Graham Moore gave a very candid speech while accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game. “When I was 16 years old I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong, and now I’m standing here,” he said on stage Sunday night. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.”
Backstage, Moore addressed what it was like for him to be so personal in front of a global audience. “The cameras are little black circles,” he said. “It’s not like a billion people out there when I’m looking around. It was really hard, but it felt, I’m a writer. When am I ever going to be on television? It was my 45 seconds in my life to get on television. I felt like I might as well use it to say something meaningful.”
He said the key to turning his life around to ultimately become a successful, awarded screenwriter was his family, and also discussed his personal connection to Alan Turing, the mathematician at the center of The Imitation Game.
“I’ve been obsessed with Alan’s story since I was a teenager. I feel very lucky to have known it when I was young, to have known about it. He was a tremendous hero of mine. Alan always seemed like the outsider’s outsider in his own time for so many reasons. Because he was the smartest man in every room that he entered. Because he was a gay man at a time when that was not simply frowned upon, but also illegal. And then, because he was keeping all these secrets for the government. He was a guy who was apart from society for so many different reasons, but because he was apart from society he was able to see the world in a way that no one else had, and I found that incredibly inspirational.”
[This post has been updated to include a longer excerpt from Moore’s speech.]