No matter how many nods an actress receives in her career, getting an Academy Award nomination is a wild ride every time.

Actress Melissa Leo—nominated for Best Supporting Actress—is a contender for Oscar gold. In The Fighter, the two-time Oscar nominee disappears into the role of Alice, an overbearing matriarch desperate to turn her sons' boxing careers into the family's meal ticket. "[It's an] out-of-body experience," Melissa says of her Oscar nod. "I am so relieved I have [co-stars] Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, David O. Russell going to the party with me."

When Melissa was first offered the role, she wasn't sure if she could play the mother of Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale's characters. "I'm only 10 years older than the boys," she says.

Melissa credits filming in the actual location of this true-life story and meeting the real people behind it with helping her truly inhabit the role. Hair and makeup also helped. "I'd walk out of the trailers in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the entire town would say, 'Hey, Nana. Alice.' So I had the confidence to walk on the set then."


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