After receiving her first Oscar nomination, Jenny Slate says she is completely overwhelmed. “I thought I’d be more energetic, but I’m really shocked,” she says. “I sort of felt like a bit smoothed over and I felt really calm… now I just can’t stop crying.” As co-creator and star of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Slate received her first Oscar nomination today in the Best Animated Feature category.
The film is based on the character of Marcel (Slate), who was created by Slate and director Dean Fleischer Camp back in 2010 for a digital short. Slate says she had no idea Marcel would garner this much acclaim when she first voiced the small shell. “At that time I was kind of at a low point in my career and sort of felt like I had drained the reserves of my creativity,” she says. “But I have always been a person who generally felt connected to a hope that happy and extraordinary things might come my way.”
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There’s no word on a sequel to the film, but Slate says there is so much possibility in Marcel’s world. “We try to think of his house as sort of ‘as big as a country,’ so there’s a lot of places that we still haven’t explored.” Even bringing Marcel outside of the house, the charm of the character shines through when he plays with perspective. “I think it would be pretty incredible to bring him somewhere like a botanical garden, where he could just see for scale, how big he is, not even to a palm tree, but like a smaller bush. It’s always exciting to be putting him in situations where his perspective and scale reminds us of our own perspective and scale in the actual universe.”
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Currently Slate is focusing on her standup career, but always has other irons in the fire. “I’m getting a new hour together,” she says, “and I don’t know what else I can say that I’m doing, so I’ll just keep it at that.”