The Social Network’s Trent Reznor on the Technological Disaster That Occured During The Oscar Noms

By Julie Miller for Movieline on January 25, 2011

After winning the Best Original Soundtrack for The Social Network at this year’s Golden Globes, composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were still not convinced that they would be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — so much so that Reznor, the former Nine Inch Nails frontman, nervously parked himself in front of the television this morning after a sleepless night to watch the nominations himself. Alas, technological disaster struck — an irony, considering that Reznor was being recognized for his work in the most tech-savvy film of the year.

Just moments ago, Reznor phoned Movieline to comment on his unexpected Oscar nomination for David Fincher’s celebrated film, and explain why he may prepare an acceptance speech just in case.

Congratulations to you and Atticus on your Oscar nomination.
Thank you very much.

After winning the Golden Globe two weeks ago, did you figure yourselves shoo-ins for an Academy Award nod?
No. I’m not saying that to be humble. We didn’t go into this project with any expectations of any kind of award recognition. The weight of the Oscar — we certainly didn’t think that we were guaranteed credit. We had our fingers crossed but it was still a very nervous morning today.

How did you find out? Did you set your alarm and watch the telecast?
Well, I didn’t have to [set my alarm] because I only got two hours of sleep last night. I was up late and as [the nominations] came on the television, my television went off and my Internet went out.

Kind of ironic considering you were nominated the year’s most technology-focused movie.
Right. And then I noticed that no one was calling me and I thought, “Uh oh. That’s not a good a sign.” And then I got a “Congratulations,” and I figured that that was either a cruel joke or I actually did get nominated.

Who offered that first “Congratulations?”
My film agent Sam Schwartz sent me a note that said, “Congrats.” And I doubted that we were at the level of friendship yet where he would be that malicious to send that if I wasn’t nominated.

Like you, I’m from Western Pennsylvania. When you were growing up in Mercer, PA, did you ever think that an Oscar nomination was in the realm of possibility for your future?
I have to say that that never crossed my mind. In fact that never crossed my mind until a few months ago when the film came out. The whole experience of working on the film — it was unexpected to have that opportunity. It was a lot of fun to work on, creatively and artistically. We never wrote a note of music thinking, “Let’s try to get an Oscar for this.” Honestly, it never crossed our minds. We just thought, “Here’s an excellent piece of material to work on. Let’s just try to do the very best thing for it.” It feels great to think that the Academy recognized it because it is not a traditional score. I’m very flattered that they’ve taken notice of it. It means a lot to me.

That being said, do you and Atticus plan on preparing an acceptance speech ahead of time?
Well, I always feel it’s best to be prepared. I’m not saying that we’re going to get to use it but if we’re fortunate enough to have that opportunity, I’d prefer there aren’t any “uh” or “ums” in there.

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