Oscars Countdown: Stars Gather at Nominees Luncheon

ABC News chats with Hollywood’s biggest stars at the annual pre-Oscars event.

— -- In “The Danish Girl,” Alicia Vikander’s character brims with tenderness and understanding. In “The Hateful Eight,” Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character Daisy is no fragile flower. Both actresses are Oscar nominees in the supporting actress category. At Monday’s Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, the two women shared how the Academy Awards’ allure has been part of their lives since childhood.

“I used to watch the Oscars, but that was like watching Cinderella on TV,” Vikander, 27, told ABC News. “It was a very, very distant dream far, far away.”

“All the pageantry and the beautiful clothes and the acceptance speeches and the tears, all of that, you get so swept up in it as a kid, so to even be doing this interview is kind of surreal for me,” said Leigh, 54.

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Brie Larson, who was nominated for her performance in “Room,” said the acclaim is coming after 20 years of showbiz struggle.

“I had a dream last night though that I was hanging out with my 7-year-old self and I said, ‘It’s going to take 20 years before you get any sort of recognition for it,’” Larson, 26, quipped.

Nominated for “Spotlight,” actor Mark Ruffalo hailed the on-set tone of ensemble acting set by director and co-writer Tom McCarthy.

“That’s rare when actors kind of sublimate their own egos to serve. It’s super rare,” he said, laughing. “I think that’s part of why I think the movie is exciting too, to see a group of people playing at that level but in a way that I just purely to serve the storytelling.”

And while no one knows if Leonardo DiCaprio will win best actor for “The Revenant,” he has a guaranteed treat in store according to nominee Sam Smith, who will perform his song "Writing’s On The Wall" from the James Bond movie “Spectre” at the awards show.

“I’m going to sing directly to Leo. Only Leo,” Smith joked. “And before, I’m going to [to say] ‘This is for you, babe.’”