'CODA's Troy Kotsur on the Message He Hopes People Take Away From Film (Exclusive)

'CODA' has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category.

CODA star Troy Kotsur couldn't help himself but feel studious after walking the red carpet at the 94th Academy Awards, calling it a blessing!

The 53-year-old actor spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner and likened his arrival at the ceremony like seeing a strenuous post-grad career finally pay off, at five times the rate. 

"It feels like -- you know -- I feel like I'm receiving five honorary PHDs tonight," said Kotsur through an interpreter. "Like, I'm a doctor now if you know what I mean. It's just been a long and tough journey, and it's such a blessing for me to be here, and I really can't believe it."

Kotsur -- who beat out Ciarán Hinds (Belfast), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- said a nomination alone puts a bright light on the lives of the deaf community and beyond.

"I feel, of course, honored to be recognized because obviously people are [beginning to remember] a message -- not to forget. To love and cherish your family no matter what language you use," he said.

CODA, an acronym for Child of Deaf Adults, is also up for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sian Heder wrote and directed the film, which also stars Marlee Matlin. She told ET back in August 2021 that Oscar nominations for CODA would be a big boost for her community as well as the disability community.

Stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Oscars coverage, including this year's winners.