Oscar's Chosen Ones React to Nominations

Benicio Del Toro, who heard the news yesterday that he's up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Traffic, was "bowled" over by the news. "It feels great! How else can I say it. It's like going to the Super Bowl!" the first-time nominee said in a statement.

Steven Soderbergh, the man who directed Del Toro to a nomination and himself to two best director nominations, said, "I can't even put into words what I'm feeling right now. I think that if I didn't have the distraction of shooting a film, I would have to be sedated."

Ridley Scott, who is also up for the Best Director award for Oscar favorite Gladiator, had mixed emotions on the occasion of his second nomination. "Sadly, I lost my Mum this week, but obviously she is still looking after me. Thanks Mum, and the Academy," said the British filmmaker.

He added, "Twelve nominations is fantastic! Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled … for myself, I have had the ride of my life and created an epic world that I believe the audiences have enjoyed. I was inspired by a wonderful and epic story and supported by a fantastic team, many of whom I am delighted to see nominated with me and I share this wonderful moment with every one of them!"

Ang Lee, who received his first Best Director Oscar nomination for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, told Access Hollywood that making the film and having it be so honored is "the fulfillment of my childhood fantasy."

Hudson Could Make Oscar History First-time nominee Kate Hudson — who, if she wins, will make Oscar history with her mom, Goldie Hawn, as the first Oscar-winning mother-and-daughter duo — released this statement from the London set of Four Feathers: "I'm beyond excited. Being nominated for an Academy Award is something every actor dreams of. This is an unbelievable honor and it's a privilege to be recognized for something I love to do so much."

Back After a Long Absence Best Supporting Actor nominee Willem Dafoe sheepishly admitted to Entertainment Tonight that he had been watching the Academy Award announcements on television. He's been nominated for his role as a creepy bloodsucker in Shadow of the Vampire. It's been 14 years since his last nomination, for Platoon.

Also back in Oscar's eye after a long absence is Requiem for a Dream's Ellen Burstyn, whose last nomination was 20 years ago for Resurrection. "It's like [a pair of] shoes," she told ET, explaining, "after a while, you need a new one." Burstyn won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in 1974's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore — which was released a good five years before Kate Hudson was born.

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