Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett share their joy at Oscars luncheon
Steve McQueen (Best Picture, Best Director, "12 Years a Slave")
On the recent success of Solomon Northup's novel on the New York Times bestseller list:
"For me it was always my ambition to get this into schools when I read it for the first time. We have made this film and it's not bad and we have recognized this novel, which everyone will now know his name, which is fantastic."
Have audiences embraced the film or are they still concerned about the intense violence?:
"For sure. Look at the box office here and the box office in Europe. We passed the $100 million mark. It proves it's not a question to raise anymore. All audiences are interested in challenging films."
On trying to have fun during awards season:
"Someone told me very early on -- beforehand I wouldn't have done this -- but someone told me, 'This movie is more important than you.' I understood that and I took that with me. And actually it's been wonderful. What is happening is a great debate. Every Q&A has been like a Town Hall."
On the emotional difficulty of making the film:
"Well, that wasn't actually the case. We came together as a group of filmmakers, grips, gaffers, electricians. It was a foundation of people, a family, to make this film. As a group we made this movie. It wasn't at all a burden. As a collective we came together to make this film. It was an honor to make Solomon Northup's story."
Bradley Cooper (Best Supporting Actor, "American Hustle")
Does he have a good luck trinket or charm to bring to the ceremony?:
"Trinket? That's a good idea. I'll have to think about that. Any suggestions?"
Any favorite performances among the other nominees?:
"There are a lot of great people nominated this year. I wish Tom Hanks was in there. Sort of crazy he is not."
On staying humble in Hollywood:
"It would be hard not to. I get to do the things I dreamed of as a kid. To be working with Clint Eastwood. I am absolutely living a dream. Working with David O. Russell and Cameron Crowe in the fall? I keep waiting for [the Oscars publicist] to take me away. [Laughs] Maybe it was the way I was raised?"
Amy Adams (Best Actress, "American Hustle")
On what she'll wear at the Oscars:
"Sometimes I feel like I am dressing in costume on the red carpet, but I can guarantee this year it is something I would wear. I'll be myself."
On what she enjoyed most about "American Hustle":
"Working with the actors that I got to work with. Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence -- I think she's busy with 'Hunger Games' and I don't think she's here today -- it was such a great opportunity to work with them."
On working with director David O. Russell:
"David has a way of challenging an actor past what he's capable of. He keeps on you and he stays on you for what he saw in you when he wrote the role. You get to create these characters you haven't had in your repertoire before."
Sandra Bullock (Best Actress, "Gravity")
On working in the United Kingdom:
"It was probably one of the most beautiful experiences I ever had coupled with I was living in the most beautiful place, and to go to a soundstage for four months with the nicest group of people, most patient group of people... They had so much riding on them, new technologies, it should have been a very stressful situation and every day was so kind."
On what made her trust Alfonso Cuaron:
"I never thought in a million years I would be able to work with him. It was a joke in the office [that we'd offer him something] but he only directed his own scripts. I trusted him 100%. We didn't know what we were making, really, but we kept looking back and it wasn't supposed to be a big blockbuster film. It was supposed to be an avant garde, esoteric film about loss and trust set in space. He made it so easy to make it through the day. Whether the film worked or not, I don't think it crossed anyone's mind. It didn't cross mine. I trusted him."
When she watches the film does she have the same emotional reaction audiences do?:
"Normally we don't. You have seen so much of it by the time you see the film. George [Clooney] and I saw nothing. We saw a black box with wires and camera equipment. We knew how emotional it was on the page. We didn't have that experience until we saw it together at Venice. You [watch] it for the third time and you see something in the background you didn't see. A very emotional and visceral experience for the moviegoer. I think everyone was having a reaction to the film because of something that was happening in their own life. Sort of what you like when you read a book. I think that was incredibly brave on his part. It was his job to figure out how to make that moment so everyone could step over it."