If you watched Sunday’s Oscars, then you probably know about a few things. For one, there were some expected wins: Renee Zellweger for best actress, Laura Dern for best supporting actress, Joaquin Phoenix for best actor and Brad Pitt for best supporting actor. And then there were history-making moments: “Parasite” became the first South Korean film to win best international film and best picture.
But you can’t anticipate what will go on backstage, after the planned speeches are over and the cameras stop rolling.
What did the winners – starting with first trophy recipient Pitt – say after they accepted their Oscars and were escorted from the wings to the media room? We thought you’d never ask.
Wow! South Korean film ‘Parasite’ wins:Four Academy Awards, including best picture
Joaquin Phoenix’s road to Oscar glory:Emotional, empowering and batty
No translation needed for this Bong Joon-ho response
Asked how he had won best director and best picture for “Parasite,” Bong first offered an entertaining answer in Korean, via translator: “I’m just a very strange person. I just did what I’ve always done with great artists. … It was the same process making this film, but we’ve had these amazing results. It still feels very surreal. I feel like something will hit me and I will wake up from this dream.”
Then Bong offered his own delighted, expletive-powered observation in English: “It’s really (bleeping) crazy!”
Brad Pitt is just going to disappear now
We had a feeling this good news was coming after he won at several pre-Oscar shows, but it’s good news just the same: Pitt took home his first acting Oscar for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Now for the bad news: We’re done seeing a black-tie-wearing Pitt gracing glamorous red carpets every weekend. Bummer.
The beaming Pitt said he’s enjoyed the extended “victory lap” for playing stuntman Cliff Booth, which included best-supporting actor wins at the SAG Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards. But the “special run,” in his words, is over.
“I think it’s time to go disappear for a little while now and, you know, get back to making things,” Pitt said.
Pitt added that he was “very serious” about his political comments onstage about John Bolton, but was coy on the status of his Tinder profile.
At the SAGs he quipped after his best-actor win, “I gotta add this to my Tinder profile.” But on Sunday, he wouldn’t say whether he’d add “Oscar-winning actor” to his account, as well.
“You’ll just have to look it up,” he said with a laugh.
More from the Oscars:
Family comes first via FaceTime for Elton John
After winning the Oscar for best original song, John didn’t waste time before sharing the joy with his two sons, who are in Australia.
“I just FaceTimed them,” he told reporters, moments after accepting the Oscar with longtime music partner Bernie Taupin for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from “Rocketman.”
“I’ll be FaceTiming in the car when I leave. They are so happy. I love them so much. They love their daddy,” John said.
John, who earlier told his sons he loved them during his acceptance speech, also praised his husband, David Furnish, for working for 12 years to “get this (film) made the right way.”
And he offered a tribute to Taupin, who joined him in the interview room.
“This is for my partner of 53 years. Without him, I wouldn’t be here,” John said. “Without the lyrics, I’m nobody.”
Mel Brooks’ praise was enough for Taika Waititi
Waititi was quite pleased with the adapted-screenplay Oscar for “Jojo Rabbit,” but he’s actually most proud of an honor he earned well before Sunday’s ceremony.
“Mel Brooks (the director of ‘The Producers’) gave it the seal of approval in front of most of Hollywood at this AFI lunch. I leaned over to my producer and said, ‘This whole awards season can go down the drain, as far as I’m concerned. This is our Oscar. This guy, one of my heroes, has given us this recognition.’ ”
Waititi explained that it was “nerve-wracking” making a film that includes Hitler and the Nazis “and infusing it with humor,” but that he felt better after hearing from the children of concentration camp survivors and learning the film will be included in the education curriculum of the Shoah Foundation, which was founded to collect testimony from Holocaust survivors.
“It made me feel it was worthwhile and there’s a point to telling these stories again and again, in different ways,” he said.
Renee Zellweger needs to phone home
Zellweger was incredibly composed backstage with her first Oscar, for “Judy,” but the star admitted she was long overdue for a phone call. Her parents back home in Texas were waiting.
“I told (my mom) to please keep your phone nearby on the coffee table. So you can see that she’s waiting,” said Zellweger.
Big problem: Zellweger didn’t have her cell.
“My phone is in someone else’s bag right now, so I haven’t called anyone,” she said. But Zellweger promised that calling Mom was priority one as soon as she got it back.
Zellweger also gave the oddest thanks to Los Angeles traffic for helping her perfect her performance. “Only thing I do by myself was sing by myself in the car in traffic on the 405,” she said.
Laura Dern is happy she made her mother cry
Dern’s acceptance speech had her mother, acting legend Diane Ladd, in tears in the audience. The TV showed the emotional Ladd after Dern said, “Some say ‘Never meet your heroes.’ I say, if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents. I share this with my acting heroes, my legends, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. You got game. I love you.”
Dern, 53, called the waterworks mission accomplished afterward.
“I went backstage, and people were telling me my mother was very moved, and that just makes me so happy to stand up and sing their praises,” said Dern. “They literally got me here and artistically got me here as well. So it means the world.”
‘Hair Love’ signifies joy, representation and freedom
Matthew A. Cherry, director of the Oscar-winning animated short film, was inspired by real-life, loving images of black fathers and daughters.
“When we did the Kickstarter campaign in 2017, there wasn’t a lot of representation in animation and when I was coming across these viral videos of dads doing their daughters’ hair, they were just something inherently joyful,” he said.
“Hair Love” is important at a time when a Texas high-school student was suspended for wearing his hair in dreadlocks and legislation has been proposed in California to protect people’s hair choices, producer Karen Rupert Toliver said.
“Freeing black hair means freeing ourselves, and we want to get stories out that allow us to express ourselves and make it OK to walk the streets however we look with our hair,” she said.