Inception Oscar Nominee Hans Zimmer 'Quite Shocked' That Christopher Nolan Was Snubbed
Hans Zimmer has been here before. His nomination today for Inception marked Zimmer's ninth in the Best Original Score category, an award he's won once before, for The Lion King. But on a day most people are celebrating, Zimmer is lamenting the fact that his director, Christopher Nolan (who Zimmer also worked with on the Batman films and The Prestige), was denied a Best Director nomination once again.
Movieline spoke to Zimmer about his "personal" score for Inception, why Nolan's snub was particularly egregious, and just how important director's who also write are to the filmmaking process.
Congratulations on the nomination.
Do you think, of all of your nominations, that this is your most popular work?
I'm not sure. I think Lion King, Gladiator, Dark Knight, they were just as much a part of the, I don't know, social fabric. But, certainly, Inception just because of what we tried to do -- like really using the Internet -- and by doing the performance at the premiere and going to UStream that night, we really made it Internet friendly. At one point I didn't even want to release the soundtrack. Have you come across our little App? The Inception App?
I know of it, I don't have it.
Download it; it's free, you know. But I wanted to do the whole soundtrack just like that.
It did seem, as you say, like your score was helped a lot by the Internet. Like when everyone was dissecting the Edith Piaf song.
We very much thought about these things, you know. Because we're geeks!
Do you think of this as one of your most intense scores?
It's the most me type of score. That's what Chris [Nolan] wanted. Chris wanted it to be as much as what I wanted to write how I felt about things. So if you want to know anything about me, it's probably the score that will give you the most insight. I wasn't pretending, I was writing from my heart and my sense of aesthetics. It's a weirdly personal score for me.
Look, the thing that I was writing about was a doomed love story. I was writing about a father who wanted to come home to his children. There were also some very, very personal little things that you could write about. If you just looked hard enough in the script, there were incredible riches of emotions that you could go and play with but try to play with in a modern way, not to play in an old fashioned way. This wasn't Dr. Zhivago, this was Chris Nolan. It's a very nostalgic movie and I think it's a very nostalgic score.
Being one of your most personal scores, do you feel differently about this nomination compared to the other eight?
Do you feel a desire to actually win the Oscar more than you have in the past?
I feel that it would be nice to win this one. It would be nice, but, at the same time, I'm really quite shocked that they didn't nominate Chris for Best Director.
So you're just as shocked as the rest of us?
Yes, absolutely. You know, I think part of what Inception did -- part of what we keep doing, what Chris does, what we all do -- we keep pushing the boundaries and we don't quite know what we are doing yet. We might just be a year ahead usually. It takes people a little bit of time to catch up. For crying out loud, this isn't like the director who just came in to direct. This is the writer-director. People really have to start understanding the difference between writer-directors and non-writer-directors.
You think writer-directors are more deserving?
Yes! It's the complete thing. It's every thought, utterance; every idea comes out of that one brain.
And a movie like Memento is a great example of people catching on later.
And The Dark Knight! Look, The Dark Knight deserves to be at least nominated for Best Picture. It really did.