They said what?: Oscar edition
05:00 AM, Feb 26, 2013
No song unsung, no wine untasted: Anne Hathaway may have a golden statuette, but she isn’t about to assume life will be a bed of roses professionally going forward. “This is spectacular,” she said. “But you’re always looking for the next job and you’re thinking no one’s going to hire you again. My practical approach is gotta work, gotta work, gotta work.” She said she still can’t watch her award-winning Les Mis performance and see Oscar brilliance: “I’m impressed by my make up, my costume, the set, the song, the score, but all I hear are the notes I couldn’t hit.” She adds that, “playing Fantine, having to connect with the darkness of life and the unnecessary suffering human beings inflict on each other, I would have loved to have gone home and forgotten about it each day, but I couldn’t. Being in this movie made me more compassionate.”
That was bang-on: At what point did the Argo producers start to feel like things might go their way? “Michelle Obama,” George Clooney jokes backstage. Affleck is a bit more cautious: “When they gave us the trophies, I was confident we’d win.” Speaking of the first lady, how did it feel to have her announce the best picture winner? Affleck admits, “I was sort of hallucinating while that was happening. Honestly, I was just asking those two guys (co-producers Clooney and Grant Heslov) outside, ‘Was that Michelle Obama?’” After being assured that his imagination wasn’t running away with him, Affleck called her participation “an enormous honor. It was very cool.” Adds Heslov, “And I’m a big fan of the bangs.”
First question goes to the highest bidder: “This isn’t like an auction, right?” asked Jennifer Lawrence as she came backstage to see reporters holding numbered signs. Naturally, the next question was about her on-stage spill. “I tried to walk up the stairs in this dress,” she explains. “They wax the stairs.” As to what went through her mind when she fell? “A bad word that I can’t say,” she says, laughing.
Not bad for his first 3-D movie: “Here’s the thing,” best director winner Ang Lee said backstage. “I think it’s a miracle I could make this movie. I carried the anxiety for a very long time. For four years. It’s a philosophical movie and an expensive one.” Would he do another 3-D movie? “Absolutely.” Lee also points out that both his best-picture losses were announced by Jack Nicholson, recalling Brokeback Mountain losing to Crash. “But this time you expected it. Everybody expected Argo to win.”
Sing ‘em out, Seth (and Kristin Chenoweth): “Now the real performance starts with fake smiles at the ball. Here’s to the losers, bless them all.”
Ben’s big night: “Anyone who had anything to do with this movie gets thanks,” says a visibly shaken Ben Affleck after Argo wins best picture. “I want to thank Canada, I want to thank our friends in Iran who are living in terrible circumstances right now. I want to thank my wife, who I don’t normally associate with Iran.” Recalling his first Oscar win for co-writing Good Will Hunting, Affleck adds, “I was here years ago and I had no idea what I was doing, standing out here in front of you all. I really was just a kid. I never thought that I’d be back here and I am because of so many you here tonight.”
Will the real Daniel Day-Lewis please stand up: The Method actor, who’s known for staying in character throughout movie shoots (hence his comment about all the strange men his wife has lived with), assures the press room that he was being himself tonight. “I’m definitely out of character at this moment.” Then he pauses and adds, “But if I slip back in, can you do the Heimlich or something? Get me out of it?”
An EGOT for Adele? Now that she’s got Grammys and an Oscar, reporters asked if the British songstress would try to capture an Emmy and/or Tony. “Oh, maybe I’ll do HBO special like Beyonce did … But a Tony? I don’t know … A musical? No, I don’t think so.”
We would so watch that: Best actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis shares Hollywood casting history with the crowd. “Three years ago before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl was Steven’s first choice for Lincoln. I’d like to see that version.” (It’s going on our Netflix list with the sock puppet version of Flight.)
“Entrapment”: That’s how Tommy Lee Jones described the setup for Seth MacFarlane’s attempt to make him laugh, explaining that he’d had a camera in his face for 30 minutes waiting to get that shot. Overall, though, he liked MacFarlane’s performance and gave props to the orchestra for playing off a long-winded acceptance speech with the theme from Jaws.
And many more: After almost eating it on her way up the stairs to accept the best-actress Oscar, a breathless Jennifer Lawrence acknowledges the audience’s reaction: “You’re all standing up because you feel bad because I fell and that’s really embarrassing.” As she leaves the stage, she even remembers to say, “Happy birthday, Emmanuelle!” (Fellow nominee Riva turns 86 today.)
Just teasing: “Coming up, the best actress award,” MacFarlane says as the show goes to commercial. “Will it be Quvenzhané Wallis, who is nine, or Emmanuelle Riva, who was nine when this show started?”
The ever-quotable Quentin Tarantino: “I like to think that my movies will live on because of the characters I create,” the Django Unchained writer/director says as he admires his second original-screenplay Oscar. “I have to cast the right people to make these characters come alive, and boy did i get it right this time.”
Yes, ‘Good Will Hunting’ was that long ago: Adapted screenplay winner Chris Terrio points to his director and role model, saying “Ben, 15 years ago, you were up here with the first screenplay you got made, and now you’ve made this” … He goes on to thank Ken Taylor and John Sheardown, the Canadian diplomats who sheltered the American escapees until CIA agent Tony Mendez snuck them out of Iran.
Feeling no Ang-st: Life of Pi director Ang Lee’s assessment of the ceremony, about two-thirds through it: “So far, so good.”
Rainbow flag on that play: “Tonight marks the 10th anniversary of Chicago winning best picture,” MacFarlane reminds the audience. “We now want to bring out the stars of that game-changing musical because we’re concerned that tonight’s show isn’t gay enough.”
