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ALO Insider: Backstage at the Oscars 2018
Oscars Backstage Reactions with the Big Winners

Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Allison Janneyand Sam Rockwell.

Onstage, viewers all over the world got to see the live reactions of the big winners, but backstage, the winners were calm and collected answering the big questions. So, without further delay, go backstage with ALO in the Oscars Press Room and the happenings behind the scenes at the 90th Academy Awards…

 

 

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW WITH:

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Frances McDormand

  • A. Thank you. Don't give me anymore attention because it will all go to my head. Come on. Ask away. I'm ready. I'm ready.

  • Q. Please explain your comment at the end, the two words "inclusion rider.

  • A. Right. I just found out about this last week. There is -- has always been available to all everybody that get -- that does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider which means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting, but also the crew. And so, the fact that we -- that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business, it's not -- we're not going back. So the whole idea of women trending, no. No trending. African Americans trending, no. No trending. It changes now, and I think the inclusion rider will have something to do with that. Right? Power in rules.

  • Q. I want to ask you about a bit of a follow up to that question. The tone of the evening, obviously it's about awards, but there was certainly throughout the evening the idea that this was a different Oscars than in the past because of what has happened since October.

  • A. No. It actually was it happened way before that. I think that what happened last year, you know, with Moonlight winning the best picture, that's when it changed. And it had to be acknowledged. That had to be acknowledged, and it was acknowledged in the best possible way. Not just by, you know, fixing the mistake, but actually recognizing that that won Best Picture. Moonlight won Best Picture of 2017.

  • Q. It was about the idea that this evening was sending a message because of the activities that have happened and the revelations and women being brave enough to speak out since October. Did you feel that was handled properly and enough this evening?

  • A. Well, yeah. You know, it was really interesting because like I said, feeling like I was Chloe Kim doing back to back 1080s in the halfpipe, I was -- I don't do everything. As you know, I don't show up all the time. I only show up when I can and when I want to, but I was there at the Golden Globes and it's almost like there was an arc that started there. It doesn't end here. But I think publicly as a commercial, because that's what we are this is not this is not a novel.. This is a TV show after all, but I think that the message that we're getting to send to the public is that we're going to be one of the small industries that try to make a difference. And I think $21 million in the legal defense fund is a great way to start. And the commission that's being headed by Anita Hill, that's really smart. See, we didn't just -- we didn't just put out commercials about it. We actually started a conversation that will change something.

  • Q. Okay. Three Billboards has started a movement. Have you seen the billboards all over the world?

  • A. Oh, are you kidding? Off the screen and on to the street. Really exciting.

  • Q. Talk about that. I want to hear what your comment is about that.

  • A. Well, you know, recently my husband and I were in London at the BAFTAs, and we went to the Tate Modern and we saw an exhibition about the Russian Revolution -- Russian Revolution and the propaganda that was used. Now, that revolution did not go so well, so we don't want to think too much about that. But the red and black is a really, really good choice. And Martin McDonagh knew that. He was involved in the choice with the with the set design of the film to use that kind of iconography, and I think that idea that activists are taking that kind of statement and putting it out there billboards still work. They still work. So I think that it's really exciting. It started actually with the Grenfell Tower fires investigation. Then it leapfrogged to the Miami gun control situation. It was outside the UN about the Syrian situation. You know, it's a kind of -- that's the kind of power that an image can have. And that's what we're making. We're making powerful images.

 


BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW WITH:

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Performance by an Acter in a Leading Role

Gary Oldman

  • Q. You asked Kazu makeup artist to work with and why do you think he's special? Computer graphic can't replace his work.

  • A. Do I think the computer graphic can replace his work?

  • Q. Yeah.

  • A. I hope not. You know, the clothes, makeup and clothes are the things that are the closest things to the actor. And they actually touch the actor. And they are the first people that you meet in the morning and they are really they are vital individuals that you interact with to I've done motion capture and you are in a gray void with no costume, and they then CG it on you later. So to lose that kind of connection, you know, we really we worked as a team. And plus, it's always easier, I think, to throw something out because something new comes along. You know, just because you can. mean, he's a consummate artist and it was really my once I had stepped off the ledge, as it were, with Joe Wright, I said to Joe, it's contingent on getting Kazuhiro because, for me, he was really the only person on the planet that could have that could have pulled it off. I mean, I think he delivered. Yeah.

  • Q. It's been almost a year since we were in Vegas, and you said if you if they will offer the Oscar, you wouldn't say no. So what it really means to finally get it?

  • A. I didn't say no.

  • Q. What it means, what it means for you an Oscar, to win an Oscar?

