Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Fox Searchlight Pictures

12 Years a Slave received tremendous recognition from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday, Dec. 12, scoring seven Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture Drama, as well as Best Actor in a Drama (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Lupita Nyong'o) and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Michael Fassbender). The slavery drama ties American Hustle with the most nominations at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Ejiofor, who was also recognized with a Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie nod for Starz's Dancing on the Edge, and Nyong'o spoke to the Today show shortly after hearing the exciting news.

"It's been such a rewarding experience from the get go," the Kenyan actress said with a big grin. "The way the film is being received is so exciting and encouraging."

"It's just been terrific. Ever since we opened up the film, I couldn't be more happy with the way the film has been received. It's been an extraordinary time," English actor Ejiofor gushed.

"It's almost surreal, it's been an exceptional time," the 36-year-old double nominee added.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the Golden Globes live on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal Family.)

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