This year the Academy did something really cool for those of us that were not able to attend the actual show as they have not only sent us transcripts of the winners’ acceptance speeches [click here], but also they have supplied us with backstage interviews! So, sit back and enjoy as you get it straight from the horse’s mouth!
NOTE: These are the direct transcripts, so don’t get upset with me if they are too long or not straight to the point. I am working on a timeline here people.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
GEORGE CLOONEY from Syriana
MR. CLOONEY: Hi everybody.
Q: Hey, George. Ted from ETV. Congratulations?
A: I know Ted. Where is the tie?
Q: Oh, you have it. You stole it last night, right?
A: That’s true.
Q: On that note, since this is the nightof] gay chic. If you had to direct yourself in a gay love story, what would it be? And the world wants to know, are you or are you not dating Teri Hatcher?
A: Right off the bat. Thank you for those important questions. I’ve been to dinner with you. Shame, shame on you. The answers are a sequel to Batman would be the gay thing, and I never talk about my personal life other than that.
A: Thanks, bud.
Q: Mr. Clooney, hello. Listen, I think you touched on this when you made your acceptance, but let’s be clear about it. It’s long been considered that art does not push forward culture, it reflects culture. Is it possible this year that what we’re seeing is really where our nation is going, it’s just that the more sensitive artistic people have picked up on it?
A: I don’t even know that we’re all that ahead of the curve. We usually take a couple of years to do things. Last year, you know, Rwanda story is a ten year old story. I think what’s important is that we are starting now to reflect two years later some of the social and political issues that are, for the first time, probably since Watergate concerning us and we’re talking about them. And then films start to reflect that a couple years later. It won’t last very long, but done this on and off. We did it in the 30’s, we did it in the 50’s, we certainly did it in the 60’s and 70’s and we’ll probably continue to do that, which is reflect society, not truly lead it.
Q: Mr. Clooney, back here. Did you
A: Mr. Clooney.
Q: Did you intend to be uplifting up there, an uplifting inspirational speech? Was that sort of a plan or did it come over you?
A: Well, it was a little thing I was working on for the BAFTAs so I saved it up. When Jon Stewart, who I adore, was making pretty funny jokes and you know, listen, you all know this, you hear this every day how out of touch Hollywood is and you go, well, maybe, but sometimes that’s a good thing along the way. No, I didn’t really work on anything, except that I thought that maybe there were four other actors who were probably going to win. So it’s strange.
A: Thanks. And you look very nice.
Q: Thank you. Tuxedos do wonders.
A: Some people wear ties.
Q: George, you gained a lot of weight for this role. Do you think that was really a factor, they say that the Academy…
A: Loves fat people, is that what you’re saying?
Q: No, but they like thin actors that get fat for roles. You made a joke, I guess this means I’m not going to win best director. Do you think this is one for three? It is all settled? You don’t have any hope in your heart for what’s to come?
A: Listen, we all do this. We all have these little games where you fill out the things where they say we’ll give him this for that and we’ll do that and he won’t get that because he gets this. So I just thought I would articulate that moment. What was the other part of your question? I don’t know. To me the gentleman that I was playing in the movie, Bob Baer, when I first took the role was sort of pudgy and, you know, out of shape and I thought that was probably a good thing, and then he found out the Hollywood guy was playing him and he got in shape. So it kind of screwed the whole thing up for me. So I don’t know whether it matters or not. I think it’s a good part. I think.
Q: Mr. Clooney, in the unlikely event this is your only appearance down here tonight, I would like to ask you about Good Night, and Good Luck in the sense in terms of distribution. There is this theory being promulgated that these films like Good Night, and Good Luck are out of the mainstream, and what I’m wondering is, do you think that there is any credence to that theory or is it a matter of accessibility and the fact that Good Night, and Good Luck at its peek is playing at 450 theatres perhaps and Big Momma’s House II comes out and plays 3,000 theaters all at once, the simple fact that people in the heartland have a hard time getting to some of these films because they only play in the art houses?
