Jess Jennifer Lawrence Interview

Oscar winners get 45 seconds to gush about their journey to Oscardom and pack in a bunch of thank-yous in their acceptance speech. Most of them aren’t Quentin Tarantino and don’t get to turn the tables, cutting off the orchestra with their speech like the Django Unchained director managed to tonight, but they do have the chance to get in a few extra words backstage. Read on for what the winners at the 85th Academy Awards said in the press room Sunday night – including Ben Affleck on hearing the First Lady announce his win, Jennifer Lawrence on why she felt like Steve Martin on Sunday and a short filmmaker’s response to a surprise celebrity in the room.

Ben Affleck – Best Picture for Argo

On Michelle Obama announcing Argo’s win live from the White House:

“I was sort of hallucinating when that was happening. In the course of hallucination, it doesn’t seem that odd. It’s like, ‘Oh, look, a purple elephant. Oh look, Michelle Obama.’ Honestly, I was just asking these two guys outside, ‘Was that Michelle Obama?’ The whole thing kind of alarmed me at the time, but in retrospect, the fact that it was the First Lady was an enormous honor, and the fact that she surrounded herself by service men and women was special and I thought appropriate.”

Grant Heslov – Best Picture for Argo

What he had to say about the First Lady:

“I’m a big fan of the bangs.”

Ang Lee – Best Director for Life of Pi

On winning the award for Best Director twice without winning Best Picture:

“Both were announced by Jack Nicholson. I was backstage with him [tonight], and he was right there close to the door, and he just said, ‘Crash.’”

Mychael Danna – Best Original Score for Life of Pi

On the Oscar statuette:

“I’m still learning how to hold it properly. You got to put your thumb on the little butt there, and then you have it the right way. For a long time, I was holding it this way [facing the opposite way]. Now I know you got to feel the little butt cheeks. So that’s really what I’ve learned tonight.”

Adele – Best Original Song for Skyfall

On how she could work her way up to an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), now that she has both a Grammy and an Oscar:

“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll do like an HBO special like Beyoncé did. And then a Tony, I’m not so sure. One day maybe someone might want me to do a musical.”

Paul N.J. Ottosson – Best Sound Editing for Zero Dark Thirty

On the eerie thing about tying with Skyfall for the award:

“Just before our category came up, another fellow nominee sat next to me and I said, “You know, what if there’s a tie? What will they do?” And then we come up and we got a tie. It’s quite extraordinary.”

Per Hallberg – Best Sound Editing for Skyfall

On the tie with Zero Dark Thirty:

“Well, any time that you get involved with some kind of history-making, that would be good, and also Paul [N.J. Ottosson] is a very good friend of ours… There were so many great works that was done, so we could have shared that with any one of them and it would have felt quite right.

Daniel Day-Lewis – Best Actor in a Leading Role for Lincoln

On whether someone else helps him prepare all those eloquent, varied acceptance speeches he’s given throughout the awards season:

“I wish, I wish. No, [I haven’t gotten help with them]. But if you can’t find your own words to say in situations like this, I think that would be a little sad, wouldn’t it? …But I kind of love it when people are completely inarticulate with their speeches, and it says the same thing in a different way.”

On whether the method actor is still in character for his Lincoln role:

“I’m definitely out of character at this moment. If I slip back into it by mistake, you can do an intervention of some kind, Heimlich maneuver or whatever.”

John Kahrs – Best Animated Short Film for Paperman

His exchange with David Arquette (yes, that David Arquette), who was sitting among the press, representing Howard Stern’s show on SiriusXM:

Arquette: “I’m an actor, David Arquette.”

Kahrs: “I recognized you.”

Arquette: “I do lots of voices. I can do a low voice. I can do a high voice.”

Kahrs: “This is my next step, actually, because I didn’t use any [dialogue in Paperman], so this is the thing I’m terrified of is actually putting voices in the animations.”

Arquette: “What are you most excited about in your Oscar gift basket?”

Kahrs: “Actually, the Oscar gift basket was very modest.”

Arquette: “But there were condoms in there. If you don’t use them, I can use them, bro.”

Arquette didn’t ask another question the rest of the evening, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He stood up, hand outstretched with his press number in the air while many other winners were onstage, but the Oscars staff member running the press room never called on him again. And, no, waving his number all the more eagerly didn’t help.

Jennifer Lawrence – Best Actress in a Leading Role for Silver Linings Playbook

On getting ready for the Oscars:

“The process today was so stressful. I felt like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride watching my house just be torn apart. My whole family was getting ready.”

On what happened when she fell on her way up to accepting her award:

“What do you mean what happened? Look at my dress. I tried to walk up stairs in this dress. That’s what happened. And they wax the stairs.”

Anne Hathaway – Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Les Misérables

When asked what she meant when she said in her acceptance speech, “It came true” (Cue Les Mis‘ flagship song), Hathaway took a step back from the microphone, tilted her head down as tears welled up in her eyes, then collected herself and said, voice cracking:

“I had a dream, and it came true. And that can happen. And that’s wonderful. And so, that was all I was saying: That it can, and it did.”

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

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