  • A. What it means, what it means for you an Oscar, to win an Oscar?

  • Q. What is it like for you meeting so many young actors and young filmmakers that have looked up to you in their youth and throughout their career and are getting to share the stage with you tonight?

  • A. I think we are -- the thing that I -- one of the lessons that I learned from -- from John Hurt, the late John Hurt, God bless him. When I was a younger man, went to the cinema, I looked up at, you know, Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay and Alan Bates and Peter O'Toole, and Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, they were all sort of my heroes. We are links in a chain, you know. I'm thrilled for Chalamet. He's a lovely kid. I mean, he really is. He's a kid. And he's a charmer. Hugely talented. And I said to him tonight, in the words of Armie, You will be back. You know, he's got -- this is probably it for me. He's got years. He's got years yet.

  • Q. This movie seems to be a lot about facing up to great fears and great obstacles. Do you think people can relate to that in their lives apart from, like, politics and stuff like on a personal level so they connect to it in the movie?

  • A. We all have -- I think we can all relate to -- I mean, Joe has said that there's part of the movie that is about doubt. But those insecurities and fears, we do things -- we want to do things with the best intentions. I would like to give people the benefit of the doubt and say that they are motivated by a good heart, and, you know, they have the best intentions. You know, but when you are in a position like, I think, Winston is in like he was in 1940, we see in the movie he sends 4,000 men to their death to save 300,000. And when you are in that big chair, making those decisions, though in war, those are the types of things -- those are the types of decisions that you have to make, and then of course I don't know how you then sleep soundly in your bed on the evening of the day when you sent 4,000 innocent men to their death. But you walk -- you walk in those shoes. And I think that we can all we -- not that extent, but, you know, most people, I think, you know, in the audience, they have got financial worries. They have got children. They are trying to put the kids through college or they have illness or sickness in their family. We've all got -- and certainly, I know that I, you know, there are regrets and things. And you -- you know, that's the worst thing you can do as an artist is you can edit yourself and second guess, but I still sometimes have that little demon on my -- that little voice talking to me like that kid, you know, Mrs. Torrance.

  • Q. If Winston Churchill were alive today, what advice would you think he would give the leaders of the world?

  • A. Oh, my heavens. He would probably.

  • Q. Impeach Trump?

  • A. He would what?

  • Q. Impeach Trump?

  • A. Maybe. My God, he would give him a good talking to, wouldn't he?

  • Q. What would he say?

  • A. Well, none of them look at history. He was a big believer that you've learned that you've looked at history to move forward. There's an -- actually, there's an interesting thing. There was sort of a survey done, and the children were asked about Winston Churchill, and not just -- I'm not talking about nine or ten year olds, I'm talking about, you know, young, young sort of college people. And a great many of them thought that he was either a soldier in the First World War or he was a dog in a TV commercial in Britain, and there is a TV commercial called Churchill, and it's a bulldog, and he talks. It's an insurance company called Churchill. And we don't -- we don't teach history anymore, do we? They don't know anything about it.

 


BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW WITH:

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Performance by an Actor in Supporting Role

 

Sam Rockwell
  • Q. Could you tell us more about the process? How you embodied the character? How you started working on that role?

  • A. Oh, it's so boring, but if you want to hear it, I can tell you the whole -- you know, it's like a big soufflé or a stew. You throw in some potatoes and some carrots in there and you work with an amazing dialect coach like Liz Himelstein who worked with Gary Oldman and Margot and Terry Knickerbocker, my acting coach. And I did some ride alongs with some cops, Josh McMullin in Southern Missouri. Liz Himelstein taped two cops, actually. There was a guy named Demer [phonetic] in L.A. I did a ride along with him. And I met with this skin graft doctor who introduced me to some burn victims, actually. I mean, but the thing is, that's if you have luxury, the luxury of time, you know, which you don't always have for a part. And then I worked with Martin and but sometimes you get a part and you only have a week or a couple days to prepare. I heard that Jeremy Renner only had four days to prepare to play Jeffrey Dahmer, which is a lot, if you are playing Jeffrey Dahmer, you know. So I had the advantage that I had, like, two or three months. And so I got to indulge in all this research. And so it was a lot of fun. So that's the long answer to your short question.

  • Q. You said a wonderful thing about the arc of your character being Barney Fife going into Travis Bickle.

  • A. Yes, yes.

  • Q. I'd love to ask, in any way, was Barney Fife and the great Don Knotts any inspiration to you as an actor throughout your career?

