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Stars hail Scorsese at pre-Oscar nominees lunch

2014-02-12 17:00
Los Angeles - US actor Jonah Hill joked that he would paint Martin Scorsese's house if the film legend asked him to, as he and The Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio praised the veteran director.

Hill, who was paid only $60 000 for his role Scorsese's latest film, said he couldn't believe he had been nominated for an Oscar but said he will have a speech ready just in case for the Academy Awards show on 2 March.

Asked if he would negotiate a better deal with Scorsese next time, he said at a lunch for this year's Oscar nominees: "I wouldn't care, honestly.

"Martin Scorsese is my favourite filmmaker of all time. Goodfellas is the reason I wanted to make movies and dedicate my life to that. I would paint his house if he asked me to," added Hill, nominated for best supporting actor.

Scorsese himself was among the star-studded cast at Monday's annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton hotel, less than three weeks before the Academy Awards, the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season.

DiCaprio, who plays real-life corporate raider Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, said: "He's one of the first filmmakers as a young man that I became transfixed by. He inspired my whole generation.

"I suppose his relationship with me has to do with the fact that we share similar tastes, and I'm willing to do whatever it is he wants up there on the screen," the Titanic added the star, nominated for best actor Oscar.

Nominees at the event

Others at the pre-Oscars event included Lupita Nyong'o, nominated for her role in 12 Years a Slave who showed off her Spanish to reporters, when recalling her upbringing in Kenya and time spent in Mexico.

"I have a warm place in my heart for Mexico as I do for my other country as well, Kenya," she said with a perfect Spanish accent.

Bradley Cooper, nominated for American Hustle, referred to one notably snub among this year's nominees: Tom Hanks, who failed to win a nod for his roles in either Captain Phillips or Saving Mr Banks.

"There's a lot of great people in this room. I wish Tom Hanks was in there," said Cooper, nominated last year for Silver Linings Playbook.

All eyes are now on 2 March, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Hill, nominated two years ago for baseball movie Moneyball, said he doesn't rate his chances of winning, but will write a speech just in case.

"I figure I can just change a couple of names from the Moneyball' speech. "The possibility of winning is so insane to me that it seems indulgent to write a speech, but I guess I will just in the one-in-a-billion chance it happen, so I don't sound stupid."

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