David Arquette as Oscar Journalist: 'I Do a Silly Voice!'
The 2013 Oscars' oddest surprise was backstage in the press room, where winners took questions from journalists -- including David Arquette, brother of Patricia and Rosanna Arquette, ex-husband of Courteney Cox and star of movies grossing more than $450 million (mostly the Scream series). He claimed he was the Oscar reporter for Howard Stern's SiriusXM show. "I love it, it's really an interesting perspective to be behind the machine, to be part of the media machine," Arquette told The Hollywood Reporter. "I've never been to the Oscars. The press room -- that's where the fun people are."
Arquette was up for fun. After greeting Django Unchained's supporting-actor winner Christoph Waltz as "Christopher," Arquette said: "Congratulations. Your second Oscar. I’ve been acting 23 years, and I’ve never won an act -- uh, an Academy Award."
Replied Waltz, "I've been at it 38."
"I’m 41, but, um, you’re an incredible actor," said Arquette. "In light of the subject matter of the film, are you excited about the possibility of a black Pope? That’s an actual thing."
Said Waltz: "Well, I have to tell you one thing, it would be an exciting thing. I am a very adamant and non -- I don’t know, an adamant nonracist, I don’t care whether the black is -- black -- whether the pope is black or white or whatever color. If we’re nonracists, then we have to stay nonracists all the way."
Arquette told John Kahrs, whose best animated short winner Paperman innovatively blends drawing with computer animation: "I loved your film. Um, I'm an actor, David Arquette."
Kahrs replied, "I recognize you."
"I do lots of voices," continued Arquette, "so if you're ever looking for a -- I do a low voice, I do a silly voice."
Said Kahrs, "This is my next step, actually, because I didn't use any words [in Paperman]."
"Oh, look nice to actors, because you have to stay in a room with them," said Arquette, affecting Stern-esque sarcasm. "But what were you most excited about in your Oscar gift basket?"
"It was very modest," said the filmmaker.
"But there were condoms in there," protested Arquette, "so if you don't use them, I could use them, probably."
An Academy official sternly warned the room of journalists, "Please, it's one question, and it's not a conversation."
Later, Arquette looked a bit worried. "I don't know if they're going to let me ask any more questions," he told THR. "I got reprimanded a little, to keep it to one question and not to have conversations. I think when they said that, it was directed at me. And then I haven't been called. I'm still gonna try and get in there. I'd like to be able to ask questions of some people I know. Like Bradley Cooper's a great guy; I'm a huge fan of Steven Spielberg, he's amazing. But the whole idea is to sort of provide questions that aren't typical and that are humorous. Because actors take themselves too seriously."
Although Arquette vigorously waved the sheet of paper bearing his Oscar journalist number, 171, the Academy official overlooked him and called other journalists' numbers when Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis came backstage. When Quentin Tarantino walked in, a foreign journalist was permitted to ask a far weirder question than any of Arquette's -- something incomprehensible about whether the human body contains any bones. "I'm not sure I understand the question, but I'm pretty sure the human body has bones in it," said Tarantino. "Quentin! Quentin!" shouted Arquette as Tarantino left the stage, oblivious to him.
Then David Arquette's Oscar career was over. For this year, anyway.