British actor Bill Nighy said he is “grateful for the spotlight” his first Academy Award nomination brings to his latest film, Living.
Despite his long and impressive career, his first Oscar nod comes with his portrayal of a veteran civil servant who is inspired to make the most of his remaining days, following a life of tedium, alongside Sex Education star Aimee Lou Wood.
The film, written by Nobel prize-winning novelist Sir Kazuo Ishiguro adapted from the 1952 Japanese film Ikiru, also saw Sir Kazuo receive his first Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay.
Nighy, 73, who is best-known for starring in romantic comedies including fan-favourites Love Actually and About Time, is joined in the actor in a leading role category by Austin Butler for Elvis, Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Fraser for The Whale and Paul Mescal for Aftersun.
In a statement to the PA news agency, Nighy said: “Everyone associated with Living is honoured by the Academy’s nomination and grateful for the spotlight it throws upon the film.
“We hope it will encourage people to see it. I was surrounded by assassins and this belongs to them all.”
Nighy earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Living and also faces tough competition for the leading actor award at the Baftas this year, which will be held at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and broadcast on February 19.
The veteran actor, who has starred in Hollywood blockbusters including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, previously said as a younger actor he had a complete lack of self-confidence and refuses to watch himself in any of his films because he knows it would “rob” him of any pleasure and “steal the experience” from him.
At the BFI London Film Festival last year, Nighy said that he was also proud to be a part of 2014 film Pride, about London-based gay and lesbian activists lending their support to striking miners in 1984 Wales.