Of the big surprises to come out of this morning's Oscar nominations, not many were bigger than the announcement of Jacki Weaver's name in the Best Supporting Actress category. And yes, the twice-nominated actress agrees with that assessment. Back in 2010, no one was sure Weaver would score a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in "Animal Kingdom," but plenty of people suspected she would, given the momentum she'd built up via critics awards. This year, Weaver's performance in "Silver Linings Playbook" -- as the mother of a bipolar divorcé (Bradley Cooper) and the wife of an obsessive-compulsive gambling addict (Robert De Niro) -- has been heralded, but it hasn't figured prominently in the Oscar conversation. Well, Jacki Weaver did get an Oscar nomination (along with Cooper, DeNiro and Best Actress hopeful Jennifer Lawrence). Here's what she had to say when we reached her this afternoon.
I feel this is becoming old-hat for you now.
[Laughs] Well, it's only two! Some people have been nominated nine times. I don't think I'll live that long.
Don't say that.
It's wonderful. I'm so ... surprised. I didn't expect it at all. Everyone says that, but I promise you it's the truth.
Well, I actually believe you. Most people liked you in the movie, but they weren't predicting a nomination.
Yeah, exactly. That's what I thought. And I wasn't sad about it. I was quite resigned and accepting of that. And, also, the indicator, too, [was] that I didn't get any other awards. With "Animal Kingdom," I got quite a few. So, all the more reason for me to be surprised. I'm not hurt that you're surprised [laughs].
Based on that, is it more shocking this time than it was with your first nomination?
I wasn't expecting the first one, either. In fact, I was asleep when it happened. I wasn't watching the television, and someone rang me from Australia who was. The Oscars, even though I follow them avidly, never having been a participant before, it just wasn't on my agenda. You know? I just didn't expect it. And then it was such an overwhelming experience. And just wait until Australia wakes up! I mean, they're all asleep now. It's only four in the morning -- they're going to go insane. They jammed the switchboard at the Beverly Wilshire when I was staying there during that time so, for the first time, the Beverly Wilshire told me I had to take a false name -- which is great fun. I don't know if that will happen here -- I better not tell you where I am because you might put it on your blog [laughs].
Did you get to choose your own false name?
Yes, I did! I was very creative. I am actually a member of the Australian author's guild, so I have had a book published that was a bestseller. So I'm a writer and I had great fun making up a good character's name for me.
Can you say what it was?
No! I'm not telling you! [Laughing]
Oh! I didn't know you were still going to use it ...
I might use it again because I liked it so much.
Well, I don't want to spoil that. I thought it was a one-time thing.
The name sounded like someone who would be in an Elmore Leonard novel. She sounded like a villain.
Is there anything you want to do differently this time around?
Well, I think I'm going to enjoy it a lot more this time, because I know what to expect. With "Animal Kingdom," with the Oscar, I'd already been to quite a few galas and awards ceremonies and I'd made acceptance speeches. So, I was getting into the grove of it because I did well with "Animal Kingdom" -- the National Board of Review and quite a few others. But the Oscars were a different ballgame. I found them very overwhelming, and I was a little scared, actually. Now I know what to expect and I'm going to enjoy it a lot more. I'll still be nervous and apprehensive, but I won't be frightened like I was the first time. I'll know exactly what to expect.
"Silver Linings Playbook" had strong buzz out of Toronto, then it cooled off, then today happen,s where the film gets a nomination in every major category. Do you follow the buzz? Or is it "whatever happens, happens"?
I'm very fatalistic. I do think hatever happens, happens, and I try not to get too disappointed about things. Because, you know, I've been acting for 50 years, and life for an actor is a series of disappointments. You've got to be really fearless and resilient. But, yeah, with "Silver Linings," I didn't expect for it to be nominated in every category. I think it's a very beautiful film -- I've seen it twice and I could see it again and again. I think it's got so much great stuff in it. But for it to be nominated in every category eligible, I think that's fabulous.
With "Animal Kingdom," you were your film's lone Oscar representative. I can only assume it will be more fun to be with a whole team?
Yeah, the team aspect of "Silver Linings" is one of the joys of it, too. Every single person, even the smallest roles -- there was a group email going around this morning and it was wonderful. It was like being part of a great sports team. Everybody was so excited for everyone else.
I know this is the calm before the storm before Australia wakes up, so ... good luck with that.
[Laughs] Thank you!
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.