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'Green Book' earns 5 Golden Globe nominations; director Peter Farrelly hopes middle America notices

Sonaiya Kelley, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Nominated for five Golden Globes, Universal's "Green Book" is one of the most polarizing awards contenders of the season. The buddy comedy, starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, is a critical darling but has struggled to find its legs at the box office.

Despite this, and amid recent controversy that was sparked after Mortensen vocalized the n-word during a Q&A, the film garnered five of Universal's seven nominations, including nods for director Peter Farrelly, actor Mortensen, supporting actor Ali, screenplay and picture.

"I'd like to thank the HFPA for this extraordinary honor," said Ali in an emailed statement. "I'm humbled that all our work has been recognized in such a broad capacity, especially that of my friends Viggo Mortensen and Peter Farrelly. 'Green Book' offered a unique opportunity to embody a man with breadth, virtuosity and complexity. I'm so grateful that our story has resonance in a time that calls for empathy."

"I am grateful to the HFPA for this recognition and proudly share it with Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini and the rest of 'Green Book's' wonderful cast," echoed Mortensen in a statement. "Thank you Peter Farrelly for making a movie that inspires hope and compassion. By inviting audiences to laugh and be genuinely moved and also to think profoundly about our society's past and present, you have given us a story equal to the best work of Frank Capra and Preston Sturges."

The Times caught up with Farrelly (who also co-wrote the script) to gauge his reaction to the nominations.

Q: Where were you when you got the news?

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A: I was in bed 1/8laughs3/8. It's funny, I'm actually a really good sleeper. I stay up late and I can sleep pretty well, but of course, I woke up at like 5:05 a.m. 1/8Pacific time3/8. My body just woke me up and then I stared at the phone because I was thinking, 'Well, doesn't this thing start at 5?' And then I waited about 20 minutes until the phone started ringing like crazy.

Q: Who is the first person you told?

A: Who I told? People were telling me, I haven't told anybody yet! All my friends and my family and everybody from the studio, they're all calling me. I think people are ahead of me because, being that I'm from the East Coast originally, a lot of my friends were up so they kept sending me messages.

Q: How does it feel?

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