Elsie Fisher, the 15-year-old star of Eighth Grade, is emerging as one of this year’s breakout actors — and now she can add a Golden Globe nomination to her résumé.
Fisher earned a nod for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy on Thursday morning, for her work in Bo Burnham’s deeply felt, anxiety-inducing coming-of-age story. Her performance as Kayla, a young girl on the brink of high school, captivated audiences this summer in all her blemished, awkward glory; olds everywhere (and youths too) could easily see themselves at that pivotal time when practically anything could cause a rapidly beating heart and sweating palms.
EW chatted with Fisher about how Eighth Grade has changed her life, who she’d love to meet at the Golden Globes, and what would be in her 2018 time capsule.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling right now?
ELSIE FISHER: I’m on top of the world right now, it’s pretty great.
Were you expecting to be nominated?
No, not at all. In fact, I actually had a dream last night that I did not get nominated at all.
So that explains your tweet that just said, “WHAT” — was that the minute you got the news?
Pretty much. I didn’t have any other words and I wanted to acknowledge it somehow, and that just felt right.
How have you felt about people reacting so strongly to Eighth Grade?
I’m just so thankful for it. The response from people has just been so heartwarming. Just how they respond to the anxiety, how they relate to it, and just any aspect of the movie. I’m so glad we made something that really made a difference in people’s lives. I mean, my life is changed probably more than anyone else’s. I was pretty much considering quitting acting before the movie. So, I mean, this is a big step in the other direction than that.
What would you say to someone who is your age who’s interested in acting?
I would say just go for it in any way you can, and just give your all to it, especially if you’re young and you’re kind of in the position where acting can be a job, but you don’t necessarily have to rely on it for income. I feel very lucky because I have the ability to be a little more picky with my projects because, you know, acting is a job for a lot of people who aren’t afforded that luxury, basically. Just go for what you want and those are things that make you happy, and don’t sacrifice any part of your childhood, because acting is great, but you know, you still got to be a kid.
Are people your own age coming up to you and being like, “Hey, I saw you in Eighth Grade” and complimenting you or talking to you about how they’ve related to it?
Yeah. That’s probably been some of my favorite people who come up to me because this movie gets so much of me as a teenager, you know, regardless of whether I was in it or not. So it’s really incredible to see other teenagers come up and talk to me.
What are some other performances you’ve seen this year that you’ve been excited about, and who are you looking forward to maybe meeting at the ceremony?
Lady Gaga, obviously. A Star Is Born was incredible, and also I love her as a person and her music. I was also just such a big fan of Bohemian Rhapsody, so I would love to meet Rami Malek. I think he was really great, and I love that movie very much. Yeah. And I had the pleasure of meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda, so I would love to have a mini-reunion with him.
What was that like?
It was the best. I mean, he’s such a nice man. We both are kind of friends with these guys who make a podcast called My Brother, My Brother and Me. It was very sweet to talk about that together because it’s kind of niche, a little under the radar.
One of the best parts of Eighth Grade is the time capsule. If you made a time capsule of this year for yourself to open in 10 years, what would you put it in it?
A lot of Eighth Grade memorabilia. I actually have Kayla’s yellow tie-dye shirt. My Gotham Award. I got a lot of very nice letters from people that I’d put in there. My Halloween costume this year was a little pretentious, I suppose, but it was funny, it was all meant to be a joke: I dressed up as a bumblebee and I made a fake Oscar, and I was “Oscar buzz.” So I would probably throw my fake Oscar in there.