“What I love to do is go to the video and look at the comments,” acclaimed songwriter Diane Warren admits about reading feedback about her songs on social media. “The comments are mind-blowing,” she exclaims.
“There’s a lot of comments,” she says, from people at “the end of their rope, where the song gave them hope and made them stronger. There’s thousands and thousands,” she sighs. “One night I just stayed up almost all night, reading them and I was crying. The fact that I wrote the song for this movie, sitting in my room and somehow it got through to people going through a hard time, it’s just crazy.”
We talked with Warren as part of Gold Derby’s special film songwriters “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with key Oscar contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
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“Four Good Days” stars Mila Kunis as Molly, an addict embarking on her 15th attempt at sobriety who desperately seeks help from her skeptical and despondent mother Deb (Oscar nominee Glenn Close). Warren penned a signature inspirational power ballad “Somehow You Do” for the film, a song about hope and perseverance, performed by country superstar Reba McEntire. The songwriter has amassed a stunning 12 Oscar nominations without a win, and has just made the Best Original Song Oscar shortlist, alongside 14 other songs vying for the final lineup of five.
“Somehow You Do” suggests that you can come back from despair, from being at the end of your tether. The emotional weight of the song is perhaps most punctuated by the lyric “the darkest night will find the day,” which Warren admits she intended to be inspiring. “That was probably my favorite line in the song,” she reveals. “Because it will. Because it could be the darkest night in the world ever, and the sun is going to come up. There will be another day, you know? If the song made you made you feel a little better, then that’s what this is all about to me.”
Warren first earned Oscar’s attention with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for the 1987 film “Mannequin.” She dominated the late ’90s and early 2000s with five additional bids, for classics like “Because You Loved Me,” “How Do I Live,” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” “Music of My Heart” and “There You’ll Be.” After a decade-plus break from Oscar, she has recently achieved a nearly unprecedented string of nominations starting with “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” (2014). She subsequently received a nomination every single year except 2016, with bids for “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground” (2015), “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall” (2017), “I’ll Fight” from “RBG” (2018), “I’m Standing with You” from “Breakthrough” (2019) and “Io si (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead” (2020).
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