The Academy Awards got off to a lively start with the third award of the evening, Best Supporting Actress. First, acting legend Kirk Douglas vamped up a storm as the presenter, first flirting with co-host Anne Hathaway — “Where were you when I was making movies?” — and then prolonging revealing the winner to comic lengths with an extended riff on how Australian Hugh Jackman was laughing at Douglas’ schtick, but Brit Colin Firth was not. “I don’t know why everyone in Australia thinks I’m funny.”
Finally, Douglas revealed The Fighter‘s Melissa Leo had won the Oscar, her first win after being nominated two years ago for Best Actress in Frozen River. “Yeah, I am kinda speechless,” Leo said, looking up to the third balcony of the Kodak Theatre. “When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago, it looked so f—ing easy!” The ABC time-delay censors were quick on the trigger, however, and all the national viewing audience heard from Leo was silence, followed by the roaring laughter of the audience and Leo’s stunned expression. But the Oscar winner soldiered on, thanking the Academy for acknowledging great work, holding her statue triumphantly in the air.
UPDATE: Backstage, when asked about the f-bomb, Leo said, “I had no idea. Those words, I apologize to anyone that they offend. There’s a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular…. I really don’t mean to offend, and probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word in particular.”
Oscars 2011: The winners list