Beaming and thankful for receiving the highest honor in the film industry, a parade of Oscar winners slowly made their way backstage. Greeted by over 300 media members, each star took to the podium with statue in hand to answer the age old question, “how are you feeling?” Here are a few highlights.
’s Octavia Spencer scored the first major award of the night for best supporting actress. Spencer, who played a servant during the 1960s in Mississippi at the height of racial discrimination, marched backstage in sheer disbelief.
“I’m feeling…fan f’ing tastic,” said Spencer. “I’m going to find my cast members and have a quarter of a glass of champagne. I’m just going to live in this moment because lord knows if it will ever happen again. This is one of those evenings in my life that I will never forget. I hope that in some way that I can be some sort of beacon of hope for other actresses of color.”
Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win the best supporting actress award in 1939 for Gone with the Wind. Spencer joins Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Mo’Nique (Precious) who have also taken home trophies for best supporting actress.
As expected, Christopher Plummer, who played an ailing, newly out of the closet, father in Mike Mill’s Beginners, won for best supporting actor. This is Plummer’s first Oscar. He was previously nominated in 2010 in the same category for The Last Station. Tonight’s win makes him the oldest person to win an Oscar.
Backstage, the 82-year-old actor was asked how does it felt to be the oldest Academy Award winner and he joking said, “I don’t believe that for a second. I think [it was] Charlie Chaplin, even though it was an honorary Oscar…wasn’t he 83? I’m not sure but it feels pretty good anyway.”
When asked about his romantic shout out to his wife during his acceptance speech, he said, “I’m a naughty boy. I’ve been bad all my life, and she always puts me in line. I think it’s great what she’s done.”
In a surprising turn, Meryl Streep took the award for best actress. It seemed like Viola Davis would take the award. The iron lady beamed backstage in her goddess like gold dress.
When asked how she was feeling she said, “Thrilled. I thought I was so old and jaded. When they call your name you just go into a white light. Two of the nominees weren’t even conceived when I won my first award.” [Laughs]
She continued with her plans to start celebrating with a glass of whiskey.
“I’m going to start with a cup of whiskey and then we’ll see if I can walk,” she joked.
Meryl who underwent hours of makeup for her role in The Iron Lady said when she looked at herself in the mirror she saw a bit of herself, Thatcher and her father.
“I wasn’t looking at rubber but looking at me. I had morphed into [Thatcher], her zeal, her sense of rightness. When we used the old makeup, I saw my dad. Maybe my dad looked like Margaret Thatcher.” [Laughs]
She concluded with, this film “starts about Thatcher and ends about all of us.”
French director Michel Hazanavicius made silent, black and white films cool again with The Artist. He not only charmingly recreated a 1920s Hollywood but introduced us to the very handsome Jean Dujardin, that’s enough to win some sort of award in my book. Beating out Alexander Payne, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Terrence Malick, Hazanavicius snatched the best director award.
Unfortunately the backstage chatter was either in French or simply not understandable, we forgive you Michel. An awesome interpreter wouldn’t hurt. Director Asghar Farhadi and Jean Dujardin brought their own.
Speaking of Farhadi, he took home the statue for best foreign language film. He’s the first Iranian director to win an Oscar.
“I’m very happy about this award and I believe that Iranian people are also very happy, and this is what really matters to me,” said Farhadi. “Even though this film was a local film, it can still relate to all people around the world. What happens in this film is not specific to a region or a geography and perhaps this is the reason why this film is understandable throughout the world.”
He concluded with, “People in Iran follow the Oscars a lot more than you think they do, and I know for a fact that right now as the event is happening, it’s the middle of the night or morning and people are not sleeping, I know they're following. And perhaps the reason is because this is a cultural event for them and they would like to hear the name of their country through culture.”
Jean Dujardin scored the best actor award for The Artist, better luck next time George Clooney. This is Dujardin’s first Oscar win and the first time a French actor has won in the best actor category. The dazzling actor sported a gigantic smile as he stepped onto the stage to admit he did drop the equivalent of an f-bomb on stage in French.
Besides admitting that he would love to make another silent movie in the U.S. he confessed to having “fun pretending to be a movie star in the 1920s.” The rest was spoken in French but alas…it just made the night even more magical because let’s face it…he’s as dreamy as they come.
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