Andrea Riseborough Reacts To Surprise Best Actress Oscar Nomination For ‘To Leslie’: “I’m Not Entirely Sure How This Happened”
24.01.2023 - 18:53
Andrea Riseborough’s late blooming word-of-mouth awards campaign for her title role in To Leslie has resulted in the British star’s first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, upending received wisdom about the direction of travel for this year’s race. Riseborough now joins Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, Michelle Williams and Michelle Yeoh to make up this year’s Oscar Best Actress list.
“I’m astounded,” she tells Deadline this morning. “It’s such an unexpected ray of light. It was so hard to believe it might ever happen because we really hadn’t been in the running for anything else. Even though we had a lot of support, the idea it might actually happen seemed so far away.”
So, how did it happen?
Directed by Michael Morris and based on the semi-autobiographical experience of writer Ryan Binaco, To Leslie premiered at last year’s SXSW and yet it flew largely under the radar, grossing a little over $27,000 on an underwhelming release by Momentum Pictures in October. That makes it among the lowest-grossing movies in Oscar history to score a nomination, and the film might have languished forever had the team behind it not fought hard to get their movie seen by audiences and the industry.
“The response we’ve had all along has been so personal from people,” Riseborough says, of the encouragement she felt to keep championing the film in spite of its distribution challenges. “You judge Leslie in some moments, you identify with her in others, and you go on so many journeys. It felt like there was a scope for it to touch so many people. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to do, to keep talking about it even if people weren’t very interested in it because as soon as they watched the film, they became instantly
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