Milton’s Jenny Slate nabs Oscar nomination for ‘Marcel the Shell’
- Slate was valedictorian of her Milton Academy class in 2000
- The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. March 5 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and aired on ABC
- ‘Marcel the Shell With Shoes On’ is Slate’s first Oscar nomination
Milton native Jenny Slate has two reasons to celebrate after the 95th Academy Awards nominations came out Tuesday morning.
The actress has parts in a pair of Oscar-nominated films, the endearing stop-motion animated “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which led nominations with 11, including best picture.
“Marcel” is Slate’s first Oscar nod.
“I’m in a little bit of disbelief,” she told ABC News on Tuesday morning after nominations were announced from the academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams.
Slate said she joined the cast and crew of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” for a Lunar New Year celebration Monday night, had a glass of champagne and then spent the later hours trying to get her toddler to sleep. She awoke to her phone pinging with messages.
“I found out this morning because my sisters were texting me,” she said.
‘One small person trying to live their best life’
In “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” Slate not only lends her distinct voice to the title character − a fearless, inch-tall gastropod with googly eyes and orange sneakers − but she also helped create him with her ex-husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp.
The movie, which was released last June, is a feature adaptation of the popular stop-motion shorts and best-selling books Slate co-wrote with Fleischer-Camp, who directs in addition to playing the role of a camera-shy documentary filmmaker.
“It’s the story of one small person trying to live their best life,” Slate said. “Marcel” is available to stream via video on demand rental.
‘Marcel the Shell With Shoes On’: Milton’s Jenny Slate voices tiny hero with a huge heart
The movie, which has tallied more than $6 million at the box office and has a 99% “fresh score” on the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, faces some tough competition in the animated category. It is going up against “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” which won the Golden Globe, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” “The Sea Beast” and “Turning Red.”
Debbie the Dog Mom in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’
Though she’s credited as just “Big Nose,” which was later changed to “Debbie the Dog Mom,” Slate appears in some pivotal parts of “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which is still playing in a handful of local theaters and also available to rent via video on demand.
No spoilers here, but Slate gets to show off her comedic chops and martial arts skills in the multiverse-hopping indie hit. She first shows up as a patron at Michelle Yeoh’s laundromat. Later, the two actresses square off with Slate’s character using her toy Pomeranian as a weapon.
Among the Academy Award nominations for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” are best actress for Yeoh and best supporting actor for Ke Huy Quan, the former child star who played Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” The film also nabbed supporting actress nods for Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu.
A ubiquitous voice actress: ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Secret Life of Pets’
Slate’s voice work includes the part of the bouncy Pomeranian, Gidget, on “The Secret Life of Pets” movies and Harley Quinn on “The Lego Batman Movie.” She also voiced characters in the hit animated films “Zootopia,” “Despicable Me 3″ and “The Lorax.”
On television, Slate has appeared in supporting and guest roles in comedies such as “Married,” “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” “Parks and Recreation,” “House of Lies,” “Bored to Death,” “Girls,” “Kroll Show” and “Hello Ladies.” She also appeared on “Saturday Night Live” during the 2009-10 season, drawing laughs for impersonations of Lady Gaga and the Olsen twins. Her film work includes “I Want You Back,” “On the Rocks,” “Venom,” “Hotel Artemis,” “Landline,” “Gifted” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.” Slate won a Critics Choice award for her turn as a comedienne facing an unplanned pregnancy in 2014′s “Obvious Child.”
Slate splits time between Los Angeles and Dartmouth, where she lives with her husband, writer Ben Shattuck, and daughter Ida. She was valedictorian of her Milton Academy class in 2000. She returned to her alma mater to deliver the commencement address in 2013 to offer graduates good-humored pointers for life – among other advice, to always be hopeful and search for “a thing of beauty” every day.
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. March 5 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and aired on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel hosts.