Steven Soderbergh is surprised that his drunken Oscars speech in 2001 is being presented as the model for this year’s nominees.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wants to keep the broadcast to just three hours and the winners will be given 90 seconds to make their acceptance speeches or risk being escorted off the stage.
Soderbergh, who won the best director award for Traffic, was also nominated for Erin Brockovich.
Instead of thanking people associated with the movie, the director kept his speech short by paying tribute to the creative spirit.
“There are a lot of people to thank. Rather than thank a few of them publicly, I think I’m going to thank all of them privately. I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating,” he had said.
At the annual Oscar lunch, Oscars producer Donna Gigliotti screened Soderbergh’s 2001 acceptance speech as a model for nominees to prepare for their big moment.
Soderbergh said it was amusing to see his speech being singled out among the best ones because there was no preparation behind it.
“It’s so hilarious to me that someone would point to that as an example of anything good,” Soderbergh told IndieWire.
“I wish I’d been in that room to give everybody some context of why that played out the way it did, and the aftermath when I walked off the stage. I can tell you right now (executive producer) Graham King was not happy to not be thanked because if it were not for him that film doesn’t get made.
The director, known for films such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Erin Brochovich, Oceans trilogy and Magic Mike, said he thought he did not stand a chance to win in the category despite his double nomination as it had favourites Ridley Scott for Gladiator and Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
“I was going under the assumption it was going to be not me, because that was the way it’d been playing out. I was going to the (open bar) and I was having double vodka cranberries at every commercial break. I was lit. And because I knew I wasn’t going to have to get up there I had nothing prepared,” he recalled.
The director said he froze when his name was announced as the winner and that explains his delayed response on the stage.