A: There are films that are designed to open on 3,500 screens and there aren’t. Good Night, and Good Luck would not have done a huge amount more of business. It still did over $30 million bucks for a black and white film period piece, which I think is okay. Marty won in the 50’s. You know, this is not an industry that says, “Okay, there has to be about big business or big budget.” In fact, I think the beauty of the Academy is that it finds little moments to say, let’s talk about these films and let’s talk about things that maybe the rest of the mainstream doesn’t get a chance to see at the time.
Q: So do you think this is a bum rap to say that these are out of the mainstream liberal films?
A: They might be out of the mainstream at times, but mainstream keeps changing. These two films would [have|of] been the dead center in the middle of the main stream in 1976.
Q: ETV from Taiwan, so I have to ask you these questions. Tell us from your professional point of view what do you think of Brokeback Mountain and Ang Lee?
A: Is this about Ang Lee?
A: Let me tell you something right now. I don’t like that guy. I’ve seen him a lot, I’ve been spent a lot of time with him. I caught him stealing at the last awards show. So you take that home and you tell everyone. I’m very proud to be even in a game with those guys. There’s three first time directors on this and then there is Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. So I’m just to put my name on that card. Congratulations to him.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
RACHEL WEISZ from The Constant Gardener
Q: I’m right here, Rachel. Congratulations. I’m from Brazil, Buenos Aires. I would like to know if you had a second guess of working for a relatively unknown Latin American director or on the other hand if it was a draw for you to work in this movie? And second question, also, how many awards how many awards so far?
A: I thought you meant how many months am I. To answer the first part of the your question, I had seen City of God and I think that’s one of the most extraordinary pieces of filmmaking I’d ever seen in my life, so when I knew he was directing The Constant Gardener I chased him for this role. I pursued him, and he’s an incredible filmmaker and it was an honor to work with him.
Q: And how many awards?
A: Well, I won the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild for best supporting actress.
Q: Will all of them be lined up? Where will you keep them?
A: Gosh, I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got there’s many places for them. Yeah, I don’t know.
A: Thank you.
Q: Constant Gardener, Good Night, Brokeback, tough films. Make the audiences work a lot, great for award seasons, but do they make commercial sense?
A: Well, none of them cost a lot of money to make and they all made their budgets back and more. I think I’m right in saying. So none of them were commercial upsets. They didn’t cost a hundred million dollars and they didn’t need to earn back a hundred million dollars. They were small to medium budget movies. So if that answers your question?
Q: People are saying this is a return to the Golden era of the 1970s?
A: I hope so.
Q: Do you think it’s nice to be part of that, if it’s true?
A: It’s definitely nice to be a part of a moment where fiction is holding a mirror up to contemporary culture and asking questions about what’s going on. In the case of Good Night, and Good Luck it’s a historical piece, but it certainly made me think when I watched it what’s changed, you know, in a funny way. Anyway, I won’t get into that right now.
Q: Congratulations. Rachel?
A: Sounds like Baz I can’t see you.
Q: Well done.
A: Thank you.
Q: Hi, darling. Tell me, any little kicks in the tummy when you went up on stage?
A: You know, with the lead up to that, the adrenaline, the baby was going crazy. Poor baby. It was kicking around, but once I went onto the stage I think it’s so overwhelming that I couldn’t even I couldn’t even I couldn’t have hardly told you my name. So I didn’t feel anything when I was up on stage.
Q: Well done.
A: Thank you.
Q: Rachel, congratulations. Sandy Kenyon for (unintelligible) radio. What were you thinking the moment they called your name?
A: Gosh, my brain is I think it’s because I’m pregnant my brain is a bit like porridge. Anyway, I think I was a big blank. I don’t think I really don’t think I was thinking anything at all. It’s a very surreal, strange, strange feeling. I was just feeling kind of just very strange.
Q: Has it kicked in that your life has changed yet?
A: No. No. Definitely not. No.
Q: Rachel, hello. How are you?
A: Nice to see you.
Q: As the camera took a picture of you, when your name was announced, the gentleman next to you whispered something into your ear. What did he say to you?
