During the 93rd Academy Awards telecast that aired Sunday night, the 73-year-old actress and eight-time Oscar nominee stole the show when, nearly three hours into the night, an audience trivia game ended with the Hillbilly Elegy star dancing to “Da Butt.”
During the game of “guess that song” hosted by Lil Rel Howery, Close correctly “guessed” the 1988 song by E.U., and from the School Daze soundtrack, then got up from her table to show off her dancing skills. The moment instantly went viral. After the show, however, it was reported that the bit was scripted, with Close’s rep later clarifying that while the quiz was “requested of the participants” and partially scripted, Close’s dance performance was not.
The actress further explained how the bit went down in a post to her Instagram, explaining that she was cheered on to show off her moves by her tablemates, Judas and the Black Messiah stars Daniel Kaluuya and Darrell Britt-Gibson.
“We had the MOST FUN at our table at the Oscars last night,” Close wrote late Monday night. “Chris Terrio, one of my best friends, who won an Oscar for the screenplay of Argo, was my gallant escort. Daniel Kaluuya and Darrell Britt-Gibson were wonderful table mates. I knew that Lil Rel was going to quiz me about ‘Da Butt’ and all three guys helped me run through what I was to say.”
She continued, “Darrell insisted that I mention the Backyard Band, on top of E.U., Suga Bear and the whole DMV. I had googled ‘Da Butt’ and watched [School Daze director] Spike [Lee]’s music video so when Lil Rel asked if I could do the dance … you can actually see me think of the video. That part was completely spontaneous. Daniel, Darrell and Chris egged me on!!! It was ALL their fault.”
Close then congratulated Kaluuya for his best supporting actor win and called both him and Britt-Gibson “friends-for-life!”
Though the celebrated actress did not take home the Oscar trophy for her role in Hillbilly Elegy on Sunday, she received widespread praise for providing such an entertaining moment during the telecast, including from the School Daze filmmaker himself.