MADELEINE BRAND, host:
The Oscar nominations were announced today, although there may not be an Academy Award show next month because of the writers strike. There were few surprises in the nominees. Serious movies like "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men" were nominated. But one small quirky film, "Juno," received a surprising number of nominations in just about all the big categories - best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best actress.
We're joined now by that actress, Ellen Page. She plays the title character in "Juno" - a teenager who gets pregnant and then decides to put the baby up for adoption.
(Soundbite of movie, "Juno")
Mr. MICHAEL CERA (Actor): (As Paulie Bleeker) Would you shut up?
Ms. ELLEN PAGE (Actress): (As Juno MacGuff) What, are you ashamed that we did it?
Mr. CERA: No.
Ms. PAGE: Because at least you don't have to have the evidence under your sweater. I'm a planet.
Mr. CERA: Wait, wait. Let me get your bag. You shouldn't be carrying this.
Ms. PAGE: What's another 10 pounds?
BRAND: Ellen Page is with us now from London, where she's on a press tour. Welcome to the program.
Ms. PAGE: Hi. Thank you so much.
BRAND: Well, congratulations. First of all, were you surprised?
Ms. PAGE: Yeah. I'm completely and utterly. It's unbelievably humbling to be in this category with women who I just admire and respect so much.
BRAND: Julie Christie, Cate Blanchett - they've been around for quite some time. You're 20 years old.
Ms. PAGE: Yeah, I mean, it's really truly crazy. It's hard to wrap my head around, to be completely honest with you.
BRAND: And you know, let's talk about the movie. It's - this movie is different than the other ones that were nominated. It is, as I said, slated as the quirky little movie for this year.
Do you like the way that the movie is categorized? Do you think that that is an apt description, a quirky little indie movie?
Ms. PAGE: Well, you know, I mean, it is an independent film. Yeah, I mean, it is quirky and what have you. But I think the reason people are responding to it so well is because it's incredibly genuine and honest.
BRAND: Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, and in this movie your character considers abortion and yet decides not to go that way. And I'm wondering, how do you feel about that decision as a young woman and as someone who has been described in the press as a feminist?
Ms. PAGE: Well, I think, first and foremost, this movie is - it is about a girl who has a baby and gives it to a yuppie couple for adoption. It's not about a 16-year-old girl that has an abortion. But the film does allow the title character to completely regard all of her options and has a scene in an abortion clinic. The film definitely doesn't shy away from the topic of abortion. And I think that's the most important thing when it comes down to it, is that the choice is always there for young women, and the option is always there. This just happens to be a film about a girl who gives her baby to a couple.
BRAND: So you don't think that it makes any political statement.
Ms. PAGE: I don't in the slightest.
BRAND: So you have gotten a lot of attention for your role and for this movie. Have you been the subject of lots and lots of other offers, and if so, what have you decided on and where can we see you next?
Ms. PAGE: Really all that I have planned so far is a film that I've been attached to for a while now. It's actually - Drew Barrymore is directing her first film. And I'm going to be doing that with her this summer.
BRAND: And this is about roller derby, right?
Ms. PAGE: Yeah, yeah. It's about a girl in Texas whose mother kind of forces her to be in beauty pageants, but yeah, she instead runs away to Austin, Texas and joins a roller derby team.
(Soundbite of laughter)
BRAND: Sounds like it's right up your alley.
Ms. PAGE: Yeah. I'm really excited and thrilled to be working with Drew.
BRAND: All right. Ellen Page, thank you very much.
Ms. PAGE: Thank you very much.
BRAND: That's Ellen Page. She was nominated as best actress in the movie "Juno."
(Soundbite of song, "Anyone Else But You")
THE MOLDY PEACHES (Band): (Singing) You're a part time lover and a full time friend. The monkey on your back is the latest trend. I don't see what anyone can see...
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