LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out Oscars, the film industry’s top honor, at the 85th annual Academy Awards on Sunday.
Following is a collection of memorable quotes from the show and backstage:
ANG LEE, WINNER, BEST DIRECTOR, “LIFE OF PI”
“Thank you movie god,” Lee said to a big laugh from the audience. “I really need to share this with all 3,000 - everybody who worked with me on ‘Life of Pi’.”
BEN AFFLECK, WINNER, BEST PICTURE, “ARGO”
“I thank everyone in the movie. I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran living in terrible circumstances right now. I want to thank my wife, who I don’t normally associate with Iran, but I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It is work but it is the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”
“I was here 15 years ago and had no idea what I was doing ... I was really just a kid, and I went out and never thought I’d be back here,” said Affleck, who directed and co-produced “Argo.”
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, WINNER, BEST ACTOR, “LINCOLN”
“I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl (Streep) was Steven (Spielberg‘s) first choice for Lincoln ... Steven didn’t have to persuade me to play Lincoln but I had to persuade him that perhaps if I was going to do it, that ‘Lincoln’ shouldn’t be a musical,” Day-Lewis joked, taking a poke at Streep, who presented his Oscar.
“There are three men to whom I owe this and a great deal more. Tony Kushner, our beloved skipper (director) Steven Spielberg and the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln,” said Day-Lewis who dedicated his win to his mother.
CHRISTOPH WALTZ, WINNER, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, “DJANGO UNCHAINED”
“When I read the script for the first time, I realized that there was something special about this film. I know Quentin (Tarantino), and I read the pages more or less as they came out of the printer. Page by page I realized that something special is in the making.”
“I am in awe of the people who work or are in my category. So, the very fact that I am one of them would have ... meant the world ... Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin are role models for me since I started in this profession.”
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, WINNER, BEST ACTRESS, “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”
“Thank you. You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing, but thank you. This is nuts!”
“I‘m just cross-eyed. The process today was so stressful. I felt like Steve Martin from ‘Father of the Bride’ watching my whole house being torn apart.”
When asked if she is worried that her career may be peaking early, she said: “I mean, who knows? I guess we’ll see. Well, now I am.”
ANNE HATHAWAY, WINNER, BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, “LES MISERABLES”
“I had a dream. And it came true,” said Hathaway.
“This film changed me because it made me more compassionate and more aware.”
“Here’s hoping that someday, in the not-too-distant future, the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and never more in real life,” Hathaway said, referring to her “Les Miserables” character who was a starving young mother forced into prostitution.
QUENTIN TARANTINO, WINNER, BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY, “DJANGO UNCHAINED”
“People knowing about my movies 30 or 50 years from now, it’s going to be because of the characters I created. I really only got one chance to get it right. I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive and hopefully live for a long time - and boy, this time did I do it. Thank you so much guys. I would like to say that it’s such an honor to get it this year ... the writing is just fantastic. This will be the writer’s year.”
On negative critiques of the film: “All that criticism that came out; it ended up being kind of a good thing. I wanted to start a conversation about slavery.”
This year’s nominated films “made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter,” Obama said in a surprise appearance.
“They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Everyday they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations ... and strive to reach those dreams.”
Reporting By Lisa Richwine, Eric Kelsey, Lisa Baertlein, Nichola Groom, Tim Reid and Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; editing by Mary Milliken and Sandra Maler