The Official Glutton-Endorsed Oscar Nominee answers your email
Dalton Ross here, reporting live from Campaign Headquarters…which is to say, my office. Most campaign headquarters aren’t filled with Sisqó dolls and Chevy Chase Show wall clocks, but that’s just the way we roll here at Kevin O’Connell HQ. (And by we, I mean me.) This was a big week in our (okay, my) push to make sure the 19-time Oscar nominee takes home the golden statue for sound mixing. Last week I presented my Official Glutton Oscar Endorsement. The response was electric! Fans from coast to coast immediately wrote in pledging their support. How many of them actually are Academy members with the power to vote remains in question, but hey — support is support!
Of course, the biggest moment of the week was when Kevin appeared on Oprah. I didn’t happen to see it, because last time I checked I was still a heterosexual male, but from all accounts both Kevin and his mother stole the show. While Kevin definitely has public sentiment and an incredible body of work on his side, there could be one thing working against him. It’s a little something I like to call…the Mel Factor. You see, a lot of people in Hollywood aren’t too fond of Mr. Gibson right now — not after his drunken anti-Semitic rant at a police officer. I can’t help but worry that this anti-Mel ”bias” (if you will) could derail our plans. I asked Kevin about it and whether he thought being nominated for a Mel movie (Apocalypto) would hurt his chances.
”I hope it doesn’t,” he replied. ”I really feel that the work should be judged on the work and not the fact that Mel had made some comments at a time when he was not thinking straight. The fact is that movie is what it is and anybody who is being judged on the merits of the movie should be judged on the merits of the movie and not judged on a particular incident. I mean, I can’t say that won’t happen, but if somebody [from] Dreamgirls or Babel would have said ‘Irish people suck,’ it still wouldn’t stop me from wanting to vote for the move if I liked it.”
That’s a good answer. The problem is, not everyone in Hollywood is as objective or forgiving as O’Connell is. We’ll have to wait and see if our awesome Oscar campaign can turn enough heads and change enough minds to overcome any such resistance. But you know what the Borg say — resistance is futile! You can’t stop Kevin O’Connell, you can only hope to contain him! Granted he’s been ”contained” 18 times before, but this is O’Connell’s bust-out year. I can feel it. Remember, the ”O” is for Oscar.
Proving he truly is a man of the people, Kevin agreed to answer a few of your questions, so without further ado, let’s turn it over to the portion of the column we like to call…
ASK A 19-TIME OSCAR NOMINEE
How much does a technical contributor to a movie, such as yourself, cross paths with the big stars of the movies? —Andy Birch
Hi, Andy, the answer is very often. Many times the lead actors have a producing role and are in on a daily basis. Many times they are at the studio doing ADR (automated dialogue replacement) and they stop by the mixing stage to say hi to the director. Or, in some cases, the director is a big star, i.e., Barbra Streisand, Mel Gibson, etc….
First of all, congratulations! My question: I notice that they always make the technical/production nominees sit in the nosebleed seats. What’s the closest you’ve ever gotten to the stage, and for what movie were you nominated that year? —Claire
Hi, Claire. The closest I have ever sat at the Awards is in the 6th row between Cher and Halle Berry. They usually reserve the first several rows for the actors so when they pan to the audience people see STARS. In the beginning we were always fairly close but as time went on the seats got worse. Last year, I took this issue up with the president of the Academy, Sid Ganis, and he promised it would be better this year…. Stay tuned.
Kevin, which film do you think you really should have won an Oscar for? Which loss hurt the most? —Kelli Warden
Hi, Kelli. Top Gun, no question…
Do you break out the same tux every year, or do you get a new one every decade? Men’s fashions don’t change much, so you might get away with the same one every time. Just curious. —Kelli Brock
Hi, Kelli. Since I first got nominated when I was 24, paying for a tux was out of the question. I rented for several years. After nomination 5 or 6, I kicked down for my first generic tux, which lasted for several years until I wore it out. At nomination number 13, I bought a Hugo Boss that I wore until last year when I went for broke and bought an Armani tux. I was thinking that this year I might wear my bathrobe to see if anyone would notice…LOL.
C’mon, people. How many other nominees would threaten to wear a bathrobe to the ceremony? Kevin is a busy guy, but send in some more questions and — as his campaign manager — I will insist he answer a few again next week.
OBSESSION OF THE WEEK
I never really got the Sarah Silverman thing. Everyone always talked about how crazy it was to have this super-hot female telling super-dirty jokes, but I had two problems with this. (1) I never found her to be hot. And (2) I never found her jokes to be particularly funny. But I’m totally digging The Sarah Silverman Program, her new show on Comedy Central. Silverman basically plays an exaggerated version of her own cranky, foul-mouthed self. Whether she is sleeping with and then kicking God to the curb, or wanting nothing to do with handicapped children, Silverman is joyously over the top. Is her getting into a farting contest at a table particularly funny? No. But there is enough clever material here that does not involve flatulence to warrant you giving this sucker a shot.
As far as Super Bowl halftime entertainment goes, I thought Prince was pretty solid the other night down in Miami. I’m not really sure what it is with him and dancing twins (was that Diamond and Pearl out there?), and would rather have had him cover some James Brown or Graham Central Station than Foo Fighters, but all things considered, it was pretty cool, especially when you consider the sorry state of past Super Bowl halftime performances. Which brings us to…The Five Worst Super Bowl Halftime Performances Ever.
