Arts & Entertainment

Oscars 2014: From KPCC's shows, 14 interviews with this year's nominees

Academy Award nominees inlcuding Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, Julie Delpy, Pharrell Williams, Lupita Nyong'o, and Karen O attend the 86th Academy Awards nominee luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Academy Award nominees inlcuding Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, Julie Delpy, Pharrell Williams, Lupita Nyong'o, and Karen O attend the 86th Academy Awards nominee luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The 86th annual Academy Awards are upon us, and you have less than a week to catch all the nominated films you've miss over the last year before the Oscar broadcast on Sunday.

To help you prepare your ballots and refresh your memory of this year's great films, we've compiled all the interviews we've done with this year's Oscar contenders on our shows Take Two, AirTalk and Off-Ramp. 

RELATED: Oscars 2014: 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years a Slave' top nominees


Screenwriter Terence Winter on penning 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
Based on a true story, "The Wolf of Wall Street" chronicles former Wall Street trader Jordan Belfort's rise from a low level stock broker to the head of a penny stock brokerage firm in Long Island. Screenwriter Terence Winter won awards for his work on the hit series "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Sopranos," but it's "The Wolf of Wall Street" that got him his first Oscar nomination for "Best Adapted Screenplay."


Actress Lupita Nyong'o talks about her role in '12 Years A Slave'
Fresh out of Yale's prestigious School of Drama, Lupita Nyong'o landed a role in the new film by acclaimed director Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave." In the film, Nyong'o plays Patsey, one of the hardest working slaves on a cotton plantation in Louisiana.  Nyong'o joins Take Two to talk about how she prepared for this incredibly dramatic role. 

Egypt's Oscar-nominated 'The Square' tells the story of unfinished revolution
In January 2011, thousands of Egyptians poured into the streets of Cairo, calling for the ouster of long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak. The city center of Tahrir Square became a focal point for the revolution. Filmmakers spent more than two years recording the volatile events and created what has become the first Egyptian movie to be nominated for an Academy Award, "The Square." Director Jehane Noujaim and producer Karim Amer discuss the project.


'Dallas Buyers Club' screenwriter talks film's Oscar nominations
The "Dallas Buyers Club" has become a surprise success this awards season. Starring Matthew McConaughey, it was shot in less than a month, with no lights and at a fraction of the budget of most of its competitors in the Best Picture field. It tells the true story of Ron Woodroof, a hard-living rodeo cowboy with HIV who becomes an unlikely hero during the early years of the epidemic. The film has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including one for its screenwriter, Craig Borten, who joins us to talk about the film. 


Will Forte on 'Nebraska' nerves and missing his 'SNL' days
For eight years, Will Forte made audiences laugh as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live," but has lately been taking on much more serious roles. His latest role brings him opposite Bruce Dern in the Oscar-nominated film "Nebraska," directed by Alexander Payne. Forte (who is not nominated for an Oscar) talks about his favorite memories from "SNL" and his foray into more serious dramatic acting. 


Screenwriter John Ridley reacts to his Oscar nomination for '12 Years a Slave'
The film "12 Years A Slave" has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director. Screenwriter John Ridley talks about where he was and how he found out about the good news.


‘Gravity’ production designer Andy Nicholson on taking audiences to space
Alfonso Cuarón’s stunning sci-fi drama "Gravity" earned 10 Oscar nominations this year. Among them, a nod for the film’s production design — which includes a meticulously-crafted Space Shuttle and striking simulation of the zero-gravity environment beyond earth’s atmosphere. Transporting audiences so convincingly to a far-off place they’ve never been was the job of production designer Andy Nicholson.


From Slasher Movies to Slavery: Creating the look of '12 Years A Slave'
With nine Oscar nominations, "12 Years a Slave" is looking to top a fruitful awards season with the much coveted Best Picture award next month.  "12 Years a Slave" tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and forced into slavery.  Set in pre-Civil War America, the story hinges not only on the acting, but the re-creation of a bygone era. This job fell to set designer, Adam Stockhausen, who is nominated in the Best Achievement in Production Design category.

The latest film from Alexander Payne is "Nebraska," a road trip story depicting family life in America's heartland. His sixth film — named for his home state — certainly isn't the first to dig into dark humor and awkward family dynamics. Payne joins the show to discuss the themes and characters in his celebrated body of work. 
Steve McQueen of  “12 Years A Slave” spoke in an interview with CNN about the lack of films portraying slavery realistically, saying. “For me, being of African descent, I thought there was a hole in the canon of cinema regarding this subject. It was very natural that I wanted to put it on film.”

Oscar-nominated designer on crafting the grifter’s world in 'American Hustle'
David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” has received critical acclaim, garnering a number of Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. The film could not have come together without the expertise of production designer Judy Becker, who is nominated for her work on “American Hustle.” Becker built a believable back-drop for the characters while creating an authentic and glamorous interpretation of the 1970s.


How Oscar nominee K.K. Barrett designed a futuristic L.A. for 'Her'
Spike Jonze’s Oscar-nominated movie "Her" has garnered attention for its striking depiction of the not-so-distant future. Jonze and production designer K.K. Barrett worked together to craft a milieu where such a relationship seems possible: a minimalist high-rise apartment, downtown walkways, the retro phone-device Phoenix’s character uses to direct his technology. Barrett tells Larry Mantle how he helped bring this tale of romance in the age of A.I. to life and the steps he took to fashion a near-future within imagination.


Steve Coogan on adapting 'Philomena' for the big screen
The Academy is acknowledging Steve Coogan’s serious side. The comedian’s film, "Philomena," — in which he stars alongside Dame Judi Dench — has received four Oscar nods, including nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Coogan and co-writer Jeff Pope adapted the film from the book, based on a true story, "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee," by Martin Sixsmith, who Coogan plays in the movie. The story tells the story of Philomena’s 50-year search for her son and Sixsmith’s investigation into his whereabouts.


Oscars 2014: Best Makeup nominee Joel Harlow on 'The Lone Ranger,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and more
Joel Harlow is a man of a thousand faces, but almost none of them are his. The veteran makeup artist has worked on TV's "Mad Men" and the feature film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." In 2009, Harlow won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for his work in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot. This year, Harlow is nominated again, this time for his work on Johnny Depp in "The Lone Ranger." KPCC's Patt Morrison talked with Harlow about how he became one of the industry's most beloved makeup artists.