Minnie Driver describes early Oscars experience as ‘utterly overwhelming'

She was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in 1997 drama Good Will Hunting.

Minnie Driver has described the night she was nominated for an Oscar as like “walking into the Roman Colosseum”.

The British-American star was 28 when up for the best supporting actress Academy Award in recognition of her role in 1997 drama Good Will Hunting.

Driver lost out to Kim Basinger.

She was accompanied to the ceremony by her mother, sister and late father and said her experience of Hollywood’s biggest night was “utterly overwhelming and terrifying”.

Minnie Driver
Minnie Driver has looked back on the night she was nominated for an Oscar (PA)

Appearing on restaurant critic Jay Rayner’s Out To Lunch podcast, Driver, 50, was asked how she coped with the “huge success” of Good Will Hunting.

“Oh I didn’t, it was awful,” she said. “I’ll never forget the night of the Academy Awards because I was actually with my dad who has since gone and I was with my mum and my sister.

“I can only describe it as I imagine walking into the Roman Colosseum, with just these shrieking hordes and utterly overwhelming and terrifying.”

And Driver, whose other film roles include Big Night, Sleepers and The Phantom Of The Opera, said she wished she had been able to take more enjoyment from the fame that followed Good Will Hunting.

She said: “It is extraordinarily overwhelming. And people don’t have much sympathy for actors saying getting famous is overwhelming. Because they’re too busy thinking that you’ve got tons of money and free stuff.

“And I don’t know what they think, that your life is a sort of permanent red carpet, but you know, any relatively normal human being, it is extraordinarily overwhelming to be put into a very specific spotlight and to be asked what you think about stuff all the time when, you know, I didn’t know. I didn’t know much about anything. I just was happy to be working.”

Minnie Driver is the next guest on Out To Lunch with Jay Rayner. Available on all podcast providers every Tuesday.

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