We’ve been counting down to the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards ever since the nominees were first announced on December 10. And while Sunday night’s red carpet fashion, emotional acceptance speeches, and A-list after-parties are sure to deliver, InStyle has been chatting with the stars of the most buzzed-about movies and TV shows all year long. Many of the nominated projects tell inspirational stories (think Room, The Danish Girl, and Transparent), but the stars behind the characters are inspiring off-camera, too. Scroll down for 19 of their quotes that moved us the most.
1. Viola Davis
Nominated for Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama for How to Get Away with Murder
“I am happy that our writers challenged the previous limitations of what has been written for women of color and created someone interesting, sexual, dynamic, bold,” Davis said in InStyle’s January 2016 issue. “Unwritten racial casting rules absolutely still exist,” she said. “I’ve played many best friends, crack-addicted mothers, next-door neighbors, or professionals with no personal lives. It goes back to perception. There is a limitation to how we are seen.”
2. Eddie Redmayne
Nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama for The Danish Girl
“The stakes are higher when there is a story that is so iconic and important,” Redmayne told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Especially with people like Gerda and Lile, who have such a legacy. It makes you want to deliver their story as well as possible. […] I hope this movie helps encourage people to keep talking about these issues, because there is still such a long way to go.”
3. Cate Blanchett
Nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for Carol
“When one plays a mother on screen, there’s always the sense of the right way to parent,” Blanchett explained at a press conference for the film. “You lose your identity and you become a mother, first and foremost. What I loved about Todd [Haynes] is that we didn’t ever talk about sympathy. Personally, as an actor, I find the idea of playing for sympathy a repulsive endeavor. It’s like saying, ‘like me, like me.’”
4. Rooney Mara
Star of Best Motion Picture, Drama nominee Carol
“To me there is no difference [between heterosexual and homosexual relationships],” Mara said at the Carol press conference. “One of the great things about the film is that it’s not a political film. It’s not a film with an agenda. We’re not preaching to the audience. People are allowed to just watch it for what it is, which is a love story between two humans.”
5. Idris Elba
Nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Beasts of No Nation
"He’s a bad guy, but I wanted to humanize him," Elba told InStyle of his character at the Toronto International Film Festival. "I didn't want people to like him, but I wanted them to be able to see his dilemma and that he was a real human being. Even though I couldn’t relate to him, I wanted to bring him alive on camera and make him redeemable."
6. Brie Larson
Nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for Room
“Despite living conditions and despite the situation that [these characters] are in, they have a capacity for closeness, love, and survival outside of the most dire circumstances,” Larson told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival.
7. Joan Allen
Star of Best Motion Picture, Drama nominee Room
"[My character] has this deep abiding love for her daughter, and I think it's really fascinating how much people will relate to her as the grandmother," Allen told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. After Larson's character and her son escape their captor, "The trauma, the loss, the damage to the family is astronomical—but they’re trying so hard to figure it out and to get through to the other side."
8. Taraji P. Henson
Nominated for Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama for Empire
"People gravitate towards Cookie because she represents the American dream," Henson told InStyle last year. "I grew up in the hood, not with a silver spoon in my mouth. I worked hard and made it come true, I made it, still making them come true every day."
9. Kate Winslet
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in Any Motion Picture for Steve Jobs
“One of the things I’m most enjoying about my work at the moment is the diversity,” Winslet said in InStyle’s April 2015 issue. “Looking back, I think I went through a phase of playing the same types of women: women who were trapped, women who were frustrated. Since getting together with [husband] Ned, and since having [son] Bear, I feel like I’ve been creatively reenergized.”
10. Rami Malek
Nominated for Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama for Mr. Robot
“This [show] is so relevant to what is happening, especially the idea of this tension between great connectivity and great loneliness,” Malek said at a screening for the series in August 2015. “Are these things driving us apart? Is being on Facebook actually allowing us to access human beings in a more connected way? Or is it distancing us? […] As enthralling and engaging as this show is, and as special and entertaining as it is and keeps your mind bending, it is also addressing things that we all have gripes with and maybe hopefully calling us to some sort of social action.”
11. Jessica Chastain
Star of Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy nominee The Martian
“There’s no part of me that is talented or capable enough to do what these people do," Chastain told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. "But I do hope that we start to see more women in these roles. Nothing would make me happier than a seven-year-old girl in the audience saying, ‘I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.’”
12. Saoirse Ronan
Nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama for Brooklyn
“This story proves that there is no clean-cut happily ever after,” Ronan told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. “This is really about knowing how to say no, knowing to take a step back, and knowing what’s right for you. It is a tough lesson to learn, especially if you’re [not] the type of person to upset anyone. But you do have to toughen up a little bit and do what’s right for yourself. The film taught me that lesson quite a bit.”
13. Bryan Cranston
Nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama for Trumbo
"The film highlights the cautionary tale that any time civil liberties are in jeopardy, people should take notice and be concerned," Cranston told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. "It reminds us that men went to jail just because the government was dissatisfied with their answers."
14. Judith Light
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or TV Movie for Transparent
“This is a story whose time has come,” Light recently told InStyle. “It’s vitally important that someone in this family comes out as transgender, but I think we all know what it’s like to have a family member decide to do something different and then deal with that. When you watch Transparent, what you see is that the top note is always love.”
15. Liev Schreiber
Star of Best Motion Picture, Drama nominee Spotlight
“When I read this script, I thought it was a remarkable love letter to local investigative journalism,” Schreiber told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. “It’s something that we really, really need in our culture and society. It’s something that’s incredibly important and something that we’re in danger of losing.”
16. Brian D’Arcy James
Star of Best Motion Picture, Drama nominee Spotlight
"At the end of the day, this is about people who are truly passionate about what they do and are telling stories that need to be told," James told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. "I think it has great potential to do a great deal of good."
17. Sarah Hay
Nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for Flesh & Bone
“I’ve had to fight a lot, just like Claire,” Hay recently told InStyle. “But it’s where my confidence comes from, on- and offstage. […] If you have to take crap from people in order to build yourself up, you build yourself to a certain level that a lot of people who don’t fight, don’t get to.”
18. Domhnall Gleeson
Star of Best Motion Picture, Drama nominee The Revenant
“Leonardo [Dicaprio]'s a brilliant actor,” Gleeson told InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. “It was great to watch him, especially with the extreme circumstances that we were all in. We were out in really cold temperatures and a pretty unforgiving landscape. It was the way everybody wanted to be, so we would struggle. You need to be really tied to people to get through that and that’s what our group became.”
19. Jennifer Jason Leigh
Star of Best Motion Picture, Animated nominee Anomalisa
"It's about loneliness and the hope of love," Leigh told InStyle of the film (in which she voices a character) at the Toronto International Film Festival. "But there’s also the real-time aspect of the banality and mundaneness of checking into a hotel and having forced intimacy with cab drivers—experiences we've all had that feel like they'll never end.”