'La La Land' Composer Justin Hurwitz on Oscar Nominations: 'This Has Been a Dream'

Justin Hurwitz, composer of best original score nominee La La Land, and co-writer (with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) of best original song nominees, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars,” is riding the high of his first Oscar nominations.

Receiving three of La La Land’s 14 nominations is “incredible,” Hurwitz tells The Hollywood Reporter. “This has been a dream project for me and Damien [Chazelle, the film’s director]. It’s something we started years ago, so just getting it made was a miracle. Having people like it was so fulfilling and to end up here is really kind of wild.”

Hurwitz had yet to talk with Chazelle, his former Harvard roommate, since the director is in China promoting the film, but he knew that his logntime friend could share in the small and large moments that have happened almost daily since the film’s release.

"Yesterday I was driving on the 405 past the Arclight Sherman Oaks," he recalls. "I could see the movies that are playing on the big, lit-up board above the cashiers, and I saw La La Land. It was one of those many pinch-me moments -- to think that it’s just a title that Damien and I have been talking about for years and that existed in our e-mail inboxes, and that this movie’s actually out there now… it was a strange thing."

Hurwitz, who is a writer/producer on the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, says his day job bosses have been generous with sharing his time during Awards season. “I’ve been taking a lot of time away from the set and they’ve been very understanding about it.”

2017 Academy Awards