Spirit Awards: 10 Memorable Moments From the Show

5:34 PM 3/3/2018

by Kara Haar and Zoe Haylock

Allison Janney, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Kristen Wiig and more were part of the awards show on Saturday afternoon.

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll speak onstage during the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Getty-H 2018
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

The 33rd annual Film Independent Spirit Awards took place on Saturday in Santa Monica, honoring the best independent films of the past year.

Returning hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney told provocative Harvey Weinstein and Brett Ratner stories, while Andy Samberg sang a fake memorandum dressed as Judd Nelson's character from The Breakfast Club. 

Below, read about some of the best and worst moments from the show.

  • Nick Kroll and John Mulaney's Monologue

    Nick Kroll and John Mulaney opened the award show by poking fun at the nominated actors and actresses, the last presidential election and the sexual assault allegations that took place earlier this year. 

    "Last year, everyone famous died. This year, everyone famous wishes they were dead," Mulaney said.

    Mulaney and Kroll shared questionable stories of those who were publicly accused of sexual assault allegations in Hollywood. The duo called out Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and Louis C.K. 

    The actors and actresses who were nominated at the award show were the next topic of jokes, starting with Jordan Peele. "I loved Get Out, but I've got to be honest. It kind of ruined being white for me," Kroll said. 

    “Pretty bummed out about it now. It’s like Lady Bird, Black Panther. It’s like women, people of color,” he continued. “What have you left for us white males? Everything. We still basically control everything.”

    "Timothée, by the way, thanks for taking a break from the gas station to come over here to the awards,” Mulaney said about Timothée Chalamet, who stars in Call Me By Your Name, and his choice of attire for the evening.

    "Armie Hammer makes Jon Hamm look like Tony Bologna," Kroll joked.  

    The hosts also reflected on I, Tonya. Mulaney brought up an idea for a possible sequel for the film. “It’s called I, Nancy. It’s about a nice lady who gets her knee bashed in by some trailer park assassin and then 25 years later has to see a great award winning movie about how she’s not the victim,” he joked. “We’re kidding. We don’t care that much about Nancy Kerrigan."

  • Kumail Nanjiani and Lil Rel Howery's TelePrompTer Mishap

    While trying to present the award for best first feature, Kumail Nanjiani and Lil Rel Howery fall into a little trouble early on. The two comedians, who both had films up for awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, got off to a good start. Nanjiani quickly realized that the people in the crowd can't hear them speak. So, they get closer to the mic and try to catch up to the prompter, but no one is happy about it. 

    "I don't want to do this again!" Howery groans. 

    In order to re-orientate themselves with the prompter, Nanjiani begins to yell directions saying, "Skip it! Go back! C'mon!" Audience member Amanda Seyfried kept darting her head back and forth to catch all the action. At one point, host Nick Kroll came back on stage to take the blame. 

    "I’ve been doing the teleprompter," he joked. "I screwed up.” 

    Finally, Howery and Nanjiani got back on track and were able to announce the winner for best first feature: Ingrid Goes West directed by Matt Spicer. The film was up against Columbus, Menashe, Oh Lucy and Patti Cake$.

  • Kristen Wiig's Old Lady Skit

    Kristen Wiig approached the stage as an made up old woman with a white wig, blue dress and sparkly earrings. Co-hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney pretended to help her to the stage.

    "Thank you. You are kind to have me. You are kind to welcome me," Wiig said. "Back when I made films, it cost less than most of the dresses in this room." 

    "I am 110. I have been very old for 30 years," Wiig joked.

    When she read the TelePrompTer, she pulled out fake, tinted glasses to help her. She then presented Elizabeth Olsen and Robert Pattinson to the stage very slowly.



  • Salma Hayek's Trump Jab

    Salma Hayek pulled no punches as she introduced the best international film award with Jason Clarke. 

    She referenced Donald Trump's comments about Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa, which he called "shithole countries."

    “I should mention this award has never gone to a shit hole nation because there are no shit hole nations,” Hayek yelled into the mic to a crowd of cheers. 

    Up against BPM (Beats Per Minute), I Am Not a Witch, Lady Macbeth and Loveless, the award went to Chile's A Fantastic Woman, which director Sebastian Lelio accepted.  

