If there is a more touching Oscar nominations day story than that of veteran thespian June Squibb – who has been given the nod in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in Nebraska – we’re not sure our hearts, or our tear ducts, can take it.
“My son was with me and we got up at 5:30 and turned the TV on and we watched it together,” says Squibb, 84, who spent decades acting onstage before being cast in Woody Allen’s 1990 film Alice. “When they started the supporting women, he came over and put his arm around me. I felt he was just sort of [saying], ‘Whatever happens, mom, it’s alright.’ And after they announced my name, I said to him, ‘They did say that?’ I wasn’t sure I heard right.’ He assured me, yes, that I was nominated. And we just hugged and kissed and sort of cried a little bit.”
While Squibb may be delighted and amazed by her nomination – one of six bagged by director Alexander Payne’s comedy-drama – it can’t have come as a complete surprise. Indeed, the Bruce Dern-starring Nebraska has been looking like a possibly Oscar contender ever since its premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. “We got a ten minute standing ovation,” recalls the actress. “The next day there was all kinds of press all over the world that talked about the Academy Awards for Bruce, and I, and for the film.”
So, should we be betting some money on a Squibb win come Oscar night? “Yes, of course!” she laughs. “Some friends of mine put money on me in London. Somebody was telling me the odds and I didn’t even know what they were talking about!”