Hans Zimmer - 'Winning an Oscar is a dangerous experience'

Exclusive: Hans Zimmer's score for 'Interstellar' is up for both a Bafta and an Oscar, but, as the Hollywood film composer tells Classic FM, winning can spell the end of creativity.

Hans Zimmer Interstellar Oscar composer

The movie music master behind box office smashes such as Gladiator and Inception has previously been nominated seven times for a Bafta award, and nine times for an Oscar. This month, his acclaimed music for science-fiction epic Interstellar is a contender for both gongs.

But the composer, who has only once received an Academy Award – for The Lion King in 1995, will never let winning go to his head.

Zimmer recalls how that unexpected Oscar win made him feel on this week's Saturday Night at the Movies (7 February, 5pm).

"I turn around and all these smiles, these beaming faces… these genuine people cheering for me, and I feel fantastic," Zimmer says. "And a little voice in my head goes, 'Ooh, this feels great!' So if I write nice music like that again, I can come and do this again." 

"And another voice in my head said, 'And there lies ruin.'" he recalls. 

"And I realised if I took it seriously, if I was in any way was seduced by that moment, there was the end of creativity. It was a dangerous experience. It is so seductive, that moment..." 

Click below to hear Hans Zimmer speaking about his Oscar-winning experience:

Last year's blockbuster Interstellar saw Zimmer reunite with director Christopher Nolan, with whom he had previously worked on Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy. Zimmer says that the way he works with directors is different from other composers - and that appeals to Nolan.

"I come in very early into the project," Zimmer tells Classic FM's Tommy Pearson. "I get really in amongst the film making progress. I've got a big mouth and I keep asking questions like 'Why is the character doing this?' and 'Do we need this shot?' And it takes a certain director who can embrace that." 

Hear how Hans Zimmer began work on Inception here:

Zimmer says that the main thing that Christopher Nolan does, when they are working on a big budget movie, is "take the terror away".

"He protects me. He surrounds me with a way to keep me safe. He wants to create an environment where I have the freedom to create," says the composer.

"A lot of it happens Sunday night – Chris coming over and it's just two friends having a chat... There's a playfulness involved and we are really rigorous at maintaining our privacy."

Listen to Hans Zimmer in conversation with Tommy Pearson, on Saturday Night at the Movies, 7 February 2015, 5pm.

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