Kaitlyn Dever Reacts to Golden Globe Nomination for 'Unbelievable' and Breakout Year (Exclusive)

Kaitlyn Dever
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It’s been a breakout year for the actress, who has garnered critical acclaim for her roles on 'Unbelievable' and in 'Booksmart.'

It’s been a breakout year for actress Kaitlyn Dever, who has garnered critical acclaim for her performances on Unbelievable and the teen comedy Booksmart. And now she’s capped it off with her biggest accolade yet: a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television.

The recognition comes for her work on the Netflix limited series, which recounts the stories of a teenage girl who was charged for lying about an assault while two other detectives investigated a serial rapist, co-starring Merritt Wever and Toni Collette. The series is up for a total of four Golden Globe Awards, including Best Miniseries or Television Film.

“It's been the biggest year in my career for sure,” Dever says by phone.

While speaking to ET, Dever revealed that she was watching the live announcement on Monday morning, when Booksmart co-star, Beanie Feldstein, started FaceTiming her. Because her feed was on some sort of delay, Feldstein called her before Dever even realized she was nominated. “She was screaming at me and I was like, ‘Well, I guess it’s official now,’” says Dever, who’s been experiencing a roller coaster of emotions -- from sweating to crying -- since the nominees were revealed. 

“It literally feels insane to be recognized by the HFPA. It's such a huge deal,” says the 22-year-old star who grew up watching ceremonies as a child. “The fact that I’m now, it really feels unreal.” 

While proud of her accomplishment, Dever also revealed that she was thinking of Marie Adler, the real-life survivor of assault whose story is the basis of Unbelievable, “and the fact that I was able to be a part of telling her story and getting her justice,” she says. “I just think about her watching the show and saying it gave her a lot of closure.” 

And Dever is not surprised that the series resonated with so many people and landed big here. “I’m just so happy that so many people got to see this story,” she says, adding that because the series addressed issues of assault, social and police injustice “in an honest way, we opened a lot of eyes.” 

“There were so many women involved in the making of Unbelievable,” she continues, while also shouting out Collette and Wever. “I’m so proud of all of that.”

In addition to Unbelievable, Dever had high hopes that both her Netflix series and Booksmart would be recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The latter picked up an acting nomination for Feldstein. 

“I did Booksmart first and then went straight into Unbelievable. I just felt so excited that those projects were being made and that they wanted to make them with me, you know?” she says, remembering years of being told no at auditions. But now that’s going to change, thanks to back-to-back nominations for the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, which were announced on Sunday. 

As for getting another chance to walk the red carpet with Feldstein, the actress says something’s already in the works. “I was saying earlier, I think we should totally carpool together since we’ve been carpooling with each other everywhere,” Dever jokes.

The 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, once again hosted by Ricky Gervais, will air live Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC.