The 88th Annual Academy Awards took place on Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Here is what these Oscar winners said backstage in the Academy Awards press room.
SAM SMITH and JIMMY NAPES
Best Original Song
(“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”)
How will you celebrate tonight?
Sam Smith: I think a drink is in order, definitely. We’ve got friends and family here, and we are going to party, I think.
Jimmy Napes: Turn up.
Sam, you gave a lovely speech about what Ian McKellen said. Have you’ve already texted him or spoken to him or if you’re planning to have a conversation in the foreseeable future with him?
Smith: I wish I had his number. I don’t know him. I just love Gandalf.
Napes: It’s like bingo a little bit, isn’t it?
To win tonight, not only as an openly gay man, but to win an Oscar in the year where we’ve seen an increase in LGBT visibility with films like “Carol” and “The Danish Girl,” what does that mean to you?
Smith: It means the world to me. When I read the Ian McKellen piece, I was just bowled over by it, and I wanted to take this opportunity to show how much I care about my community. In the past in my career, people have said at the beginning that I didn’t and stuff, and I just wanted to make it clear how much I truly do care about the LGBT community. At the same time, we are just completely overwhelmed.
Napes: We can’t even speak.
Smith: I’m a little bit drunk as well.
So now that you’ve won an Oscar, what do you plan to accomplish outside of work?
Napes: It is hard to top this one, isn’t it? The James Bond film is the first film we’ve written a song for, and we are going to make another record together. And outside of work, just enjoy ourselves. I just had a baby, so I’m going to spend lots of time with him.
Smith: Outside of work, me and Jimmy, it’s Jimmy’s baby Jackson’s first birthday in a few weeks, and we are dressing up as Igglepiggle and …
Napes: And Upsy Daisy from “In the Garden.” It’s his favorite cartoon, so we’re going to do that.
First of all, congratulations on the win. Sam, beautiful acceptance speech with regard to the LGBT community. Obviously, diversity has been a big issue throughout this entire Oscar ceremony. What was your take on Chris Rock and the way he handled it tonight?
Smith: I thought it amazing. And it was so prominent throughout the show, and I thought that was important. It’s important that all of these things get raised because we are not okay, you know. There is so much that needs to be changed in the world, and it’s so amazing that people are speaking about it and fighting against it.
Sam, really beautiful speech. It turns out you are not actually the first openly gay Oscar winner.
Smith: Sh*t. F*ck that.
But is that actually even better news that this barrier has already been broken?
Smith: Two is my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?
Smith: I should know him. We should date.
Obviously, we are talking about diversity today. Do you think black lives matter, and what does that mean to you in terms of all of the love that you get from our community because we really support you and really love how you bring just another twist all around the country to our music?
Smith: Of course I do, I think that; of course I do. I’m still learning. I’m still learning every day how bad it is in certain places for black people and for the black culture, and I’m still learning slowly but surely, but it’s absolutely awful what is going on in certain parts of the world, and I’m just really behind it. That’s all I can say.
Sam, you look incredible. Did you do anything specific to prepare for tonight?
Smith: I have been eating the most boring food you can imagine for months now, and I’m going to destroy some burgers and chocolate cakes in a second and some beer. You have no idea.
For more info: Academy Awards website
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