  • Andy Samberg's "Don't Forget About Me" Parody

    Andy Samberg took the stage dressed as Judd Nelson's character John Bender from 1985's The Breakfast Club. He sang an altered version of "Don't You Forget About Me" called "Don't You Forget About Us." The song was a fake memorandum to the breakout actors and actresses in independent films who will most likely be moving onto bigger projects.

    His song brought up famous stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Mark Ruffalo, who starting acting in independent films but left for the more glamorous side of things in Hollywood blockbusters. Samberg told younger nominees like Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan not to sell out.

    "Jordan [Peele] and Kumail [Nanjiani], don't go — don't fall for the seductive dancing of the studios," Samberg sang to the Get Out director and Big Sick writer-star, respectively. He then admitted he wanted them to stay on his side because he's jealous of their success.

    Samberg ended the performance with his fist up and mouth open referencing the end of the Breakfast Club's signature pose.

  • Allison Janney's Thank-You Speech

    Allison Janney won the award for best supporting actress for her role in I, Tonya. As she approached the stage in a long, pink dress, she brought out a folded piece of paper for her acceptance speech.

    "This is — instead of what the millennials do when you come up and bring your phone — I wrote on the back of my itinerary. So, you can see what i had to do today while I thank people," she joked. "I got it together."

    She continued to thank the writers, producers and her fellow actors in I,Tonya. This was Janney's first Independent Spirit Award win. 

  • Dee Rees' Declaration of Her Netflix Film as "Cinema"

    Dee Rees, the cast of Mudbound and the casting directors were honored with the Robert Altman Award, presented by Janelle Monae

    The award is given to the film with an outstanding ensemble cast. 

    Rees came prepared with a powerful speech about what constitutes art and how her cast and crew made Mudbound sing. 

    "I know that as independent filmmakers, as the so-called rebels, as the outsiders creating without respect to means or access — I know that we of all makers are far, far beyond any tokenism," she began. 

    She then proclaimed that across all platforms – online, television, and in theaters – good work is still cinema. Mudbound is distributed by Netflix. 

    "Mudbound is cinema," Rees insisted, "and we are grateful for this recognition."

  • Frances McDormand's Curse-Filled Acceptance Speech

    Frances McDormand headed on the stage to collect her award for best female lead without worrying about slipping on the water like other stars. She wore pink fuzzy slippers to the Film Independent Spirit Awards and wasn't afraid to show them off. McDormand played the strong-willed Mildred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

    "I am independent and I am spirited!" she professed at the mic. Not only was she happy to wear "pajamas" and slippers to the award show, but she's also glad she can curse. 

    "As Martin McDonagh knows a well-placed 'fuck' makes a sentence sing like nothing else," she said of her Three Billboards director. 

    Her F-bomb laden speech ended by wondering "how much money we would have left over to make independent film" if award shows consisting of hanging out with friends and eating Hot Dog on a Stick. 

  • Timothée Chalamet's Speech for Best Male Lead

    At 22 years-old, Timothée Chalamet won his first Film Independent Spirit Award for best male lead. His role in Call Me by Your Name earned him the award.

    Chalamet was all smiles as he dabbed his way onto the stage for his acceptance speech. He began by giving the definition of gasoline, joking about a comment by the hosts earlier at the ceremony related to his attire.

    "I'm trying to savor this moment," Chalamet said. "I don't think this is going to happen again."

    "I have a lot of faith in this industry and in this country," the actor continued. "We are going to be good."

  • 'Get Out's' Best Feature Win

    Presented by Chadwick Boseman (star of Black Panther), the biggest honor of the award show went to Get Out for best feature film. Jordan Peele, who accepted best director for the film earlier that evening, approached the mic first to accept the award.

    “We are in the beginning of a renaissance right now where stories from the outsiders are being honored and recognized and celebrated,” Peele said.

    Producers Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Sean McKittrick were among those joining Peele on stage.

    The thriller beat out Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, The Florida Project and The Rider. It's only the second horror movie to ever win the best feature award, following 2011's Black Swan, a psychological thriller.