In the acclaimed film Nebraska, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) goes on an intense road odyssey after believing a magazine scam that announces he’s won a million bucks and just has to get to Nebraska to claim the prize. Peter Travers proclaimed the picture Dern’s “finest two hours onscreen,” and in this exclusive clip from the Blu-ray and DVD releases of the film (out February 25th via Paramount Home Media Distribution), the actor explains what brought out his brilliant performance — or who, rather: director Alexander Payne.
“He is the best — his advice, the things he says to me,” Dern says, going on to describe how Jack Nicholson had a similar experience working with the director on the 2002 film About Schmidt.
“We begged to be directed. For so many years, I’ve been asked, ‘Just be Dernsy.’ Give us this, give us that. And Jack the same way. Well, he doesn’t want to be Jack every goddamn movie,” Dern says, breaking into an incredible impression of Nicholson. “I don’t want to be Dernsy, I want to be a character in a movie, and Alexander has brought that and demanded that of me.”
Nebraska is up for six Oscars this year, including Best Picture, Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Actor (Bruce Dern) and Best Original Screenplay (Bob Nelson). The film arrives on Digital and Digital HD February 18.