Andrea Riseborough is addressing the discourse surrounding her surprise best actress nomination for the 95th Academy Awards.
Riseborough, 41, told The Hollywood Reporter that she experienced a moment of "disbelief" when her name was read aloud during the nominations ceremony on Jan. 24.
She snagged a nod for best actress for her role in the film "To Leslie," a low-budget indie movie that earned just over $27,000 during its short theatrical release before landing on VOD. In the Michael Morris-directed film, Riseborough plays an alcoholic mother who wins -- and ultimately squanders -- $190,000 in the lottery.
"There was a lot of chatter beforehand in those few days leading up to [the nomination]," she told the magazine. "But the very realistic part of me that has been doing this for 20 years didn't think this would happen. I don't think that you dare to allow yourself to imagine that that would happen to something that you shot in 19 days."
It didn't take long for backlash to bubble up. Many viewed Riseborough's inclusion among the best actress nominees -- alongside Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, Michelle Williams and Michelle Yeoh -- as something that led to the exclusion of Black actresses, notably Danielle Deadwyler for "Till" and Viola Davis for "The Woman King."
There were also concerns around the word-of-mouth and social media-focused campaign tactics used to bring attention to Riseborough. Among those who sang her praises were Helen Hunt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Paulson, and Mary McCormack, Morris' wife. She even received a shout-out from fellow nominee Blanchett, who mentioned Riseborough during her own Critics Choice Award acceptance speech.
Riseborough said she has been "coming to terms with what the nomination means, for me and for others" and said the debate it has inspired is a "necessary" one.
"The film industry is abhorrently unequal in terms of opportunity. I'm mindful not to speak for the experience of other people because they are better placed to speak, and I want to listen," she said. "I am grateful for the conversation because it must be had. It has deeply impacted me."
In reaction to the debate about Riseborough's nomination, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in late January that it was "conducting a review into this year's nominees, to ensure that no guidelines were violated, and to inform us whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication."
Ultimately, it was determined that Riseborough's nomination would not be rescinded. Academy CEO Bill Kramer said the review found "social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern" and that those instances "are being addressed with the responsible parties directly."
Kramer added that "regulations must be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive and unbiased campaigning" and "changes will be made after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership."
Riseborough said the attention her nomination has brought her is "confusing" but that the attention "To Leslie" has received has been "wonderful."
"I suppose it's a really bright ray of light," she said. "When any of us engage in anything, we want for that piece of work to be absorbed in some way. You can't control how people absorb it."
The 95th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 12.