Veteran French star Emmanuelle Riva has branded her Oscar nomination a great "gift" in her old age, but admits she's terrified at the prospect of jetting to the U.S. for the ceremony.

The 85 year old made history when she became the oldest nominee to ever compete for the Best Actress title at the Oscars for her turn in Amour.

Riva admits she is thrilled to be in the running for Hollywood's most prestigious trophy, but she worries about the lengthy plane journey from Europe to Los Angeles.

She tells, "I am very calm in the face of all of this. I am 85 years old. I am not going to flop about like a fish. What makes me nervous is these hours on the plane. Frankly, it seems like a hell of a journey to me. It's so long. But I will do things to the end. I will fall in someone's arms if I need to.

"This adventure, this gift, in the last stage of my life - it's not easy to measure up - but it's the exact moment in my life when I could do it. Before would have been too early. Later might have been too late. But it's a great treasure to participate in this film."

The Academy Awards will be an extra special event for Riva - she will turn 86 on the day of the prizegiving on 24 February (13).