Waking up was easy for Nicole Rocklin, one of the producers behind “Spotlight,” the film that follows The Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. “It’s a fantastic morning,” she said, shortly after hearing that film had picked up six Oscar nominations.
“Spotlight” has been a best picture front-runner since it opened to rave reviews at the Venice and Toronto film festivals last fall, but Rocklin told us by phone that you can never count on Oscar attention. “There’s no expectation. There have been so many surprises along that way that you can’t expect anything.”
Rocklin said that when she heard that Mark Ruffalo had been nominated for best supporting actor for portraying Boston Globe Spotlight reporter Mike Rezendes, “I was screaming. Then Rachel’s,” she added, of Rachel McAdams, who picked up a nomination for best supporting actress for portraying the Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer.
Now that the film is up for best picture, it’ll get more theater space, which Rocklin said has been a great challenge, ever since the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “They have so many theaters. As soon as ‘Star Wars’ came out, we dropped almost 50 or 60 percent. But this weekend we’re expecting a large increase. I think we’re almost doubling this weekend.”
Rocklin remembers securing the rights to the real-life reporters and editors’ stories in 2009. Back then, no one knew whether a film like this would ever get made. She attributes her success, in part, to two of the film’s other Oscar nominees, screenplay writer Josh Singer and writer-director (and Boston College grad) Tom McCarthy. “Tom and Josh coming on board was a game changer.”