A: Gosh, I’m not using the pregnant thing as an excuse, but I don’t know. Did he?
Q: He kissed you and he whispered something right in your ear?
A: When I won you mean?
A: Oh, I love you. He said I love you. Yeah, that I remember. He says it often, but it was I remember.
Q: Hello Rachel over here?
Q: I don’t know whether you’ve had any thoughts of naming your child yet, but would there be a possibility of Oscar?
A: There are a few names that we’ve we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, so we had to think of a little more, but Oscar isn’t amongst them, for sure.
Q: Can I ask you as well, how will you be celebrating tonight?
A: Going to go to the Governors’ Ball afterwards, and then going to the Vanity Fair party. Let’s see how long I last. I might have to put some flat shoes on. You know, I’m like the Virgin Mary.
A: Hello. It’s very blinding here.
Q: Congratulations. First of all, and then I’d like to ask you, having this kind of aura that you might be the front runner going into this, did that make you a little more nervous perhaps?
A: Definitely. Definitely. Of course I’ve been told by people that I’m not I don’t know about gambling, but the odds they didn’t make sense to me, the odds, but I was told I had good odds, but no, that makes it because you just never know I mean Adrien Brody won, and his odds were terrible. You just never know. In a way it was probably made it a little more nerve wracking, because everyone kept saying, you have good odds.
Q: Hi, Rachel. You’ve done cleanup in the awards season this year. I’m just curious, is there anything you carry with you as you’ve kind of gone through this? Is there something you have to have with you as good luck? And the other half of this is, where do you go from here when you’ve been to the top? What’s next?
A: In answer to your first question, the thing is when you go to the ceremony, it’s too late for luck because the votes have been cast, the die is cast, so it’s kind of a democratic process. It’s too late for luck. So I don’t have anything that I bring with me to bring good luck, if you see what I mean. Democracies anyway, do all sorts of funny things sometimes you never know what way you go and where do you go from here? I don’t know, as I’ve just got here I don’t know I really don’t know how to answer that yet. I just I don’t know. I’m next on having a baby, so that’s next for me there.
Q: Just to say two things, first of all, is this one in the eye for BAFTA?
A: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. As you know, in England, the BAFTAs first of all decided to put me in the best actress category, against Miss Witherspoon, I think, she absolutely deserves the Best Actress prize. So absolutely not. And again, it’s a democratic process. It’s not luck. It’s a group of people who voted, and they vote for who they think is best. So I don’t think it’s no, I don’t think so.
Q: And also, who do you think will win Best Actress tonight?
A: Well, I mean, gosh, I really wouldn’t really like to say. As I mentioned, I think Miss Witherspoon’s performance was absolutely tremendous, but I’m not a member of the Academy. Next year I get to vote, but I haven’t been able to vote yet.
Q: Thank you very much and congratulations.
A: Thank you.
REESE WITHERSPOON from Walk the Line
Q: Reese Witherspoon? Reese, congratulations.
A: Thank you.
Q: If you could sum up this win with a June Carter or Johnny Cash song which one would it be?
A: Gosh, I don’t know. None of their songs were celebratory enough, I don’t think.
Q: Which one comes to mind, then?
A: Oh, gosh, I don’t know my whole mind is blank. I just found out my husband’s movie won the big award. So that’s exciting.
Q: Forgive us the frivolous question but we’ve all been admiring your gown, and I’d like to know about it?
A: Okay. It’s an original Christian Dior from 1955. And I found it in a vintage store in Paris, and it’s mine. I’m so happy about that.
Q: What did you do today to prepare?
A: What did I do? Oh, so much. Well, I woke up and fed the kids and changed a lot of diapers and chased them around the house. And got my hair done and I got my nails done and got my make up done and then I was out the door.
Q: Hi, Reese. I want to know a little bit more about your gown because you look very elegant.
A: Thank you.
Q: And with this old Hollywood theme and I think the dress kind of suits the evening. Do you really get to keep it, and did anybody wear this dress before you that you know of?
