Andrea Riseborough Says Heated Conversation Surrounding Her Oscar Nomination Is ‘Necessary’

“The film industry is abhorrently unequal in terms of opportunity,” the first-time nominee said

Andrea Riseborough
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Andrea Riseborough called the commotion surrounding her grassroots Oscar campaign and subsequent nomination “necessary,” saying “it makes sense” given inequality in the film industry.

“It not only makes sense that this conversation would be sparked, but it is necessary. The film industry is abhorrently unequal in terms of opportunity,” she said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m mindful not to speak for the experience of other people because they are better placed to speak, and I want to listen.”

“I am grateful for the conversation because it must be had,” she continued. “It has deeply impacted me.”

The actress received a Best Lead Actress nod for “To Leslie,” a low-budget indie film with a small marketing budget, after A-listers like Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet and Sarah Paulson began praising the performance on social media. Though backed by major studios and awards campaigns, Black actresses Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis were shut out, generating heated discussions about the role of misogynoir in this year’s race and Hollywood generally.

Shortly after, the Academy launched an investigation into campaign procedures concerning this year’s nominees. It determined that the grassroots campaign was not grounds for disqualification, though it did find “social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern,” according to Academy president Bill Kramer.

In the Wednesday interview, Riseborough said she’s still processing “what the nomination means, for me and for others” – and being thrust into the spotlight as a result.

“It’s been confusing,” she said. “And it’s wonderful the film’s getting seen. I suppose it’s a really bright ray of light. When any of us engage in anything, we want for that piece of work to be absorbed in some way. You can’t control how people absorb it.”

“To Leslie” originally premiered on Oct. 7, 2022, and is once again available in theaters and on VOD.