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Oscar Winner Hildur Guðnadóttir: 'The Joker' Original Score [Exclusive Interview]

[Exclusive Interview with Nikoleta Morales: First to Ask Hildur About Her Win!]

Q. Congratulations for the win. I have to say I loved the JOKER so much, and part of it was because of the music, it was extremely emotional. I cried a lot watching, so I have to say that. So tell me what was your inspiration behind creating that amazing music and then matching it with the emotions for the film. Did you go through personal emotions that you put into your music or what's the secret, I guess? Something that we don't know that you can share with us. Thank you. A. Well, I think for every story you just have to try to dive into it and try to find what it is that carries the story and try to really channel how the story wants to be heard, and in this case it was the story of this one man who is going through this excruciating journey, and that I just tried to, as I could, to imagine being inside his head and then tried to imagine what that would sound like, and that was -- that was my main inspiration.

Q. Congratulations. Did you realize on stage that you were getting standing ovations from some of the biggest heavy hitters in the score industry? A. I know, I saw that. You know what, it was -- it was -- I mean, it's a wild moment, right? And as I hear my name and I'm kind of startled, and then I'm walking up stage, and I thought, "I can do this. I can do this. I can do this." And then as I got on stage and I saw everyone standing up, I just -- it floored me. It really did.

Q. If you think about it, you know, John Williams and Desplat and the whole gang, I mean, did you know going into this and knowing about your nomination, what were your feelings about being nominated against these icons? A. Well, I mean, it's a little bit intimidating, I'll have to admit. But I mean, what has been really special about the whole -- whole process, not only tonight but also, you know, the other awards that had been leading up to this one, I've been meeting a lot of them in that journey and I've gotten to know them a little bit on -- on this way, and that's been so incredible. It's been -- they are so inspiring composers and such masters of the -- of the craft, and it's just been really magical to get to know them.

Q. Congratulations. Incredible score. A. Thank you.

Q. I'd love to hear your response to the dance that Joaquin created as inspiration from the score and just how you thought it kind of connected to what you were originally intending for the music. A. Yeah. Yeah, that was magical, because I wrote a lot of the music before they started shooting. And then as they started shooting, they were using the music on set, and the music was able to inspire Joaquin's performances and, you know, the movements of the cinematography, and I didn't really know that that was going to be the process, you know. And then as Todd sent me the first dailies, this was the first scene that he sent me and it was just so, so incredible to see how Joaquin had channeled exactly what I had felt when I wrote the music, and we never had a discussion about it. And it's just really magical when you can have a dialogue through your art form and not have to, you know, discuss what we're trying to do but really to be able to go from the raw emotional side. That was really beautiful.

Q. I believe you are the first solo woman to get this Oscar, and so in a year where we've been talking about the lack of diversity in certain categories of nominations, how do you feel? Is this a responsibility? What do you want to say about that? A. I think I'm actually not the first woman to win this.

Q. Solo, solo woman. A. I think that was the Golden Globes. I think I'm like the third woman maybe to -- first in 20 years at least, I mean that's something.

Q. Okay. That's good. A. I mean, it's been -- it has been a remarkable feeling for me to be -- as I'm going through this journey, and I have been the first woman to win a lot of these awards that I have been winning up until now, and it has kind of poked a lot of people like to see the statistics of awards that have been going on for, like, 70-something years and a woman has never won them, it makes us realize, like, "Whoa, wait a minute, maybe there's something a little bit, you know, unbalanced going on here." And there's been a lot of conversation happening as a result of that. And it's been a real honor for me to be a part of that conversation and to be a part of opening it up and kind of, you know, just pointing out that -- that this is a little bit silly and we should be opening up -- opening up the industry to more women.

Q. So are you staying in Berlin or are you moving to Hollywood right now? What are your plans? A. No. I mean, it's lovely to come here and it's -- and, I mean, the people here are just unbelievable, but it's not really my climate. It's a little bit too sunny for me here. I think -- I think it wouldn't really suit my music to live here.

Images: Getty; ABCNews

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