1) Gloria Estefan (Super Bowl XXVI)
I was actually subjected to this in person. As if watching Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill skate around during the winter wonderland theme wasn’t painful enough, I — and the rest of the nation — was forced to witness a gangsta snowman responding to cries of ”Yo Frosty!” Again, a gangsta snowman.
2) Bee Bop Bamboozled (Super Bowl XXIII)
Honestly, I don’t think I can even explain this one. Apparently, everyone at NBC ingested a bunch of acid and decided to stage a surreal 3-D experiment involving some guy named Elvis Presto doing lame Stray Cats covers and magic tricks. You were instructed to put on some goofy 3-D glasses and help pick a card. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Elvis Presto may just be the most annoying character I have ever come across in my life. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
3) Up With People (Super Bowl XX)
Down with artistic integrity.
4) *NSYNC and Aerosmith (Super Bowl XXXV)
There’s just something so inherently wrong about rock legends Aerosmith sharing a stage with a boy band.
5) New Kids on the Block (Super Bowl XXV)
What, was Aerosmith busy?
We’ll keep it a bit short this week, seeing as we already had some questions for Kevin, and frankly, his stuff is a lot more interesting than mine. It’s like one of those opening acts that comes out on stage and blows everyone away and makes the headliner seem pathetic by comparison. What did I say about Kevin O’Connell, people?!? You can’t stop him! Anyway, on to the mailbag, with some comments on Dreamgirls and the worst athlete-to-actor transitions.
Thank you for being the only other person around here with any sense. I completely agree with you about Dreamgirls — it’s good, but not Oscar good. And everyone is getting out of hand with all this snub business. But I have to say, Jennifer Hudson, as likely a candidate she may be, doesn’t stand a chance to win for Best Supporting Actress. Do you really think the Academy is going to hand an Oscar to a first-time actor (they rarely do), and an American Idol reject whose pop Zeitgeist is rolling to megalomaniac proportions? She should be honored just to be nominated, which the Academy didn’t even have to do. — Rob Daniel
Well, Rob, we are in agreement that Dreamgirls is an overrated movie. Or maybe it’s not overrated. I mean the thing wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. I suppose I was surprised that people assumed it would be nominated just because its entire marketing campaign had been geared toward it receiving a nod. As for Jennifer Hudson, I totally think she has it in the bag. The good news, Rob, is that if I’m wrong, you can totally email back with ”Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah!” in the subject line. Or ”Yo, Ross — You’re an Idiot!” Whichever you prefer. Best of luck on that!
I gotta ask you about this one. Why wasn’t Sam J. Jones’ performance in Flash Gordon listed in your worst movie roles by athletes-turned-actors? It’s one of the worst performances by an Olympian turned actor EVER (The Queen soundtrack was outta sight, but the movie, not so much). I also thought The Rock’s movies have all been bad, so he and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Game of Death) should have gotten at least honorable mention. — Enrique Fernandez Roberts
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Enrique. Slow down, my man. You dissing Kareem for Game of Death? Au contraire, mon frere. The dude sits in a chair and uses his 18-foot-long legs to kick Bruce Lee in the face! How dope is that? As for Sam J. Jones, my research didn’t turn anything up on him ever being an Olympian, but then again, I am pretty damn lazy, so maybe I just didn’t look hard enough. He did, however, play an athlete in the movie Flash Gordon: Quarterback, New York Jets!, so maybe that got you confused. Welcome to my world.
Aside from the shock at ever seeing the word “Gymkata” outside of my diary from when I was 13 — don’t ask — I am wondering how you left out American Anthem starring Mitch Gaylord and Wayne Gretzky’s wife, Janet Jones (also of Dance Fever fame). Are you hatin’ on gymnasts, or Olympians, or Gretzky (indirectly)? —Kirsten Anderson
Last week, I promised I would reveal why Gymkata was left off the list. It’s simple, really — because I like the movie! C’mon, mixing gymnastics and karate? That’s genius! The ”Town of the Crazies”? Inspired! Kurt Thomas? Okay, he kinda does suck, but it’s still a ridiculously entertaining movie. As for American Anthem, that is definitely the worst of the post-1984 Olympic gymnast films. Unless Tim Daggett made a movie none of us know about. Which is entirely possible.
How come we can’t view all of the readers’ comments like on other EW stories? Is it that [because] your monstrous throng of fans would cripple the website? —MG
More like thong of fans, it is so skimpy, MG (if that is even your real name), but thanks for dreaming. Because if we don’t have dreams, then what do we have? The reason the Glutton solicits emails as opposed to message-board posts is because in this format, people are able to send correspondence that can be thoughtful, lengthy, intelligent, profane, touching, angry, and often, all of the above. On message boards, people tend to snipe back and forth at one another, and that is all well and fine, but I like to keep it old school over here at the Glutton. (Although if you would like to take shots at me in message board form, just wait for this Friday’s Survivor TV Watch.) And as I’ve said before, even though I only have the time and space to respond to a few letters each week, I do read each and every one of them. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the week. Next to writing about Gymkata, that is.
Have any questions for 19-time Oscar nominee Kevin O’Connell or 0-time Oscar nominee Dalton Ross? Think the Mel thing will help or hurt Kevin’s chances? Have a special Super Bowl halftime memory? Send in your questions, comments, and quibbles to email@example.com or just fill out the handy dandy form below. See ya next week!