If you're a first-time Oscar nominee, like Best Supporting Actress candidates Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, then attending Monday's prestigious luncheon for the 84th Annual Academy Award nominees must feel pretty strange.

"I keep pinching myself," McCarthy told USA Today backstage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the nominees gathered. "I really don't want to get the call when someone says, 'Just joking!'"

McCarthy, who followed up her critically acclaimed role in last summer's Bridesmaids with an Emmy award for Mike & Molly and a well-received guest spot on Saturday Night Live, said it was "surreal" to think about how far she's come from humble roots. "It brings me back to those times when I would just say, if I could just get a commercial I could cut down to two jobs," she said. "I don't think I'd let myself imagine that far ahead to see all of this."

Spencer, who has already won the Golden Globe and the SAG for her turn in The Help, also basked in the glow of the moment. "I'm an Oscar nominee!" she kept saying, in a sing-song voice. "I love saying that," she said.

The fact that these two, along with other first-time nominees Demian Bichir and Jean Dujardin, were at a table with the likes of George Clooney and Meryl Streep, who is being honored with her 17th nomination, probably didn't help the event seem any more real.

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