Lee said he was nervous, even though the film's many guild nominations gave it front-runner status when the Academy Award nominations were announced, The Hollywood Reporter said.
"We were hopeful, but there was a little anxiety, so this is very good," Lee said of the film's eight nominations, including best picture.
Felicity Huffman, nominated for best actress for "Transamerica," said she was in bed with her husband, actor Bill Macy, when the telephone rang.
"He chuckled and said, 'Ha ha, don't answer it,'" she told The Reporter. "I said, 'I have to answer it!'"
"Brokeback" star Jake Gyllenhall said his first Oscar nod caught him off guard.
"Are you kidding me? I was so surprised!" the nominee for best supporting actor said.
And "Hustle & Flow's" Terrence Howard, nominated for best actor, told The Reporter: "I'm still over the moon, and I ain't coming down."