Oscars Best Director interviews: 19 exclusive chats with Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig, Luca Gudagnino, Martin McDonagh, Dee Rees, Denis Villeneuve, and more [WATCH]

Who will be the five Best Director nominees at this year’s Oscars? Over the past three months, Gold Derby has hosted webchats and other interviews with 19 of this years contenders. They include previous nominees and first-time contenders. Click on any name below to be taken to their full interview:

Darren Aronofsky (“mother!”): A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Aronofsky competed at the Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA, DGA, and Critics Choice for “Black Swan” (2010). (click here for full interview)

Sean Baker (“The Florida Project”): Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World. Baker won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for the film and competes at the Independent Spirit Awards. (click here for full interview)

Kenneth Branagh (“Murder on the Orient Express”): When a murder occurs on the train he’s traveling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case. Branagh has contended at the Oscars five times (Best Actor and Best Director for “Henry V” in 1989; Best Live Action Short for “Swan Song” in 1992; Best Adapted Screenplay for “Hamlet” in 1996; and Best Supporting Actor for “My Week with Marilyn” in 2011). (click here for full interview)

Stephen Chbosky (“Wonder”): August Pullman, a boy with facial deformities, attends a mainstream elementary school for the first time. Chbosky competes at the Critics Choice Awards for adapting the screenplay. He previously contended there and at the WGA for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012). (click here for full interview)

SEE Oscars Best Actor interviews: 12 exclusive chats with Timothee Chalamet, James Franco, Andrew Garfield, Jake Gyllenhaal and more [WATCH]

Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”): At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity. Del Toro previously competed at the Oscars for writing “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006). He won the Golden Globe for directing this film, and is nominated at BAFTA and Critics Choice. He’s also nominated at those groups and the WGA for Best Original Screenplay. (click here for full interview)

James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”): When Greg Sestero, an aspiring actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dream come true. A previous Best Actor nominee for “127 Hours” (2010), Franco won the Golden Globe as Best Comedy/Musical Actor for the film, and contends at SAG and Critics Choice. (click here for full interview)

Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”): In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old comes of age in Sacramento, CA. Gerwig competed at the Golden Globes for Best Screenplay and contends in that category at BAFTA, the WGA, and Critics Choice, where she’s also nominated in directing. She previously reaped a Golden Globe bid for acting in “Frances Ha” (Comedy/Musical Actress in 2013). (click here for full interview)

Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya”): Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes. Gillespie won the DGA award for commercial directing in 2006. (click here for full interview)

Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me by Your Name”): In Northern Italy in 1983, 17-year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape. Guadagnino competes at BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Independent Spirits for the film. (click here for full interview)

SEE Oscars Best Actress interviews: 7 exclusive chats with Jessica Chastain, Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, and more [WATCH]

Todd Haynes (“Wonderstruck”): The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection. Haynes contended at the Oscars for writing “Far From Heaven” (2002), which also brought him WGA and Golden Globe nods. He competed at the Globes and BAFTA for directing “Carol” (2015) and at the Emmys for writing, directing, and producing the limited series “Mildred Pierce” (2011). (click here for full interview)

Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”): A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit. McDonagh won an Oscar for “Six Shooter” (Best Live Action Short in 2005) and competed for “In Bruges” (Best Original Screenplay in 2008). He won the Golden Globe for writing the film and competed for directing. He contends in both categories at BAFTA and Critics Choice. His plays “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” (1998), “The Lonesome West” (1999), “The Pillowman” (2005), and “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” (2006) brought him Tony nods. (click here for full interview)

Alexander Payne (“Downsizing”): A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live life in wealth and splendor. Payne won Oscars for writing “Sideways” (2004) and “The Descendants” (2011). He also contended for writing “Election” (1999), directing “Sideways,” “The Descendants,” and “Nebraska” (2013), and producing “The Descendants.” (click here for full interview)

Dee Rees (“Mudbound”): Two men return home from World War II to work on a rural farm in Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war. Rees competes at the WGA and Critics Choice in Best Adapted Screenplay for the film. She previously competed at the Emmys for writing and directing “Bessie” (2015), which brought her a DGA prize. (click here for full interview)

Andy Serkis (“Breathe”): The inspiring true love story of Robin Cavendish and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Serkis received a Golden Globe nomination as Best TV Supporting Actor for “Longford” in 2008 and an Emmy nomination as Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Little Dorrit” in 2009. (click here for full interview)

DISCUSS all the Oscar contenders with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums

Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”): Pakistani-born comedian Kumail and grad student Emily fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings. (click here for full interview)

Aaron Sorkin (“Molly’s Game”): The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Sorkin won an Oscar for writing “The Social Network” (2010) and competed for penning “Moneyball” (2011). (click here for full interview)

Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049”): A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years. Villeneuve contended at the Oscars, DGA, and BAFTA for directing “Arrival” and recently received a BAFTA nom for this film. (click here for full interview)

Edgar Wright (“Baby Driver”): After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. Wright contended at the BAFTAs in the Best British Film category for “Shaun of the Dead” (2004). (click here for full interview)

Joe Wright (“Darkest Hour”): During the early days of WWII, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. Wright competed at the Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Critics Choice for directing “Atonement.” (click here for full interview)

PREDICT the Oscar nominees now; change them until January 23

Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby