If Bruce Dern wins an Oscar next March, he might have to include in his acceptance speech a callback to this great exchange. As in, ‘Not bad for a kid from Winnetka…’
The details come to us courtesy Vulture contributor Mary Kaye Schilling. For Nebraska, she spoke to the actor recently in Pasadena:
After Nebraska screened at the [2013 Cannes Film] festival, “We had an enormous ovation for three minutes,” says Dern. As he was preparing to leave the theater, he noticed his face up on the screen. “And then the people started really clapping,” he says. “[Director] Alexander [Payne] said to me, ‘Where are you going? The other ovation was for all of us, but make no mistake, this one is for you.’
Jack [Nicholson] told me that he timed it: ‘You got about eight minutes,’ he said. And I said, ‘Yeah, well, what did you get for [About] Schmidt?’ And he said, ‘I think it was eight total. But you had the first three and then the eight. That’s pretty good for a f*cking kid from Winnetka who doesn’t know sh*t.’”
Dern was nominated once before at the Oscars as Best Supporting Actor for 1978’s Coming Home. He lost to The Deer Hunter‘s Christopher Walken.