Kevin O'Connell: Still an Oscar Bridesmaid?

Has there been any postscript to the Michael Minkler thing. Have you guys spoken at all since that fateful night?
To be honest with you, there were so many events happening in my life last year, I have really put that on the bottom of my things to deal with and I haven't really gotten to it yet. I never watched the footage. I never read what it was about. And I haven't had any contact with Mr. Minkler, other than the letter I received from him telling me that his statements were taken out of context and misunderstood. So that's pretty much all it was, and that was the end of it. If I see Mike, I see him. If I don't, I don't. And that's fine.

During the writers strike, I kept thinking, Watch this be the year Kevin finally wins — and there's not even a stinkin' broadcast. Damn the irony!
That would have been just fine with me. They could have taken that Oscar and put it in a box and put some bubble wrap around it, and sent it to me and I'd be just as happy as if I won it on the stage. It wouldn't really matter to me. But at this point it looks like the show will go on, so I'll either win or lose in front of 300 million people — again! And if it does happen this year it would happen on a film that really is worthy of that honor. So if it did win, I don't think anyone would be shocked. And because it does have a chance, I feel a little more nervous than I normally would feel.

What were you like when you heard you got the nomination?
I normally have had trouble sleeping on that night, but this year was different; I was sleeping but I'd wake up every 20 minutes having some weird dream. So it was a little anxiety ridden, and I don't know why that was. That hasn't happened to me in the past, but everything this year is a little off. Which could be good for me.

I feel it, Kevin. I think this year could be the year.
All the nominees in this category are friends of mine, so whoever wins, I'll be happy for them. I won't be upset that I didn't win. I know what it's like to lose, so I wouldn't wish that on them either. If I ever did get an opportunity to make a speech, one of the things I'd say is to all you nominees, don't consider yourselves losers. You guys are winners and don't let anyone tell you differently.

Is it weird having people like Oprah and Katie Couric calling you up and wanting to talk?
Now that I've been nominated this many times and not won, it's become a bit of a press issue. In the past, from the morning I got nominated until the Oscars, I never talked to anybody but my family. And now I'm doing interviews and television shows, and it adds a bit of tension to the whole time for me. I'm still trying to do my job, so I need to figure out ways to do this in between. So, if anything, I would say there is a little more anxiety between the nomination and the Oscars than there was, say, four or five years ago. The one good thing is maybe I'm the messenger to tell people more about sound, and how important it is to motion pictures. And by making my story more public, then I can understand where the good is in this whole thing, because sound doesn't get a lot of publicity. Now people all over the world know what a sound mixer is. At least a lot more people than did five years ago.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on a movie called The Ruins. It's a movie directed by Carter Smith. It's about a group of college-age students who are on vacation in Mexico and decide to visit some old ancient ruins the last day they're there, and they find more than they bargained for. It's a horror thriller.

Okay, well, then, what the hell is Space Chimps?
It's a fun animated film I did the last few weeks for Barry Sonnenfeld. It's coming out on July 18. NASA has to send somebody into space to find out what's going on and they end up sending three chimps. It turns out the chimps are a little smarter than they thought. It's a great little film from Vanguard Animation.

Well, any film with the word ''chimp'' in the title, I am automatically in. Finally, let's get to the most important question of all: Did you get hooked up with some totally sweet Transformers toys or what?
Michael Bay is a very sweet guy, and when he heard my 5-year-old son was a big Transformers fan he sent some really cool stuff over to the house.

Well, that's it. Let's hope those toys are right on the fireplace mantle, keeping the spot warm for Kevin's Oscar. O'Connell in 2008, people!

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