For many, today’s announcement of the 2017 Oscar nominations
was marked in their calendar, with would-be nominees ready for their call. But
not so for filmmaker Mike Mills, the writer and director behind the
semi-autobiographical 20th Century Women, who was fast asleep when his
publicist woke him with the news that the movie earned him a nomination for
Best Original Screenplay.
“When my publicist called at 5:30 in the morning, I had no
idea it happened that early or people called you like that,” Mills reveals to
ET. “I just jolted out of bed, thinking there was an earthquake or some sort of
emergency and it was the last thing I saw coming.”
2017 OSCARS: The Snubs & Surprises!
He actually has been busy this morning with dad duty while
his wife is away, getting his son ready for school. “Hopper doesn’t care at all
about the Oscars, I’ll tell you right now,” he says, jumping on the phone after
dropping off his son. It’s a nice, humbling moment in the midst of awards
season that has seen 20th Century Women nominated for several Critics’
Choice Awards, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, and now, an Oscar.
The film, starring Annette Bening, is a deeply personal
story inspired by Mills’ relationship with his late mother and sisters growing
up. So, the recognition on this level makes it all the more sweet for the
filmmaker, who says he feels really lucky for a movie like this to get made.
“The script took me three years to write,” he says. “It totally killed me and I
thought I failed so many times.”
In fact, Mills finds writing much more difficult than
directing. “I actually feel like I’m a much better director,” he says with a