Australia's newest nominee
From the Sydney
Elsey in the Creature Shop
And the number of Australian
Oscar nominees is ... five.
On the eve of the 78th Annual
Academy Awards ceremony, the Australian contingent in the running
for Oscars has grown by one with British-born make-up specialist
Dave Elsey declaring himself a true blue Aussie.
"I count myself as an
Australian," he said.
"There's no question about
Eight years ago Elsey and his
wife, Lou, scored jobs creating creatures for the Sydney-made
sci-fi TV series hit Farscape, and fell in love with Australia.
It's now home.
"We love Australia and love
living in Sydney and all our friends are in Sydney and we got our
residency," Elsey said.
Elsey and a fellow Sydneysider,
Nikki Gooley, are nominated together for Oscars in the make-up
category for their dazzling work in creating the creatures in Star
Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, which was shot at
Sydney's Fox Studios.
It's been a whirlwind month or so
for the two since the nominations were announced, although both
were a little surprised by the lack of attention they received
from fashion designers.
It appears you have to be a
Nicole Kidman or Heath Ledger to have someone like Giorgio Armani
pursuing you to wear their clothes to the Oscars.
"No, Armani hasn't called,
and I'm pretty insulted actually," Elsey joked.
He had to buy a tuxedo in
Wellington, New Zealand, where he is making a new horror film,
Gooley has hired a vintage dress
from a store in Sydney, but instead might wear a dress she
borrowed from a friend.
"I wanted to go with an
Australian designer, but people weren't being incredibly
helpful," Gooley said.
Elsey and Gooley will join
Perth's best actor nominee Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain),
Brisbane-born cinematographer Dion Beebe (Memoirs of a Geisha) and
Melbourne's short animated filmmaker Anthony Lucas (The Mysterious
Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello) on the red carpet at
Monday's (AEDT) Academy Awards in Hollywood.
Elsey boarded a LA-bound flight
today from New Zealand.
Gooley jetted in to Los Angeles
last night after winning a BAFTA award, Britain's equivalent of
the Oscars, for another film she worked on, The Chronicles of
Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
"I feel a little weird. A
bit jet-lagged I think," said Gooley.
Elsey and Gooley aren't expected
to win the Oscar, with Howard Berger and Tami Lane from Chronicles
of Narnia expected to win.
It will be a tough pill for
Gooley to swallow if Narnia does win, because she was an integral
part of the Narnia make-up team, but the Academy, which hands out
only two nominations per film, left Gooley's name off.
Asked if it would be odd to see
Berger and Lane accept the Oscar, Gooley said: "Yeah, I think
it'll be a little odd. It's bizarre, but it's just the way it
Gooley has had a tumultuous time,
with the Academy originally giving the two Star Wars nominations
to Elsey and another Australian who worked on the film, Annette
The Academy admitted it made a
mistake and, an hour or so after the nomination ceremony dropped
Miles and added Gooley's name.
Gooley declined to comment on the
fiasco today "because so much has already been said".
Elsey said Gooley deserved her
"Annette did work on the
movie, but she wasn't the head of the make-up department,"
"That was Nikki."