Sir Kenneth Branagh arrived at the Oscars after missing several award ceremonies earlier this week after testing positive for Covid-19.
The British theater and film stalwart, whose film Belfast is in the running for a series of awards including best film, best director and best original screenplay, said he was “delighted” to be nominated in a record seven categories at the this year. awards but “happier to be here”.
Speaking to ABC’s On The Red Carpet, he said it was “beautiful to see a story from Belfast speak to the world”.
A spike in Covid cases has called several stars’ attendance into question in recent days.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is nominated in the best original song category for his song Dos Oruguitas, has a shot at winning a statue at the ceremony in Los Angeles, but will be absent from the proceedings after his wife tested positive for covid.
He wrote on Twitter: “I arrived in Hollywood… This weekend, my wife tested positive for covid.
“She is fine. The kids and I have tested negative, but out of an abundance of caution I won’t be going to the Oscars tomorrow night.
“Cheering for my TickTickBoom and Encanto families with my own family, along with all of you, all of you.
Coda director Sian Heder hit the red carpet with her cast of predominantly deaf actors and said she hoped her Oscar-nominated film, which is now one of the favorites to win best picture, “will become in one move” after his run of success.
“(Coda star) Marlee Matlin won the Oscar 30 years ago and not much has changed in Hollywood since then for the representation of the deaf,” he told ABC.
“So to be here tonight and have three deaf actors lead the film, bringing the film and ASL on screen and celebrating deaf culture, I just hope that this film becomes a movement.
“I hope it really goes ahead and opens the door for other projects.”
When asked if he had considered the idea of winning best picture, he replied, “Yes and no.
“I think it would be amazing but honestly the journey here has been so unexpected and amazing and I’m so thankful for it.
“Either way, I’m very excited to be here.”
The Power Of The Dog star Kodi Smit-McPhee, who is nominated in the best supporting actor category, said he was going to “fanboy” all night at the ceremony.
“It’s chaotic in the best way, I’m just present,” he told ABC.
“I’m going to be a fan and I don’t want to do that, I just want to play well.
“I’m going to get all the cards out tonight, signatures.”
When asked about pursuing his next role after the Oscar nomination, he said: “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.
“I love the element of surprise.
“I love the dance of destiny that I play when the material arrives at my door.
“To try to control something like that, then you’re failing to think outside the box.”
The actor added that he was “no good” on stage, so he prepared a speech in case he won the award for best supporting actor.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield, Olivia Colman and Dame Judi Dench are among the British stars in the running to win the Oscars when the star-studded ceremony returns to full power on Sunday.
Cumberbatch is nominated for best actor for his role as a cruel rancher in Jane Campion’s western The Power Of The Dog, which leads the pack with 12 nominations, but faces stiff competition from favorite Will Smith, who is nominated for his role as the father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.
They are nominated alongside Garfield for his role as Rent playwright Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick… Boom!, Javier Bardem for Being The Ricardos and Denzel Washington for The Tragedy Of Macbeth.
Colman, who won the best actress Oscar in 2019 for her role in The Favourite, earned her second nomination in that category for her role as a mother reflecting on her past in The Lost Daughter.
Dame Judi and Ciaran Hinds are nominated for their performances in Belfast.
The Oscars are held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.