A: Not that I know of. And, no, I worked with wonderful people, and they helped me find this wonderful dress, and they helped repair it and bring it back to its original condition. And it has a lot of love in it. And it really only had one original owner, and she’s passed now. And so I feel very lucky to be able to wear this dress. It’s very special to me from the moment I saw it. It had a lot of love in it.
Q: Can I ask you one more follow up about the dress? Is it heavy? It looks so beaded.
A: No it actually isn’t. It’s so light. It’s very nice.
Q: To your right. Channel One News, we go into high schools across the country. You mentioned June says she’s just trying to matter. What would you say to teens that just want to matter or maybe want to pursue a career in this industry?
A: I think it’s important to follow your heart and follow your dreams and have dreams. And I think a lot of the movies this year sort of had that theme in them, but it’s so important to believe in yourself. And I’ve been really, really lucky to have such a wonderful family support me and believe in me so much. I really feel like that’s the reason I’m here.
Q: Anyone in particular who inspired you?
A: Particularly my mother and my grandmother. I mean, really they taught me a lot and a lot of characteristics that a woman should have in life and how tough women are and how strong we are. And I feel like it really helped my performance with June, because I sort of came in with an innate knowledge of who she was as a woman.
Q: I wonder, does this mean we can see more dramatic work or maybe a Legally Blonde 4?
A: Well, there’s not even a three yet. Lucky me. I I don’t know. Ted got that. I don’t know what I’ll do next. I actually have no idea. I have no work. I’m completely unemployed. So I’m looking actively for a job and hoping this isn’t the end of the line.
Q: And you spoke a lot about your grandmother. Do you think she’d be particularly proud of you?
A: Yeah, you know, she’s a real important lady to me, and she sort of taught me how to say, excuse me ma’am, and pardon me, sir, and never to chew gum in public. And she was one of those very wonderful feminine women that just was so warm but also very strong.
Q: I just wanted to ask you at that very moment you just had this look on your face just before your name was called, I’m wondering what did you feel when you did hear your name?
A: Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no I hope I don’t have to say anything. I just you know, it’s really hard for me. One of the hardest things about this movie was talking in front of a large group of people or singing in front of a large group of people. Because I’m used to the filmmaking experience for me has always been very small and very intimate. It’s never more than 50 people watching your performance. They’re all busy doing more important things, like lighting, the set. So, for me, this was it was a great sort of accomplishment to just learn to stand in my own shoes and in my own self and be proud of myself which is, you know, it’s different for me.
Q: A lot of great artists overcome a lot of hard knocks and adversity in life. And you seem just like you came from a loving well adjusted family. Has that always been a liability for you, or did it actually help you in ways that maybe it wouldn’t have and if you had a different experience?
A: Well, you haven’t met them yet, so no. I came from a wonderful family; very intelligent people, very eccentric people, wonderful southern family. I’ve been very lucky and blessed that there was a lot of love in my family, no matter what else was going on. We all love each other very much so it really is a gift and I think that’s a huge part of how I was able to achieve what I did tonight.
Q: I wanted to ask you five or six years ago probably people would think of you as a very beautiful woman with a good comedic talent. Now you’re considered a good singer, a very serious actress, an Oscar winner, and probably the highest grossing actress in Hollywood and do you even begin to fathom the change in your life?
A: I have no idea. Just keep working hard, man, I usually don’t come up for air very much, and this is a wonderful moment where I finally actually got to stand back for a couple of months and go, wow did I really do that? It’s hard for me to even think about that. I do feel it’s sort of in my life right now. It’s sort of forcing me to look at what I’ve achieved and, you know, I’m very happy.
Q: From the moment I saw this and I’m not alone. I think that everybody felt it they saw you in this movie, and they said you’re going to win the Oscar for it. Why do you think there was such a connection at this time in your life and at this time in your career with June Carter Cash that this became this defining Oscar winning role?
