Screenwriter Graham Moore was anonymous until Sunday night, when he revealed in his Academy Awards acceptance speech (for Best Adapted Acreenplay for The Imitation Game) that he tried to commit suicide as a teenager because he didn’t feel like he fit in.
The speech went on to address teenagers who don’t feel like they have a place in the world. “Stay weird, stay different,” he urged them before asking them to pass on the same message when they are given the opportunity. The speech was both revealing and inspiring, and many considered it one the best moments of the evening.
It was a moment Moore had been waiting for since he was a teenager.
“Like anyone else who grew up loving movies, I practiced my share of Oscar acceptance speeches in showers and in front of mirrors with combs over the years. And honestly, ever since I was a teenager that was what I wanted to talk about. I just didn’t think I would ever get an opportunity to do it,” he said, standing in the Governor’s Ball at the close of the Oscar ceremony. His eyes filled with tears, as he looked at his mother, who was his date for the night. “It was beautiful.”
“I’m so proud of him,” his mother added.
Moore admits to being “a weird kid” growing up, a computer nerd who went to space camp and looked at Alan Turing, the subject of The Imitation Game, as a “legend, a heroic figure” whom he found a kinship with. “Unlike Alan, I’m not the greatest genius of my generation. Unlike Alan, I’m also not gay, but I have my own things that make me feel different,” he said. “It’s always what drew me so much to Alan’s story—the outsider’s outsider, the guy who will never fit into his own time, but precisely because of that, was able to accomplish what he did.”