The last time I hopped on the phone with Ethan Hawke to discuss a nominations haul for "Boyhood," it was just after the announcement of the Golden Globe nominees. At the time, he said it felt like he, Richard Linklater, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and the whole team were "crashing the party," and today, seven Oscar nominations later, it still feels that way for the newly minted Best Supporting Actor nominee.

"Anyone who is in the Academy is someone who's incredibly passionate about film and has done something to warrant admission," Hawke says. "They're usually extremely knowledgeable and care about movies, so when you get recognition from your peers for something you love, it's great."

But Hawke entered rare air Thursday morning. He has now received multiple nominations for acting and writing on four separate projects ("Training Day," "Before Sunset," "Before Midnight" and "Boyhood"). "It's pretty special," he says. "I had a friend that geeked out on the computer and found out that it's a small club with Warren Beatty and Ruth Gordon. Isn't that awesome?"

In a way, everything leading up to today has felt like qualifying rounds, none of the recognition any less surprising or exciting than the last, he said. But he tips his hat to the critical establishment when it comes to forking over credit for any awards love "Boyhood" has received and will continue to receive.

"Without the critics, this movie would have been lost," he says. "You know, 'Waking Life' is a brilliant film. It's totally original and unique and it really struggled to find its place in popular culture. The 'Before' trilogy has its fans, but it's never had the support that this one has. And I think it's largely thanks to critics for letting people know how original it is. I think we owe a large debt to that. Any time a movie like this is successful, it doesn't do it on its own. I've never been a part of something like that. I've seen it, but I've never been a part of it."

Hawke will have ample opportunity to thank the critics some more tonight as he hops a plane back to Los Angeles for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Hollywood.

Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.