Oscars backstage: Cool Jared, grateful Lupita | Inquirer Entertainment
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Oscars backstage: Cool Jared, grateful Lupita

By: - Columnist
/ 12:17 AM March 09, 2014

JENNIFER Lawrence (left) pretends to snatch Lupita Nyong’o’s Best Supporting Actress trophy backstage during the Oscars held at the Dolby Theater. Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES – “Does anybody want to try it out for size? You can. Here, pass it around.” With those words, Jared Leto handed over his Oscar Best Supporting Actor trophy to media folk gathered backstage during the recent 86th Academy Awards.

AT THE GOVERNOR’S Ball following the awards rites, Lupita looks happy when shown the plaque bearing her name that will be attached to her trophy. AFP

“But if you have swine flu, please don’t touch,” quipped the actor, who won for his brilliant portrayal of Rayon, a transsexual, in “Dallas Buyers Club.” “I think [I am] the first person to ever give his Oscar away for an orgy in the press room.”


Easygoing, fun and candid in interviews, Jared endeared himself even more to the reporters interviewing the winners who had just delivered their acceptance speeches on the Dolby Theater stage.

With his beard and long hair, Jared looked like Jesus. In fact, a revised version of Ellen Degeneres’ wildly popular, star-studded selfie at the Oscars, with an image of Jesus merged with Jared’s face, immediately went viral.


Chill rock star

He jested, “Does anybody else want to take a fondle?” The gleaming gold statuette was still being passed around as he spoke. “If you guys want to get a selfie with the Oscar, go for it. Now’s your chance.”

The moderator interjected, “No cameras allowed in this room.”

“Oh, no fun,” Jared commented. “You guys want to get the media; let the media do what they do. Viva la revolucion, baby.”

COSTARS and newly minted Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey (left) and Jared Leto get photobombed by a playful coawardee. Getty Images/AFP

The reporters vigorously applauded Jared, who has another “life” as lead singer of the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. Jared told us once that he enjoyed performing in Manila (in 2011) although a storm threatened to cancel the band’s shows.

Asked about his moving tribute to his mom, Constance, in his acceptance speech, Jared said, “I thanked her because she’s everything. She has inspired me in ways that I can talk about for days. I was really proud to bring her and my brother (Shannon) tonight, the two most important people in my life. I’m fortunate to be able to thank them in such a unique and grand way.”

He was also grateful to “Dallas Buyers Club’s” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, who won for Best Hair and Makeup. “They had a budget of $250. I’m not joking. And they worked the hardest out of anyone on the entire set. They show up at the crack–s of dawn and leave at the crack–s of dawn… tireless workers, essential to the building of these characters and performances.”


Does he prefer being a rocker to acting? “The good news is, I don’t have to choose, right?” he replied. “I said to my brother, ‘This (Dolby Theater) is actually a very small venue for 30 Seconds to Mars.’ But of course, when you have to stand up there, without your band and it’s obviously not a 30 Seconds to Mars audience, it’s different. It’s quite impressive, exhilarating and very fun—to look down and see Leo (DiCaprio) and Meryl Streep, and at one point in my speech, I found myself talking right to (Robert) De Niro, as if the room wasn’t intimidating enough. I was like, bad choice. Let me go back over to my mom.”

Perfect song

As to which 30 Seconds to Mars song was most apt for a triumphant night like this, the down-to-earth singer-actor said, “Probably a great one is ‘Kings and Queens.’ It’s a big soaring, anthemic song. But ‘City of Angels’ is actually even better. I made a short film for ‘City of Angels.’ I interviewed Kanye West, James Franco…some people who live on Hollywood Boulevard and some people who are homeless. I interviewed ‘Superman’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe’ who work on the boulevard. [That song] would be the most appropriate. We shot it right in front of this venue. And I live just a mile away. If anybody wants to come hang out later, I’ll be there. But it’s insane to do this so close to home.”

Noticing how the moderator called the reporters who wanted to ask questions by their assigned placard numbers, Jared quipped, “This is like bingo—‘153!’ ”

Before he left the room, Jared said, “Thanks for getting my Oscar dirty with your fingerprints.”

Pleasure and pain

Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress winner for director Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” came up with quotable quotes up on the Oscar stage and backstage, inspired by her acclaimed portrayal of a slave’s sad, cruel fate and her own journey from Kenya to Hollywood with a burning ambition to become an actress:

“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s.

“Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position. This has been the joy of my life. I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

“The message that I’ve gotten from many people who have been in this position is that they’ve said from their hearts that the outcome doesn’t matter, that you’ve already won. The work has been done. And remembering that has kept me hopeful, positive and relaxed.”

(E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)

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TAGS: Entertainment, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, Oscars, Oscars 2014
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