This year, as part of PEOPLE‘s annual Oscar portfolio and video series, we asked this year’s incredible female acting nominees what they would want to ask one other if they had the chance.
Best Actress nominee Larson (Room) wants to know, “What’s most important?” Best Supporting Actress nominee Winslet (Steve Jobs) says, “One word: Family,” while fellow Best Supporting Actress McAdams (Spotlight) answers, “For me, what’s most important is being present. So you can be fully engaged with your work, with your relationships, whatever’s going on in life, so you can connect.”
For more from this year’s Oscar nominees – including exclusive portraits – pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Meanwhile, Vikander, who is up for Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl asks, “What scares you?” A veteran of almost 100 films, Best Actress nominee Rampling (45 Years) offers, “Fear scares me. I go out and do things, usually very scared, but the fact you can dominate your fear and actually face your fears is the best thing you can do.”
Larson says, “The audition process used to. You have a bunch of people every day telling you what you are and what you’re not.”
The Hateful Eight Best Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh wonders, “I’m always curious how they get to that emotional place. Every one of these actresses give incredible performances. And there’s always that point where something happens. It’s not always easy for me, so I like to hear how other people get there.”
Leigh adds, “In the moment when it’s hard for me, I will use whatever is from my life or what I can invent or think about that is even stuff that is very happy – hope will make me cry – but sometimes that doesn’t work. So I am very curious what these great women do.”
McAdams says, “I guess when I feel lost and I’m trying to find the character, I try to remind myself that’s a good thing. That often when I’ve been lost in the past, some of my most interesting work happens.”
Lastly, Winslet has a specific query for Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn): “I would probably ask Saoirse Ronan how it felt going back to some of those small towns she grew up in.”
Ronan’s reply was just as thoughtful as you would expect.
“To return home to shoot Brooklyn was very surreal,” she says. “Because I went back to a town that I hadn’t lived in for so long. My childhood and work never overlaps. For the two of them suddenly to collide was amazing.”