A: I have no idea. I think it’s a wonderful community of artists that, you know, I’ve been able to work with for a long time now, it’s been 16 years since I’ve been in this business. It’s just nice to have this opportunity to play this character. Just getting the job was a huge part of it. This woman was just an amazing person to portray so, I think that was more than a lot of it and just having the opportunity. I was lucky that I just didn’t blow it.
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN from Capote
Q: Did you for any moment consider barking as you had promised your friends?
A: You know, I literally lost all control of my bowels up there. The bark I did think, like maybe I’ll bark at the end for my friend or something a quick ooh, you know, something but, I couldn’t think. I was swimming in my head. So I was lucky to get out what I got out.
Q: You know, they say they’re really going to go after you. I think the quote was they were going to be on you like horseradish on gefilte fish.
A: That’s Steve Shub [sic]. That’s my friend, yes.
Q: What are they going to do with you?
A: And it’s not they. It’s one guy, and I went to college with him. So it’s like I think he’s going to give me a big fat hug, is what I think he’s going to do.
Q: What was it like for you shooting this movie in Manitoba Canada?
A: Cold. It was perfect. It was a perfect place for the film. That’s what I have to say. Actually, the town treated me very well. And I’m not just saying that. I actually have fond memories of being dealt with very well and I had a couple hangouts and I couldn’t remember the titles of them, so don’t ask me. But just kind of places on my day off I could sit and talk to the people and just kind of relax and but it was cold. Cold.
Q: How did it help you focus, because you stayed in character both on and off the screen, so how did the isolation of Manitoba help?
A: Well, you know, I grew up in Rochester, New York, it’s not small anymore but it was somewhat small when I grew up outside of Rochester, New York, so isolations not something foreign to, you know.
Q: You’re such a great character actor. Will you be looking to take more lead roles now after this win?
A: I hope all the roles I take are character roles. That’s just kind of how I look at it. So lead, supporting, gaffer. You know what I’m saying? I don’t think a character role is a supporting role. Thank you.
Q: Steve Schaefer.
A: Nice to see, thank you.
Q: You seem, you know, in the nicest way to say this temperamentally unsuited for this kind of thing?
A: Does it show?
Q: You seem like a shy guy and you’ve been going through this whole awards season winning. Has it changed you in any way? Have you become a different person? By what we hear sometimes, is it an ordeal for actors?
Q: Being the front runner, or did that make it easier?
A: You know what made it easier? And I’m not just saying this and when I said, you know, like a crude, crazy person tonight at the top of the speech was this category is full of great actors, great actors, great actors and everybody, they all know, because anytime I’ve won, I’ve made a point of saying that really what helped me through it and hopefully what helped us all through it was each other. And I don’t know if I said that before, but that’s really how I felt. We all really had a great time together. And we really like each other. And the other nominees, not just for my category, but the other categories throughout, were very giving, compassionate, friendly, fun and it made it an easier thing.
Q: Hello? I’m from Montreal, where it’s also cold like Manitoba.
A: Oh, yeah, cold.
Q: You managed to stay very cool, calm and collected when you got your other awards; Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA. What…
A: Golden Globes, I was not I don’t remember that. I was like I think I was I walked off.
Q: True. Very true. But tonight you look like you were almost going to lose it. What is it about tonight? Your mother in the room or…
A: Oh, God. Why do you even ask? It’s a no brainer. It’s not the most comfortable environment. I don’t know what else to say. You know, you’re trying to do your best. It’s very nervewracking, very exciting, various mix of a lot of things.
Q: It’s obviously the very high point of someone’s career?
A: It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the fact that millions of people are watching you. That is what it has to do with. I’m not because it’s like the high point. No, I’ve had high points in my career that have been all the way along and those are high points for personal reasons.
Q: Hi, Phillip. Congratulations. I wanted to ask you what do you think what would you think Truman would think of your winning tonight? What would he say?
A: I have no idea. I really have no idea. He’s a pretty elusive guy, so I don’t know. I don’t know. It depends on if he liked me or not and I don’t know if he would.
Q: You’ve had such extraordinary roles, Love Liza, one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. When you were doing this film, did you think this is the role this is the one that’s going to win me something, or this one stands out for me?