Whatever you do, don’t fall: Director Malik Bendjellouil, recalling what was going through his mind when his documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, won: “It’s crazy. It’s like the whole world goes in slow motion. You think, ‘I should not fall right now.’ Because it’s kind of slippery on those steps.”
They’ll take a tie: Per Hallberg, co-winner with Karen Baker Landers for sound editing for Skyfall, tied with Zero Dark Thirty, a rarity that’s only happened six times in Oscar history: “Any time that you get involved in history making, it’s good, and also Paul (Ottosson of Thirty) is a friend of ours, so that’s nice.”
This moment brought to you by Rosetta Stone: MacFarlane, introducing presenter Salma Hayek: “We’ve reached the part of the ceremony where Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz or Javier Bardem come out and we don’t understand a word they say, but we don’t care because they’re so attractive.”
Lt. Van Buren approves: Longtime Law & Order star S. Epatha Merkerson is at the Oscars for her first time. Asked to judge Seth MacFarlane’s hosting talents, she replies, “He’s charming. But the highlight for me was Shirley Bassey.”
Bless you: MacFarlane introduces Hawk Koch, the president of the Motion Picture Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: “Now welcome a man so respected that it doesn’t matter that his name sounds like a Russian man sneezing: Hawk Koch!”
Hathaway’s hope: The Les Mis star and newly minted supporting-actress Oscar winner wishes, “Perhaps, someday in the not-so-distant future, the misfortune of Fantine will only be in stories, not in real life.”
Props from Plummer: “I look forward to working with any of these ladies in my next 30 films,” last year’s supporting actor winner, 83, says as he introduces the supporting-actress nominees.
MacFarlane’s feet are plan-Ted on the ground: “You guys made some beautiful, inspiring movies,” the host tells the audience. “I made Ted.”
Always check the teleprompter: “You really want to do this one?” MacFarlane asks after spotting a joke on the prompter he thought had been cut. “The first time I saw Ben Affleck with all that facial hair,” he says, “I thought the Kardashians had made the jump to film.”
Kudos from Christoph: Austrian native Waltz thanked his Django Unchained writer/director, Quentin Tarantino, for guiding him to his second supporting actor win. “We participated in a hero’s journey, with hero of the year being Quentin, and you scaled the mountain because you are not afraid of it, you slayed the dragon because you’re not afraid of it, you crossed through fire because it’s worth it. I borrowed my character’s words, sorry, I couldn’t resist.”
Oh myyyy: George Takei posts this to Facebook after seeing his Star Trek co-star counseling the first-time Oscar host from the future: “Bill Shatner, Seth MacFarlane, the Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A. and a musical number about boobs. This is epic.”
How to pick up Sally Field: “I’ve got a bottle of wine and some Boniva!”
Obligatory ‘Argo’ joke: “Argo is the story of a classified CIA mission to rescue American diplomats from Iran. In fact, the project was so secret that the director is unknown to the academy.” Acknowledging Ben Affleck, who won the Director’s Guild award and the Golden Globe but missed out on an Oscar nomination, MacFarlane tells him, “They know they screwed up.”
Seth’s opening shot: “The quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh starts now.”
Cocoa, not corsets: Despite being an Oscar winner and fashion icon, Nicole Kidman confesses that her favorite Oscars have been spent “sitting in my pajamas, drinking hot chocolate.”
“Boo!”: Best actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, greeting reporters as she popped out from behind her publicist. Her mother, following behind, conceded that the 9-year-old’s bed time would be pushed back — “a lot later tonight, trust me.”
Sinatra was right — it was a very good year: Last year’s winner for best supporting actor, Christopher Plummer, declared 2012 a “great year for the movies. I have favorites, but I’m not going to tell you!” Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke concurs: “This year so many films were not only so good, but were seen by so many people.”
Simmer down, Sherri: View co-host Sherri Shepherd is feeling faint on the red carpet. “I’m about to pass out, “she said, looking over at Channing Tatum. “He is so beautiful. I need to be taken care of right now.”
It helps to know the host: Everyone on the Oscar red carpet knows the deal: be sure to talk up whoever dressed you. That rule even extends to host Seth MacFarlane’s dad, Ron. “This was a birthday present from my daughter,” he told USA TODAY, pointing to his kilt. (Should a breeze blow down the red carpet and up that kilt, you might just get a glimpse of his Family Guy underwear.) Asked what kind of seats the first-time Oscar emcee had scored, MacFarlane’s sister Rachel replied, “We have curiously good seats, Robert Downey Jr.-level seatage.”
Robin Roberts, ready to go:The Good Morning America host only returned to the anchor desk a few days ago following her bone marrow transplant, but that didn’t stop her from flying cross-country to cover the Oscars and make a couple of predictions. She believes Anne Hathaway will win supporting actress and hopes that best picture underdog Life of Pi pulls off the win. On her way into the theater, she runs into Jimmy Kimmel Live security guard/sidekick Guillermo Diaz, decked out in a glittering gold jacket. “You look like an Oscar,” she tells him.
You call that Oscar food? When Wolfgang Puck stopped to talk to the Kimmel crew, Diaz presented the chef with a brown bag lunch. Unimpressed, he dumped its contents (including crackers, applesauce and Lunchables) on the ground and instructed Diaz, “Tell Jimmy to give you more money so you can come eat in our restaurant and get some good food.”
Somebody show him how to tie a bow tie: Benh Zeitlin, a directing nominee for Beasts of the Southern Wild, is breathing a sigh of relief, glad to be at the awards season’s “finish line.” But Oscar day was not without its challenges: he spent a good portion of the day “trying to figure out how to tie a bowtie. I watched about 12 YouTube videos before I finally figured it out.”
Reporting by Marco R. della Cava, Andrea Mandell, Ann Oldenburg, Claudia Puig