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This story first appeared in the March 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Thank you very much. This is quite a surprise. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. It’s an honor just to be nominated. Not this year, but usually.
When I told people that I wanted to make a film about the hunt for bin Laden, friends in the industry said no one will watch a film about a tall, gangly guy with a beard who gets shot, especially when everyone knows the ending. (Subtle look to Lincoln camp, stage left.)
But I didn’t listen, and as a result, here I am. I’m so happy to be here and not in front of a congressional committee. That would have been awful. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your work judged by a group of older white men.
The competition for best director is always tough, and this year was no different. There were so many great movies, such diversity. There was, of course, Ben Affleck‘s tremendous film, Argo. What? Really? It was one of the screeners I got. I think I lent it to somebody. But I’m getting it back, Academy. I’m well aware it’s waterboarded. I mean, watermarked.
Anyway, kudos to Life of Pi, Amour, Silver Linings Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild and two movies about Abraham Lincoln: Steven Spielberg‘s amazing Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter — and I must say, Daniel Day-Lewis was brilliant in both of them.
The film we decided to make was difficult. There were unique challenges in this film. For one, we decided to shoot the entire movie in Wilmington, Delaware — great tax benefits there. And, of course, there were the usual notes from the studio execs: “Is there a singing role in it for Russell Crowe? Anything at all for Adam Sandler?” But in the end, they were supportive.
I see I’m running out of time, but, finally, I want to say something personal — not my favorite topic, but did you see me on Leno last week?! Here’s my own declaration of sorts, I guess. Yes, I’m single. I think. Can someone check WireImage and see if I was holding hands at the last event or not?
Thank you, and good night.
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