  • A. Absolutely. I mean that when I say Barney Fife and, you know, the town of Ebbing is very much like Mayberry, and Woody Harrelson's character is very much like the Andy Griffith character. And, in fact, I could be wrong about this, check your facts, but I think we shot in Sylva, North Carolina and I think Mayberry was shot there, but I could be wrong about that. But, you know, the goofiness of Barney Fife, the kind of hapless thing of Barney Fife, and then his transition into somebody else was just sort of -- Travis Bickle was kind of a -- Barney Fife to Travis Bickle was kind of a generalization, but it's a lot more complicated than that, obviously, but, you know, yeah.

  • Q. You dedicated your win to Phil Hoffman.

  • A. Oh, you caught that, good.

  • Q. So I'm curious, as a friend and as a colleague, tell me, you know, what he meant to you, how he inspired you.

  • A. Well, I guess you want to start making me cry, but he's, yeah, he was an old friend of mine, and he directed me in a play at the Public Theater and, yeah, he was very close to me and he was an inspiration to all of my peers. You know, people like Jeffrey Wright, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, you know, you know, everybody. Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin. I mean, whoever was in my age range, Phil Hoffman was the guy. And he was a great director and he believed in doing theater. In fact, he was -- he vowed to do a play a year, which I don't know if he got to do because he was very busy doing movies, but he was a great inspiration and a great theater director. And I don't know if anybody knows, he was a bit of a jock. He was a wrestler, and he played basketball, and he inspired me. And I could go on for an hour about Phil Hoffman. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a good friend and he was a huge, huge inspiration on me. Yeah.

  • Q. Can you talk about, specifically, your character and whether you take that criticism on or was that how you dealt with it and your sense of that?

  • A. Well, yeah. I mean, it's a complicated issue, but, I mean, Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote an article that was really amazing sort of defending the movie as far as that goes and it was really eloquent. I didn't realize he's like a cultural professor, which I didn't know, in addition to being like a basketball icon, and that was a great article that articulated everything. And I think for me, you know, the whole thing is that, you know, they have a lot of work to do, Mildred and Dixon. It's not like they are like all of a sudden redeemed at the end of the movie. They have, you know, a lot of work to do and maybe some therapy, you know. It's an ongoing thing, you know. So, and it's also it's a movie and it's a dark fairytale of some sorts. And so it's like, it's not necessarily -- in real life we probably would have gone to prison, both of our characters, so, you know. That's -- that's sort of how I see it.

     


BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW WITH:

Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Allison Janney

  • Q. So winning an Oscar by yourself with no one's help, that's an awesome feat. So now that you've won this big honor on your own, how are you going to change on a day-to-day basis?

  • A. I have to be at a table read for Mom at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. So I am going right back to work, and I will I am so happy that I have a job to go to after something like this. Because it could go to your head, and then tomorrow to wake up and feel and have nothing to do and have this whole journey be over. Starting in September when we premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and the whole journey we've been through is extraordinary. And it's going to be I'm going to have a big crash down after this. So I'm happy that I have Mom the people at MOM to lift me up and keep me keep me going and keep me focused. And I'm just happy to have a job to go to tomorrow. But this is extraordinary. Thank you.

  • Q. Hi. So where did trophies I mean, you have a ton of Emmys. You've got every award leading up to this one this year. Now you have an Oscar. Was that ever part of your fantasy of what your acting career was going to be like? Or is this like this great side effect?

  • A. I certainly I kind of didn't dare to dream of things like this, because I didn't want to be disappointed. And I think at a certain point, I had given up thinking this would happen for me because I just wasn't getting the kind of roles in film that would give me attention like this, and that's what my very good friend Steven Rogers did for me. He says he did it wrote this for me to do just that, to show a different side of me and show that I could what I could do, and I will never be able to repay him. It's an extraordinary gift he gave me. It's kind of overwhelming. I think I'm going to get him a Rolex. I don't know. What do you think? And engrave it on the back. I haven't figured out what, but I've got to get him a good present. That's a start at least.

  • Q. You've spoken about using your inner critic. But what is your inner voice saying right now?

  • A. Bravo. Good going, girl. I'm proud of you.

  • Q. We're asking what makes a great story?

  • A. Oh, God. What makes a great story? Fully realized characters, characters with who have big needs, wants, desires that butt up against people who don't want them to have them. Definitely great characters and great writing. Great writing is key. That's why I'm when I read a script as an actress that I get excited about like I, Tonya, American Beauty or Juno, things that or West Wing I've gotten to do. That just gets me so it makes me want to come alive, and I feel like I come alive when I do all different roles I've gotten to do. And it's how I feel the most tethered to the earth, and I feel a communicator when I'm sit telling others' stories. And great storytellers are great writers, and I like telling I like telling stories.

