Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage Andrea Riseborough
Andrea Riseborough had the surprise of her life on Tuesday morning.
the To Leslie Star, 41, is at the upcoming 95th Academy Awards alongside Cate Blanchett (tar), Ana de Armas (Blond), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything everywhere at once).
Riseborough was previously dropped from similar 2023 show nomination lists, including the Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. And as she told Deadline after her Oscar nomination Tuesday, “I’m amazed.”
“It’s such an unexpected ray of light,” she continued. “It was so hard to believe it could ever happen because we really weren’t in the running for anything else. Even though we had a lot of support, the idea that it could actually happen seemed so far away.”
To Lesliedirected by longtime television producer and director Michael Morris (Better call Saul) in his feature film directorial debut follows a single mom in Texas who “wins the lottery and just as easily squanders it,” leading her to seek redemption years later, according to a synopsis shared by the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Riseborough was one of 10 performers nominated for the ceremony’s Best Actress award when the nominations were released in November.
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Everett Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie (2022)
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Edward Norton and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the significant number of fellow actors who have received praise To Leslie on social media, with Paltrow, 50, writing on Instagram earlier this month that Riseborough should win “every prize there is and any that haven’t been invented yet”.
“For those interested in truly great acting, I will be sharing Andrea Riseborough’s portrayal in To Leslie just blew me away,” wrote Norton, 53, also on Instagram of the film.
“It’s the most engaging, emotionally deep and physically harrowing performance I’ve seen in a long time,” he said Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery The actor continued, calling Riseborough’s performance “just raw and utterly devoid of performative BS.”
“It’s a tough but really elegant and compassionate film (by Michael Morris) where the emotions are truly deserved,” he added in the caption, alongside three photos of Riseborough in the film. “I caught it by accident and, wow, I was really blown away by the depth she reached. Very rare. Look at it.”
Robby Klein/Contour/Getty Andrea Riseborough
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Riseborough told Deadline on Tuesday that she’s “not quite sure how the hell that happened” when asked how much support she’s had for her performance, explaining, “There was a quiet lull after SXSW. And then slowly as the film had a few screenings elsewhere – including at Raindance, which was a big deal because we didn’t have a UK release – we found that people started talking about it.
“And people were like, ‘Why can’t I see it? Where can I see it?’ After a while, we were able to point them to iTunes and Amazon, but it didn’t happen right away,” she said.
The English actress also addressed the challenge of “breaking through the noise,” but admitted “often it’s just impossible to compete with millions of dollars in advertising.”
“For some reason, every year, headlights shine brighter in some places than others, and maybe it’s just money to do, although I’m trying not to be cynical in that way,” Riseborough said. “It was special to feel so supported by the community – especially actors – and to feel like the work broke through that. I really have never experienced that before.”
The 95th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will take place on March 12 and will be broadcast live on ABC.