Nebraska director Alexander Payne has said that he first envisioned Bruce Dern playing the lead role when he read the script ten years ago.
Dern, who is nominated in the Best Actor category at tonight’s Oscars, was the first person to jump to Payne’s mind. The filmmaker explained to Parade, “He’s the first guy who jumped to mind when I first read the script ten years ago.
“I thought, ‘Oh, this could be a good part for Bruce Dern’. Then years went by because I didn’t want to do another road picture, and then the time came to make it, and I still met probably 50 guys his age just for due diligence, but I circled back around to Mr Dern.”
Dern’s co-star June Squibb is nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and Payne commented on how the two stars are loving the attention, “It’s really lovely to see their reactions to the attention they are getting. Younger actors will say, ‘Oh pshaw pshaw. It’s just nice to be nominated. Oh, who, me?’ When they’re just desperate for it underneath.
“Meanwhile, Bruce and June are lapping it up and openly loving it by saying, ‘We deserve this attention. We wanted it. This is so sweet’. They’re so openly happy and grateful. Their reaction is very honest.”