Image Credit: Michael Caulfield/“I did not write a speech. I hope I don’t regret that later on.” — Melissa Leo to EW, just hours before dropping the f-bomb during her Oscar acceptance speech.

Melissa Leo was hoping Amy Adams would take home the Oscar. When she told EW on the red carpet that she’d neglected to write a speech, she also said, “I hope that I will instead be clapping hysterically for Amy. She was so fantastic in that role. She just owned it, embodied it. It is a shame to be nominated against her, but if it came down to her and me, I want to hear her name.”

So fast-forward to the ceremony: When Kirk Douglas finally announced Leo as the Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress, the look on her face was one of utter disbelief, and her bubbling excitement on stage quickly revealed she wasn’t pretending to be modest on the red carpet. “Oh my, oh my God. Oh wow, really, really, really, really, really, truly wow,” she began, as she began to thank her colleagues from The Fighter and her family. “Okay. Yeah, I am kind of speechless. Golly sakes, there’s people up there too. When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago, it looked so f—ing easy!” (Leo later spent time in the press room apologizing for her less-than-PG choice of wording.)

There’s another reason Leo was likely grateful to pick up the award. On the red carpet, the actress also spoke to EW about the tribulations of being an older actress in Hollywood. “I know the harsh truths of my reality,” she said. “I am a 50-year-old woman in a town and a business that worships youth and perfection at practically any cost. But after Frozen River [the 2008 film that won Leo an Oscar nomination], things just picked up for me and have made 45-to-50 pretty sweet. I am getting great work offered to me. I am making friends. I feel good. In some ways, I feel like the luckiest middle-aged broad on the planet. But I also know that I am fighting for it and working very hard to be good at my job and to take advantage of all the opportunities I am given. And I try to remember to have a blast.” And anyone who watched Leo’s speech would have agreed: She did. (Reporting by Carrie Bell)

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