Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac, Greta Gerwig talk to HitFix about their Golden Globe nods

Thursday’s Golden Globe nominations saw a number of first-time nominees and also some well-deserved performances shockingly getting the recognition they, well, deserve. HitFix spoke to three happy nominees who could fall into either of those buckets this morning: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac and Ms. Greta Gerwig.

Ejiofor received his third and fourth Globe nods for Best Actor in a Drama for Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” and for his role in the mini-series “Dancing on the Edge.” The Brit had just returned to London from the Paris premiere of “12 Years” last night when he got the news of the double dip, which comes on the heels of yesterday’s SAG Awards lead actor and ensemble nominations.

“Just thrilled. Thrilling and really excited about all of this,” Ejiofor said. “And really excited for who was nominated. Michael and Lupita are both so exceptional in the film. Steve McQueen, it was just an exceptional group of people to work with. And the ensemble to get the nomination!”

As for the response to “12 Years” in Paris, Ejiofor says it’s “extraordinary and they just embraced the film. The reaction has been so exceptional so again, last night they were amazing.”

For Oscar Isaac, who was passed over by his peers in SAG (in a much more competitive category), the Globe nod was part of a long journey he’s taken with the Coen Bros. “Davis” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but Isaac was first cast in the role well over a year before.

“It was a year and a half, waiting for a long time for people to see it,” Isaac said. “So all of this is unexpected and so much more. For me, once I got the lead in a Coen Bros. and the fact that people have respect for it? It’s more than I can say.”

Isaac found out about his nomination while hanging around The Today Show to plug the film. CBS Films no doubt was convinced a nomination would happen so he could go on the air and talk about it, but…what if?

“Yeah, yeah I was hoping that wouldn’t happen,” he said. “They had me there in the morning supporting the movie and I got nominated so they had me back.”

Since the long publicity campaign for “Davis” began in May, Isaac has done more live performing than many might have expected. He appeared in both the New York “Another Day, Another Time” concert (premiering in documentary form on Showtime this weekend), showed up at an LA mini-version of the same concert and has appeared on numerous talk shows. Back in Telluride, where he also performed, Isaac told me he’d been spending a bit more time on his own music again after concentrating on acting for so many years. That is still the case.

“I have always spent a lot of my time playing music and writing,” Isaac said. “The fact I have this community of artists and I’ve become really good friends with some of them including the Punch Brothers and the Milk Carton Kids, we’ve been starting to play together and write some music.”

The concerts were a star-studded affair with music legends such as Barbra Streisand holding court in Los Angeles and others like Joan Baez and Jack White joining on stage in New York.

“Both of those moments were bizarre,” Isaac humbly recalled. “At any moment, I feel like someone was going to say, ‘How did this guy get in here?’ These are icons. The show at town hall? The fact I was given a place at that table and that stage? It was completely humbling.”

Another actor who was incredibly humble this morning was Greta Gerwig. The indie star was a surprise nominee in the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical category for “Frances Ha.” She was clearly not ready for her world to flip on the nomination news today.

“I was in bed,” Gerwig said. “I’m in LA taking meetings and doing auditions and looking for my next job. It was very early in the morning. I turned my phone off and saw a bunch of messages and thought maybe I’m in trouble. I honestly can’t believe it.”

She continued: “I actually keep expecting someone to call and take it back. I’m so honored and thrilled and really I’ve been incredibly proud of what the movie has done so far. I did not expect this in the least. I’m very moved and kind of hysterically laughing and crying every few minutes.”

Like “Davis” for Isaac, “Frances Ha” has been a long journey for Gerwig. It debuted at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival and was released in May. It grossed over $4 million, becoming one of the indie hits of the summer and IFC Films’ fifth-biggest release ever.  Many actors will run into fans of their films on the streets, but Gerwig, who lives in New York, has been getting an unexpectedly enthusiastic reaction.

“The most exciting thing for me…is it opened and a couple of people just high-fived me on the street,” Gerwig revealed. “At first I said, ‘What is this for?’ And they are like, ‘You know what it’s for. It’s for ‘Frances.”’ Oh, that’s awesome. And someone else high-fived me [a few days later]. It was sort of like…I never played high school sports, but it made you feel like those athletes who high-fived each other in the hallways.”

As for what’s next, Gerwig and her “Frances” collaborator, Noah Baumbach, are still planning on making another film together.

“I’m not sure what is going to happen to it, but there is another movie that exists,” Gerwig said. “It’s in color.”

Ejiofor, Isaac and Gerwig will enjoy the 71st Golden Globes in person at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 12. and will be broadcast live at 5 PM PST, 8 PM EST on NBC.