A: No. I never thought of a role as an “award” role. If I thought that way I’d be a pretty miserable person I think. If I was making choices based on a role that was going to bring me something. You can’t make choices in life like that. I don’t think you can. Not when you’re in an art form. That’s how I see it. So I just saw the roles and opportunity that was going to be a great one, it was going to be a challenge.
Q: Once you did the picture, once you had already done the performance was there ever a time…
A: Same thing. You’re still caught in a world of, you know, watching it and scrutinizing it and everything like that.
Q: Harry Hamlin told me playing gay ended his career. How do you account for, what has changed since then and is this is gay chic something that you think will continue?
A: Gay chic?
Q: It’s a gay chic year.
A: No, I know it’s the way you put it.
Q: You want something butcher?
A: No, no, I don’t. I played maybe three or four roles of men that are gay or one role of a man who is transsexual. I’ve never really thought about it that way. It’s the person you’re playing. I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s the person you’re playing. If you’re playing the role just because of their sexual preference and that’s why you want to play it, I think that’s not a good idea. And it’s got to be about the person. If that person has sexual preference of straight or gay or any other, it’s the heart you’re getting at, the soul you’re getting at and if the heart and the soul are singing in the part and in the film, it works. And I think that’s what happened this year, I think you had a lot of great roles for characters that, you know, are gay and transsexual, Felicity, they were great roles and actors embraced them and brought the heart and the soul to them. And that’s it.
Q: Do you have any comment on what happened to Hamlin, that he was sort of left out in the cold back then?
ANG LEE for Brokeback Mountain
Q: Congratulations for winning.
A: Thank you.
Q: I know you won Best Director but there must be some disappointment in the fact that you didn’t win the best film, and do you think looking back on it that it was hard to get enough people in the Academy to actually watch your film, and if you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
A: I would do exactly the same. I’m so proud of the movie. They didn’t vote for it. I don’t know. You asked me one question, and I don’t know the answer. I was backstage enjoying kind of the buildup I was familiar with, get writers and me and then there was a surprise this year for me, frankly, but congratulations to the Crash filmmakers; it seems to be very enjoyable.
Q: A lot of the movies this year were about tolerance and love in some ways. When you were putting this movie together at the very beginning from now to the moment where you are, do you think that you’ve seen some changes in society, people’s attitudes, tolerance in general?
A: Not at the time when I made the movie. All of us we spend many, many years trying to get our movies made, but for our project, it was eight years; some, I think, even longer. So it happened not just for accident. I think we sense that there’s some calling, there’s some need to do certain movies about how we felt three, two years ago, and somehow this year the society catches up I think.
That means it happens. I don’t think we planned it. We speak through our heart. I’m just glad the audience embraced it. I think the society is the audience is very hungry for love, for understanding, for respect, for complexity, for maturity. I think that’s what we need.
Q: Congratulations. Nick Papst here from News Limited in Australia. Over the awards season, Heath Ledger has been up for so many awards and has left them all pretty well empty handed. Can you tell us how he’s feeling now if you’ve spoken to him and also how you feel for him after, I guess, what must be a few disappointments?
A: I think his performance is not only outstanding in the history in film history, when you look back, there is something that’s [memorable]. I think it’s not only remarkable, it’s almost like a miracle. A lot of people told me that his performance remind them of a young Brando. It’s just outstanding.
The movie awards over the years, there’s a tide. You know, Seymour Hoffman, he did a brilliant job also. It’s award, but in my mind, it is no less of what I think of him. I think he did a marvelous, marvelous, miraculous performance, so original. It would stand by itself; that’s in my mind. I cannot tell you what the superficial value about his value.
Q: So have you spoken to him at all down how he’s feeling?
A: No. I haven’t got a chance. I was coming from backstage. In the past, I didn’t really talked to him about that. I will hug him; I will praise him; I will tell him what he meant in my mind. I think that’s all I can say.
