After giving your acceptance speech and leaving the stage, Academy Award winners are funneled into a room where they get peppered with questions from journalists (and “journalists”) from all over the world. These exchanges can be awkward or entertaining, but you’ll find few as charming and laugh-out-loud funny as Jennifer Lawrence’s. Here’s a running diary highlighting some her finest moments after winning Best Actress for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook.”
:03: “This isn’t like an auction, right? You guys are going to take it away.” You just received the highest possible honor in your field and overcame a traitorous dress that tripped you on international television. Now you walk into a room where a bunch of people are in fancy attire and someone with a microphone is shouting out numbers, not unlike an auctioneer. It’s not that crazy to assume there’s one final challenge before the golden statuette is yours forever.
[ Photos: Red carpet report card ]
:11: “190 and then 123-“ “It’s worth more than that.” As the moderator starts to queue the questioners by their numbers, Lawrence remembers she is a famous movie star about to make a kajillion dollars on the “Hunger Games” sequels. If this turns into some kind of bidding war, she has a great chance of winning.
:24: Her first answer is an extremely eloquent one about what her victory means for those suffering from mental illness, referencing “Silver Linings Playbook” director David O. Russell’s personal quest (his son Matthew was diagnosed with bipolar disorder) and the double standard with taking medicine for the brain versus other body parts. So far, so very good.
:58: A compliment and question about the dress, but the numbering system makes no sense and it takes Lawrence a while to track down who is asking her the question. She searches the crowd adorably and comments that she's now cross-eyed. If you watch a lot of these backstage press conferences – I don’t recommend it, but if you happen to – you’ll notice everyone has this problem. The Academy should work on an alternate system, perhaps involving spotlights or sparklers.
1:11: “I felt like Steve Martin in ‘Father of the Bride.’” Lawrence mentioned the Martin/Diane Keaton/Martin Short classic a few times on the red carpet in describing what it was like seeing her house slowly transformed around her by well-meaning family and friends. Great movie, great reference. This answer gets even better.
1:25: Responding to the second part of the question, Lawrence goes into intense, self-deprecating detail. 1) Woke up. 2) Tried on dress. 3) Thanked God it fit. 4) Showered, etc. The press room is cracking up because this is awesome.
1:45: “I’m sorry, I did a shot before I…” and stops herself off with the classiest face palm you’ll ever see. Lawrence hails from Louisville, so I’m guessing she went with a nice celebratory bourbon.
2:00: Lawrence cuts off a reporter from E! who just had to ask about the fall. “Was that on purpose? Absolutely.” She is her own posse, cutting the potentially nasty question off at the pass. But she is not done.
2:03: When pressed about what happened, Lawrence cites the obvious culprit: her dress, which is beautiful but billowing and presumably quite difficult to maneuver in if you’re used to wearing normal people clothes.
2:15: “They waxed the stairs.” This was a great joke regarding an Academy booby trap that not enough people in the room appreciated.
2:30: A German reporter congratulates Lawrence and continues questioning about the fall, asking what went through her mind. “A bad word I can’t say…that starts with ‘F.’” It’s kind of surprising (and disappointing) she didn’t swear here.
3:00: Now an awkward and irredeemably terrible question asking about whether or not it’s good to have an Oscar win under your belt at such a young age. “I hope so,” replies a justifiably perplexed Lawrence, because how else are you supposed to answer that question?
3:10: Amazing facial expression from Lawrence as the questioner continues to dig a deeper hole of terrible queries: “You’re not worried about peaking too soon?” WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS ARE THESE? After a “Come on, man” arm to the sky, she delivers a perfect one-liner answer: “Well, now I am,” as the room again erupts in laughter.
3:25: “I feel like I’m picking people to make fun of me.” With the questions quickly trending downward, this is a reasonable explanation of meeting this particular set of press.
3:45: When asked about how this year differed from 2011’s ceremony when she was nominated for “Winter’s Bone,” Lawrence mentions one of the only downsides to her magical Sunday: she was starving the entire time, and “that sucked.”
4:12: Lawrence does an over-the-top impression of veteran Hollywood people running into each other on the awards circuit (“Oh my God, John! How are you?!”), then contrasts her own response in those situations two years ago (an awkward wave).
4:22: “We’re going to end with 117 on your left-“ “Thank God.” Lawrence has now been at this for over four minutes but it feels like an eternity. I’ve now watched this video multiple times and I still can’t believe someone actually asked her if she had already peaked.
4:30: “I loved the boob song.” I’m not providing context for that.
4:40: Annnnnd she’s done. Many of these post-win pressers are entertaining – after all, these are performers at the peak of their professional powers, drunk on excitement and alcohol – but Lawrence handled herself so well. Between being new to this (she only broke into the movie industry a few years ago) and dealing with questions over a potentially embarrassing fall (which she handled perfectly), this could not have gone better.
If the future of Hollywood is in Lawrence’s hands, we’re in pretty great shape. File this under “When keeping it real goes right.”