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Peter Jackson on 'Rings' Oscar nods

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" was nominated for 11 Oscars, including one for director Peter Jackson. Jackson also received a nomination for co-writing the screenplay.

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(CNN) -- "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" reigned supreme at the Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, receiving 11 in all -- including nods for best picture and best director.

CNN's Daryn Kagan spoke to the "Rings" director, Peter Jackson, Tuesday morning about the honors the film had earned.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is a huge morning, probably the biggest morning in Hollywood. The Oscar nominations have been announced.

The big story, no surprise here, 11 nominations for "Lord of The Rings: Return of the King." And I have the king with me right now, Peter Jackson, nominee for best director.

Congratulations on your own nomination and the 11 for the film.

PETER JACKSON, FILM DIRECTOR: Thank you, thank you. Yes, I mean, you know the ones that mean a lot to me are actually some of the technical awards because I know that people see the list, and it's art direction and it's editing and sound and their eyes sort of glaze over, which is understandable because they are not celebrities, you know. They are not names that you know.

KAGAN: But in your world ...

JACKSON: But for me, I mean they're friends of mine that we worked with for five years on these films. And I know how hard they worked. And so, back down in New Zealand now there's going to be a lot celebrating. Even though it's 3:00 in the morning, champagne will be flying.

KAGAN: And with good reason.

You mentioned the [enormousness] of this project, described as one of the biggest gambles in entertainment history. A gamble that paid off with huge profits and obviously award and Oscar nominations.

Any sense of vindication this morning? Especially since last year with part two ["The Two Towers"] you were not nominated for best director.

JACKSON: Right. Yes, well, I mean it feels great. We were lucky in what's happened because "Return of the King" is the strongest of the three films ...

KAGAN: You feel that way.

JACKSON: Well, it's the climax. And the way that Tolkien wrote the book, obviously, you put all the good stuff in the last part of the book and it has the most emotion and strongest sort of action and tension.

So we were fortunate because we were able to follow that structure. I mean it took Tolkien 14 years to write the book. It took us seven years to make the movie. So we didn't do too badly..

KAGAN: So in comparison you did OK.

JACKSON: We got away lightly compared to Tolkien, yes.

Actors snubbed

KAGAN: You mentioned the technical awards that you're so pleased with, and the 11 nominations. But of all that there are no acting nominations.

JACKSON: No, I know. That's disappointment really.

KAGAN: Do you think acting gets overlooked -- so much whiz and bang of special effects?

JACKSON: Yes, yes, I do. And I think the fact that the actors are playing hobbits or wizards. You know, I think there's a tendency just not to take that seriously.

Although, you know, you have the movie playing in the multiplexes here. And every night, Sean Astin, for instance, is bringing people to tears with his performance, it's so powerful.

So I was little disappointed. I was really keeping my fingers crossed. I thought Sean might have just snuck in.

KAGAN: It's apparently not to be.

Next up for you is "King Kong"?


KAGAN: How do you go from "Lord of the Rings" to "King Kong"?

JACKSON: Very easily, actually. Fortunately, it's only one movie, you see. So any time we're just doing one film now it seems a little bit easier compared to three.

KAGAN: It'll be a day in the park.

Well, the next month is going to be intense with all the Oscar hoopla. ... Congratulations.

I just have to show [the audience] one thing, for all you hobbit fans out there. The man's nominated for best director. And in the spirit of hobbit, Peter, show everyone, bare feet, bare feet this morning.

JACKSON: Yes, it feels good. Feels good, feels nice.

KAGAN: There you go. Well, you should feel good. It's a huge morning. And hopefully for you February 29 will be even bigger.

JACKSON: Thank you.

KAGAN: Peter Jackson, "Lord of the Rings," congratulations.

JACKSON: Thank you.

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