Birdman led the Oscar nominations yesterday with nine big nods, including Best Picture and Best Director, but the film's helmer, Alejandro González Iñárritu, wasn't exactly celebrating in the lap of luxury: He's in the middle of a months-long, very chilly Calgary shoot for his new film The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. "I'm just a little tropical banana man, and they are helping me to survive this cold!" Iñárritu laughed yesterday on the phone with Vulture. "It's been very physical, very challenging in these extreme locations — and all exteriors, too. Everyone has been very brave so far."
Brave was Iñárritu's go-to word yesterday, as he found the Academy's recognition of Birdman to be a ballsy move on their part. "It surprised me that colleagues and Academy members recognized a very unconventional work," said Iñárritu, previously nominated for 2007's Babel. "Ultimately, with every film I'd done before, there was a reference. They have their own uniqueness, but there was always a precedent. I think Birdman does not have a reference, or a film where we can say, 'Okay, it's like this.' It was very unconventional, and it took a lot of courage for us — that's why I'm very proud about it and very happy about it, because I think if we don't push a little bit the language or the grammatical text of cinema, we're not moving forward."
Three of Birdman's actors were nominated, too: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone. Which of them called Iñárritu first? "I haven't heard from them!" he admitted. "Well, they're probably calling everyone, their moms, their brothers." Still, when we read Stone's statement to him — which goes, "I am so f***ing excited. Are you allowed to say f*** when making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really f***ing excited" — Iñárritu couldn't help but crack up. "That's fantastic," he said, heading to set. "That's who she is — and that's great."