matthew A. Cherry, whose “Hair Love” was nominated for best animated short film, said on Twitter. The film delves into a story about an African-American father who learns how to style his daughter's hair for the first time.

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“Making BOMBSHELL is one of the great highlights of my career. I wish that the story in this film never needed to be told, but I am so proud of the entire team on this film for telling it with such grace, sensitivity, and humanity. Thank you to my fellow producers, our incredible director Jay Roach and our brilliant screenwriter Charles Randolph, and a multi-talented group of actors and artists who gave 100% of themselves and their craft in making this film. I feel really lucky and blessed to do what I do and work with the people I get to work with, and I am ever thankful to the Academy," - Charlize Theron, nominated for best actress in a leading role in “Bombshell," said in a statement. ___

“I hope our Little Women does for another generation of girls and women what it did for me: lights a fire to write your book, make your movie, sing your verse. From all of us Little Women and Men, thank you to the Academy,” - Greta Gerwig, director of “Little Women” that was nominated for best adapted screenplay, said in a statement.

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“The biggest thing was telling this full story and bringing Woody’s story to a close. That’s what stands out the most. We concluded Woody’s arc. This was a character that a lot of people grew up with. That’s why this film stood out.” - “Toy Story 4” director Josh Cooley said in an interview. The film is nominated for best animated feature and original song.

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“I would like to say MERCI to the Academy. I always dreamt to say this sentence one day! Thank you to all of you who voted for international movies and for France and for us. We are all MISERABLES in the sense that we are all immigrants. But we can all do the revolution, me I am doing it with my camera. I believe in the power of cinema as a tool to challenge the politics and even sometimes to inspire revolution and above all bring real lasting changes. Walt Disney had a saying: ‘All our dreams can come true . . . if we have the courage to pursue them.’ We had a dream and now it’s time to make it true. THE MISERABLES need you, the world needs you to continue to have dreams ... that’s also what we call the magic of cinema! Be ready THE MISERABLES are coming to Hollywood,” — director/co-writer Ladj Ly of “Les Misérables," nominated for best international feature film, said in a statement.

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“I stayed up literally all night waiting for the nominations. Some people say they don’t wake up for them. I don’t believe them. I had friends over, we had a sleepover party, we had pizza and hung out, it was so much fun. It doesn’t get old, I assure you.” -- Diane Warren, nominated for the 11th time for best original song.