Steven Spielberg

Best Director Nominee Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
"I don't know how else to make a movie except to try to find some aspect of the experience that I haven't done before. Because if I'd done it before, I'm fearless, and I don't work well when I'm fearless." — Steven Spielberg telling Oprah about working on Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin and Oprah Winfrey

Best Director Nominee Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
"I wanted to make a film that celebrated the holding out for home and your culture and refusing to be pushed back, and to create almost a song to that, like a national anthem of what it is to stand strong." — Benh Zeitlin telling Oprah the intention behind his first film, for which he received this year's nomination
Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Actor Nominee Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
"With the voice being such a deep, personal reflection of character, of who we are—that voice may be quite a surprising reflection of who we seem to be. But undoubtedly, it's kind of a fingerprint of the soul." — Daniel Day-Lewis on finding the voice for President Abraham Lincoln
Hugh Jackman

Best Actor Nominee Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
"I'm not saying everything I do will be successful, but I can live with a failure if it is born of conviction." — Hugh Jackman on his philosophy behind picking roles
Denzel Washington

Photo: Getty

Best Actor Nominee Denzel Washington, Flight
"When I was doing Othello in college. I was so green, I would look right out at the audience just to see who was there! But I was like, 'Wow—all these people showed up. Maybe I'm good at this.' So I had a drive to perfect the craft." — Denzel Washington on the moment he realized he wanted to act
Quvenzhane Wallis

Best Actress Nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
"I really don't worry about the attention. … It was great to do the movie." — 6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis on her newfound fame
Sally Field

Best Supporting Actress Nominee Sally Field, Lincoln
"It was the times that felt like failure to me that made me readjust and go down, as they say, a path that I would not have done." — Sally Field on periods in her career when she felt stuck
Anne Hathaway

Best Supporting Actress Nominee Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
"My behavior was controlled by fear; I was so afraid of doing something wrong. Nowadays, I've gotten past that, and [my behavior] is controlled by pride. I want to be a person I can respect." — Anne Hathaway speaking to Gayle King about life outside of acting