The 44-year-old actor is again up for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 'Boyhood', one of six nods the film has received, and though he is trying to help his young co-stars Ellar Coltrane and Lorelai Linklater deal with being thrust into the spotlight as a result, he admits he finds it an "emotionally complex" situation.
Ethan - who has previously been up for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 'Training Day' and for writing honours for 'Before Sunset' and 'Before Midnight' - said: "I've spent 30 years training for how to handle this, and it's emotionally complex even for me.
"How do you feel if you get nominated, and how do you feel if you don't? Whenever the eye of the Zeitgeist turns to you, it's challenging -- there's aspects of it that are a little fun, and there are aspects of it that are really confusing -- so I feel a great responsibility to help Ellar and Lorelai see what the positive points are and how to ignore the more negative aspects."
If the movie - which was shot over a 12-year period - does win Best Picture at the prestigious ceremony, it will be the first film to have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to take the accolade and Ethan admits it would be a "giant flare-gun shot into the night" for independent cinema if it scoops the accolade.
He told Vulture: "Look, it'll be a giant flare-gun shot up into the night. Wild pipe-dreams can manifest, and independent cinema can be relevant to popular culture! If it does win Best Picture, it's just unheard of, really."
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