6:39pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
Oscars: 21-Time Nominee Kevin O'Connell Wins First Oscar for 'Hacksaw Ridge'
For Kevin O’Connell, the 21st time was the charm.
After 21 nominations, the re-recording mixer on Sunday collected his first Oscar in the sound mixing category for his work on World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge — ending his streak as the most nominated Oscar contender without a win.
"I can't even tell you ... it was the greatest feeling in my entire life and I'm so grateful for the opportunity. It's amazing," O'Connell said backstage. "I wasn't expecting it, but I'm eternally grateful for this project. Mel Gibson did a terrific job and the entire case and crew and my fellow nominees."
O’Connell topped the sound mixing category with a team that included first-time nominees Robert Mackenzie, Andy Wright and Peter Grace. (Mackenzie and Wright were also nominated for the film in sound editing).
Mackenzie said of O'Connell: "He's been a mentor to us and taught us the craft and he's a great humanitarian. It was an honor to work alongside him."
Also backstage, Wright gave a shout out to his home in Australia, saying, "This is the second year an Australian film won in sound ... Don't forget Australia. We can do it just as good as Hollywood."
Hacksaw Ridge led a field that included La La Land as well as Arrival, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. La La Land’s nominees included Andy Nelson, a two-time Oscar winner who shares O’Connell’s record of the most nominations in the sound mixing category, with 21 mentions.
O’Connell received his first nomination in 1984 for Terms of Endearment. Other noms included Top Gun, A Few Good Men and Transformers.
On Saturday, Greg P. Russell had what was his 17th sound mixing nomination (for 13 Hours) rescinded by the Academy for "violation of Academy campaign regulations."