  • Q. Can you talk us through a little bit of what it was like working with Margot Robbie and director Craig Gillespie?

  • A. Craig Gillespie? Yeah. I met them both well, I met Margot the day before I started shooting, and I really I only had eight days to shoot this role with them because I was doing Mom, and I was rehearsing for Six Degrees of Separation, the Broadway play I did last spring. I've never been more busy as I was last year, so when this came together, I had no time to do it, and all of the producers made it happen, the producers of Mom and Six Degrees and Margot and Tom and Bryan, Bryan Unkeless and Tom Ackerley of LuckyChap. They made it happen for me, and they're extraordinary.

    Margot has she's kind of a phenomenon. Because I have no head for business whatsoever. All I know how to do was be emote [sic] and do my act. But she's got this great head for business and a beautiful heart and an artist's soul and a heart. And she's remarkable, and I cannot wait to see what she's going to accomplish in her career. She's, you know, 20 nothing, and she's done this unbelievable performance in I, Tonya, and she's going to do extraordinary things. They're both and Craig's just he killed this movie. He just killed it. And I mean killed in a good way. He just nailed it. He knew how to he knew how to get just was a running freight train. We had no time to shoot it, and he had the best sense of humor and best attitude, and knew how to grab things on the fly. And he's just remarkable man. They're both I've never even been to Australia, but I've got to go now. Because, I yeah.

 


ACCEPTANCE SPEECH:

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Best Picture and Directing

 

Guillermo del Toro
  • Q. At the Golden Globes I asked you about how you balance the light and darkness and you said, "I met somebody.

  • A. Yes.

  • Q. And you created a meme that's gone all around the world and affected millions of people. So the question is how do we keep that how do we help you keep that going? How do we stop the scapegoating of Mexico and really reaffirm your unique and magnificent culture?

  • A. I think every time we can demonstrate in any forum, be it sports, science, art, culture, anywhere, what we have to bring to the world discourse, to the world conversation, is extremely important, and it's extremely important when we do it to remember where we're from, because it's honoring your roots, honoring your country. Now I'm going my next stop is I'm going to see my mom and my dad this week. I'm going back home with these two with these two babies.

  • Q. Congratulations. You spoke fondly about Fox Searchlight on stage, and I wonder if you know anything about the studio's future? Have you talked to anybody at Disney about it? Have they reached out to you? What can you say about that?

  • A. As they say here, it's above my pay rate. Way above my pay rate. But what I know is I'm continuing conversations with them about future projects, you know, and you form bonds with a studio, but you form bonds with individuals, with people that support you. And whatever that I ask for, it goes or stays, you continue creating.

  • Q. How is this a victory for Hollywood North and the production going on in Canada? So much of this was done in Toronto.

  • A. What I will say when we started this, Miles [J. Miles Dale] and I, we talked very, very seriously about creating this movie with heads of departments from Canada. We wanted to you know, I've been there working for more than half a decade continuously, and I wanted to we wanted to show the talent and showcase the talent of the HODs in Canada and make it something where you don't go and use a rebate and escape. You know, you go to use the talent, you go to have the artistry, you go to have the complicit creation with everybody there.

  • Q. Before the movie was released, you said that you didn't dare to dream about the Oscar, but if you had the chance you wouldn't dare to write a speech and prepare that. So my question is: Did you do it? Did you write it? Did you think about doing it? And what did you have left to say?

  • A. The only time I wrote a speech was on the beginning, and I pulled out the paper and I couldn't read it and, you know, I was sweating into my eyes, and I started just speaking from the heart. So, what I wanted to do what I did here is the same. I thought, you know, I'm going to get there, and if I have a little piece of paper and I count down, it's horrible because you see the numbers. So just talk about what you're feeling at that moment.

  • Q. I'm wondering why it is why did you choose Baltimore?

  • A. You know, I fell in love when I was a kid I fell in love with one of the primal trilogies in cinema for me, Barry Levinson's Baltimore trilogy, you know, and I loved the setting. And I know we screwed up with the accent. I'm very, very, very aware with that, but what I wanted was to capture that flavor. You know, it's such an interesting mixture, the Catholic, the industrial, how near is to the ocean, all those things, and for me it was mythical. Levinson invented so many things in those films, and particularly important for The Shape of Water was the Tin Men and the Cadillacs in Tin Men and how they represent America, and that isn't there. You know, I think that those three films, Avalon, Diner and Tin Men are fabulous landmarks of American cinema. And then the John Waters, man.

 

 

   

 

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