Spirit Awards: Aubrey Plaza Jokes About 'Roma' on Netflix, 'BlacKkKlansman's' Sole Nomination
The comedian-actress is the first solo host in four years.
Aubrey Plaza wasn't afraid to embrace her role as host at the 34th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday afternoon.
Upon taking the stage at the beginning of the ceremony — which celebrates independent films, defined by the rules committee as those with "uniqueness of vision" and "original/provocative subject matter" — Plaza quickly fired out a joke about the Oscars' lack of a host this year.
"The network's first choice to host was No One, but they're already booked for tomorrow," Plaza said. "So, you've got me!"
Plaza also called attention to the Spirit Awards' representation in the best director category.
"I'm very proud to say that 60 percent of our director nominees are women," she said. "Don't get too excited. In this case, 60 percent just means three women. But calling it 60 percent makes it sound way scarier to your uncles and that's fun for me!"
"I do love movies, I really do. And I truly believe that people should see them how they're meant to be seen: in the theaters," Plaza said. "And I know, if the movie you poured your soul into ends up on Netflix, yes, it will be seen by millions of people as they scroll past it to find the show about folding socks into tiny squares. Tidying Up [with Marie Kondo] or Roma? Either way, I'm going to watch someone clean up a bunch of shit — so who cares?"
Also on the chopping block was Adam Driver, who's nominated for best supporting male.
"BlacKkKlansman is nominated! BlacKkKlansman explores the struggle of a black police officer to find his role in the fight against white supremacy," she said. "So congratulations to the sole nominee from that film today: Adam Driver!"
Filmmaker John Waters was on hand to help Plaza from the control room, and he couldn't help but make a dig at a film that's not even competing for any Spirit trophies. He joked that the telecast ceremony — which Plaza said he was directing — is "like Bohemian Rhapsody," in that it "doesn't really have a director."
Prior to her monologue, a pretaped segment aired that showed Plaza performing a sacrificial ceremony to prevent "shitty sequels and lazy reboots." She, along with Marcia Gay Harden, Rosanna Arquette, Christina Ricci and Marisa Tomei attempted to make the trade with "virgin" Finn Wolfhard. "We shall reject commercial cinema and pledge our lives to the pursuit of dangerous art!" Plaza screamed as Brian Tyree Henry watched in horror.
Plaza's debut as host marks the first year since 2014 that the Spirit Awards weren't led by a duo. Nick Kroll and John Mulaney emceed in both 2017 and 2018, following the lead of Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani in 2016 and Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell in 2015.
Plaza told The Hollywood Reporter that she thought about finding a hosting partner, but "there's no obvious pairing" she said, citing Mulaney and Kroll, as well as Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, as examples.
"It works so well in those cases, when you've got a built-in dynamic and chemistry," Plaza said. "There's a lot of people in my life I'd have fun with, but I felt like the baller move would just be to go it alone."
The 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards aired on IFC on Saturday, Feb. 23, from Santa Monica.