‘Shape of Water’ Oscar Nominee Richard Jenkins Tells Us His Good Luck Ritual: ‘I Don’t Wear Pants’

“It’s humbling and it’s really exciting,” actor tells TheWrap of his second-ever Oscar nod

Last Updated: January 23, 2018 @ 12:17 PM

Richard Jenkins, perhaps best known for playing the dead dad on HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” just earned his second Academy Award nomination on Tuesday for his role in Gulliermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” — and he hopped on the phone with TheWrap to tell us all about the excitement.

Asked if he had any rituals leading up to Oscar night, Jenkins said, wryly, “I don’t wear pants for two weeks.”

Of course, he was joking.

Jenkins, who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for playing Giles, a lonely gay illustrator with a crush on the counterman at his local diner, got earnest real quick about his second Oscar nod: “It’s humbling and it’s really exciting.”

He emphasized his excitement for the 12 other nominations del Toro’s film received, calling the director “Guillermo the Great,” adding that “it’s rare to be part of something so special.”

“The Shape of Water” tells the story of a mute janitor (played by Sally Hawkins who was also nominated for Best Actress) who befriends a captured sea creature. It earned a total of 13 nominations when the nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards were announced.

The film, a hit with critics, is also resonating with audiences, said Jenkins: “I have met a lot of people who identified with Giles.”

“Usually if they identified with Giles, the movie meant a lot to them,” the actor told TheWrap.

Jenkins, who is one of Hollywood’s most respected and in-demand character actors, first broke out in the early 2000s as the patriarch on “Six Feet Under.” He went on to receive his first Oscar nomination for the 2008 film “The Visitor,” and now with his nod for “The Shape of Water,” his profile will surely be on the rise. “My career has been filled with luck and I have no complaints,” he told TheWrap.

“The last few years have been fantastic,” added Jenkins. “Your career is something you look back on. If I look back on these last few years, it’s been rewarding and fulfilling — that’s really the important part. Do work that you love and play parts that are fun and challenging.”

The 90th annual Academy Awards will be hosted live by Jimmy Kimmel at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 4 starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on ABC.