Q: High. I’m so happy for your award. Tonight you encouraged so many Asian filmmakers, they try to follow you. Could you give the message to them and also the advice to them.
A: I think it’s important to be honest and be loyal and treasure your own culture root and do your best, because that’s your best: Where your root is. That’s how I did it, and then you’ll find a way. You’ll find something to move your heart. But being honest and being brave and be proud of your culture I think I cannot say anything more valuable than that, but that’s how it worked for me.
Q: This is Melissa, National Public Radio. I’m wondering if you feel that Brokeback Mountain was slighted this evening for Best Picture because of its subject matter?
A: I don’t know. I really don’t know. Actually, in box office, we did the best of all five movies, and we’ve been winning, sweeping, whatever, and it just happened this way. I really don’t know.
Q: How do you feel about the whole Oscar show try to ignore the Brokeback?
A: I think it’s funny in a very good way.
A: Well, it poked fun of authority, of something. It’s provocative and it’s funny. I think that’s what an award show should be. Especially with the gay cowboy sequence. That was hilarious. That was quite genius. It’s been going on for a long time. I think it (unintelligible) the whole way of thinking. It’s right there, and if somebody pushes it over, it’s not easy once somebody starts it.
Q: Congratulations. How did you did it? You were born in a very very far away country and now you’re standing in the middle of America between two Oscars in front of a lot of press and holding one Oscar in your hand. This time it’s the Oscar, not the foreign language Oscar. How did you do it?
A: I don’t know. I work hard. I think I’m a talented filmmaker; there’s no false modesty about that, and I think I’m used to adapt because I’ve been here for a long time and my parents from China, so I adapted Taiwanese way of life, so I’m always adapting. And I grew up watching Hollywood movies like everybody, most part of the world, so that’s like nothing, and then I worked for (unintelligible) and somehow my Chinese film let me to do things like Sense & Sensibility, and gradually, I learned how to be more sure about portraying the Western world by details and how I did period piece and I pick up quicker I guess I work hard, and I’m sensitive and when I do foreign language film for me I’m more careful in smelling around to see if I did the right thing on set a lot of consulting, a lot of learning, there is no shortcut. I think that really explained that a movie is really sight and sound, the language doesn’t really get in the way if you really get into it.
Q: What’s the thing that you do best?
A: Drama. I would say, something deal with repression.
Q: Congratulations on winning Best Director. You are the first Asian director to get this honor. How do you think the film will be perceived in Asia? And the second question is, it’s been said that younger generations doesn’t really care about the Oscar nominated film. What did your children say about your film?
A: My children loved my film. You know, in the past, they like John Woo’s movie, they don’t care about my movie, making women cry pretty much, and they think they’re boring, but this is the first time, they’re very proud of me. They’re proud of the movie; they’ll watch it again and again. It’s really bringing my family together again and all my efforts in leaving them really worthwhile. They both talk to me in depth about the movie. And there here in Oscar I’m sure they’re having a great time I think that the movie, the movie in Asia is already opened, most of the places, Japan opened, I think, two days ago very well. I think not only Oscar, will be in the Oscar running for a some time, so that’s free publicity.
Something I want to point out, in both Asia and Japan, in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and it’s rated PG and it’s R rated here, they really liked the movie and they’re doing great.
Q: Hi. Jeannie Wolf from Movies.com. Congratulations. You said that this movie spoke to you. How did it change you in the process of fighting for it to be made and the process of adapting to understand the hearts of these people, and I have to tell you to make it fast because people are waiting.
A: It certainly changed me. Before I get into making this movie, I was very tired from two very ambitious work, The Hulk and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I almost wanted to retire.
I felt I had enough, I hit the bottom, sort of like my mid life crisis or something, and this movie teach me how to look at myself, how to manage myself in movie making again, enjoying making them, and the movie was shot very simple, nothing special, but most important, it taught me again, it’s about human emotions, drama and acting.
So I feel like I had a rejump start. In ways, it remind me of me making my first little movie. There is a certain freshness to it, actually, coming from tiredness ironically. Of course, the Western world.