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Q&A: “Woody Allen (is) a great model for me”

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If director Tom Hooper, who won the best-director Academy Award in 2010 for “The King’s Speech,” is bothered by not getting a nomination this year for “Les Miserables,” he’s not letting on.
Instead, the British director says he’s relishing the musical’s many other accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, three Golden Globe wins, nine BAFTA nominations and eight Oscar nods, including best picture, best actor for Hugh Jackman and best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway. (Hooper was also nominated for a Directors Guild award but lost to Ben Affleck for “Argo” over the weekend.)
Hooper directed the HBO miniseries “John Adams” and the TV drama “Longford.” ‘’Les Miserables” is an adaptation of a Broadway musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel.
In a recent interview, he talked about fame, this year’s Academy Award nominations and who he’ll be rooting for during the Feb. 24th ceremony.

AP - What are your thoughts on this year’s Oscar nominations?
Tom Hooper - I think it’s important in awards season to just be incredibly grateful for any recognition that you’ve already got and to not expect anything beyond it. I was very fortunate two years ago with ‘The King’s Speech’ and this year it’s a year of extraordinarily wonderful and beautiful films. So it’s a very special year. So I’m just pleased to be part of it.

AP - Besides ‘Les Mis,’ what’s your pick for best film of 2012?
TH - I really loved the Woody Allen film ‘To Rome With Love,’ which hasn’t had any nominations at all. But I think Woody Allen remains an extraordinary storyteller. ... I mean it’s genius. Also, the way he just keeps working, it’s a great model for me. I’d love to be at his age and still making a film a year.

AP - Of the directors in the Oscar race, who are you rooting for?
TH - I saw ‘Life of Pi’ recently and I thought that was an extraordinary directorial and technical accomplishment. The way Ang (Lee) uses 3-D, it feels like you’re seeing the medium for the first time. ... The great thing about (awards season) is you take a beat to learn about filmmaking and see what other directors are doing. That’s a great way of thinking about the art form once a year in a concentrated way.

AP - Are you getting recognized more on the street?
TH - The joy about being a director is that when your film comes out you possibly get stopped a little bit, but within three months you can go back to being completely anonymous. And then you wait for the next one to come out and you’ll have a brief moment where people will recognize you. So it’s kind of great because if you’re a famous actor that process never stops.

AP - Is that one reason directing appealed to you?
TH - Yeah, I think I chose to be behind the camera because I didn’t want that. I always wanted to be the person behind the scenes.

AP - What’s next?
TH - Two years ago I managed to not reveal that I was thinking about ‘Les Miserables’ at all. So I’m going to do the same this time and not reveal anything.

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