Minghella praises, HBO topper delighted

“The Talented Mr. Ripley” helmer Anthony Minghella said, “I think it’s a great fillip for the film to be recognized this way on the week that it opens. It suggests to audiences that it might be worth seeing and, in the end, that’s what you’re looking for: audiences.”

Praising his tech colleagues who are also vets of “The English Patient” vets, he said, “This is a very good day for us. This encourages the people who have to put up with me, to come with me again” on his next project, “Cold Mountain,” which he predicted won’t be on the screen for another few years, since he’s still at work on the script.

“We all need to feel encouraged. None of us is exempt from feeling discouraged. All of this is hugely encouraging to me.”

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Jeff Bewkes, topper at TV network leader HBO, said, “We’re surprised and delighted by the recognition. We’re very proud of the people who created all this … the actors, the writers, the producers.”

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Hilary Swank said she was “dead asleep” when she heard the news. “My publicist called and woke me up. He said, ‘You’re not watching?’ I said, ‘Watching what?’ I’m so naive, I didn’t know they had a whole big thing at the Beverly Hilton.”

For the rest of the day, “I’m gonna sit here with my Perma-grin on my face. Seeing my name on a list with these amazing actresses is very surreal. Meryl Streep is the acting god to me, and to have my name right under hers is — surreal. That’s the only word I can use.”

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In a statement, “Notting Hill” star Hugh Grant deadpanned, “I am very flattered. The readers of Horse & Hound will be delighted.”

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Sounding genuinely excited, “Map of the World” actress Sigourney Weaver said, “I can’t tell you how much this helps our film. “We have like a zero budget” for marketing the film, which opens Jan. 23. “This support from the foreign press helps legitimize film in way and brings it to the public. It’s a tremendous help for raising awareness of the film.”

As for her nomination personally, “It probably means more to me than at any other time. I found the part liberating as an actor. So that made the work feel very complete, but this recognition is a bonus, it’s like a pat on the back.”

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USA Films chairman Scott Greenstein enthused about Sharon Stone’s bid for “The Muse” and predicted that the noms will be a big boost for “Being John Malkovich,” a quirky film that has so far played well with critics and city auds. “I think it will be a good example of where the Golden Globes can help a movie. It will open more of the mass-market in the suburbs, a stamp of approval, for mainstream America to check it out.”

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“Being John Malkovich” helmer Spike Jonze laughed, “I was totally surprised and excited (by the nominations). What’s happened so far with (audience reaction to) the movie has been great, and everything else is just sort of bonus and crazy and exciting. The whole thing is nuts.”

He praised the film’s scripter Charlie Kaufman, saying the script is the star of the pic. As for the future, “I’m just reading stuff trying to figure out what to do next. Charlie and I are producing ‘Human Nature’ that Michel Gondry is directing in March.”

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“Toy Story 2″ songwriter Randy Newman, “I’m very happy and honored to be nominated.”

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