Watch 5 exclusive interviews with Best Actor Oscar nominees: Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser, Paul Mescal, Bill Nighy

The final stretch of the 2023 Oscar season has started with voters casing their ballots for the winners of the 95th annual Academy Awards. All season long, Gold Derby has been interviewing dozens of the nominees, including all five contenders for Best Actor. Click on each actor’s name below to watch each of these 20-minute interviews.

Austin Butler, “Elvis

Butler took on the highly-coveted task of embodying one of the greatest musical icons in history in the title role of Baz Luhrmann’s biopic. He describes his process of transforming into the legend, sharing, “Some of it is just getting your body to be able to move in a certain way. And then it’s not making any of that choreography. It can never feel choreographed.” He formed an immediate emotional connection with the late musician when he learned that Elvis’ mother passed away when he was only 23 because, “It’s the same age I was when my mother was dying.”

Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin

In “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Farrell plays Pádraic, an inhabitant on the fictional island of Inisherin who undergoes a personal transformation when jaded folk musician Colm (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly ends their life-long friendship. The actor thinks his character has resonated with audiences because, “You want to be liked. You want to feel like you’re included, and one thing that a lot of us fear in our experience as human beings is being excluded from any kind of community experience, you know, being told that you don’t belong, that you’re not wanted.”

Brendan Fraser, “The Whale

In “The Whale,” Fraser portrays Charlie, a morbidly obese man in the final days of his life as he attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Sadie Sink). The actor remarks on the role, “It gave me a sense of moral obligation. I wanted to play Charlie with the dignity that he deserves. He is not the physical manifestation of how he presents in his corporeal being. He is a human with his conflict, his darker shades, his mistakes, his hopes, his desires, all of that’s there.”

Paul Mescal, “Aftersun

Mescal stars in “Aftersun” as Calum, a troubled young father on what will become a fateful trip with his 11-year-old daughter Sophie (Frankie Corio). The role is based on filmmaker Charlotte Wells’ own childhood memories, an aspect of the part the actor didn’t factor too heavily into his preparation, revealing, “I think the process of kind of sniffing around the background and kind of interrogating the behavior is pretty much the same, or so far, it’s been the same […] You’re never going to be satiated by having enough information, which I think is actually the power of the film.”

Bill Nighy, “Living

“Living” takes place in 1950s London and stars Nighy as Mr. Williams, a stiff upper-lip bureaucrat facing the final months of his life after being suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness. His devastating news inspires him to leave London and start living for the moment. The veteran describes the role as the repressed man as challenging to play because, “The way that I do it, it’s quite physical because you have to hold yourself still and tight and you have to squeeze out the voice and you are forever uptight. That’s quite exhausting!”

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