The 2019 Academy Awards
Oscars 2019 live updates: ‘Green Book’ wins best picture; Colman beats out Close for best actress; Malek wins best actor; Gaga and Cooper intimate ‘Shallow’ performance.
In a somewhat shocking moment, “Green Book” — about a black jazz pianist who travels with a white driver through the Jim Crow South — won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday night. It was one of three trophies for the polarizing film, which also won supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and original screenplay. While promoted as a feel-good story of unlikely friendship, the film has been criticized for how it handled racial conflict, and has been called a stereotypical “white savior” movie.
Freddie Mercury and Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” took home four Oscars, the most of any film, including best actor (Rami Malek), film editing and sound mixing and editing. “Roma,” the drama based on director Alfonso Cuarón childhood in 1970s Mexico City, and “Black Panther,” the groundbreaking superhero film, were close behind with three awards each.
Each of the eight films nominated for best picture took home at least one award. In the biggest upset of the night, Olivia Colman of “The Favourite” triumphed over “The Wife” star Glenn Close, who is now zero for seven Oscar nominations and was expected to take home the trophy.
“Green Book” surprises as best picture winner; Alfonso Cuarón wins best director for “Roma”; Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) beats out Glenn Close (“The Wife”) for best actress; Rami Malek wins best actor for “Bohemian Rhapsody. ”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” wins best animated feature. Ramsey was the first black director to be nominated in the category. Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler make history for “Black Panther,” becoming the first African Americans to win for costume design and best production design, respectively.
Mahershala Ali wins best supporting actor for “Green Book;” Regina King wins best supporting actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott win best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman”; “Free Solo” wins best documentary feature; Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly win best original screenplay for “Green Book”
“Roma” wins Mexico first Oscar for best foreign language film.
The ceremony kicked off with the remaining members of Queen playing a medley of tunes, beginning with “We Will Rock You” with Adam Lambert subbing in for Freddie Mercury. | Oscars opening: ‘There is no host tonight . . . and Mexico is not paying for the wall.’
11:14: “Green Book” wins best picture.
“The whole story is about love,” said director Peter Farrelly. “It about loving each other despite our differences and finding out the truth about who we are: We’re the same people.”
The best picture category was a bit of a toss-up this year, but it isn’t unusual for a film that wins a screenplay award to also win the biggest award of the night.
What does make “Green Book” a bit of a surprise is how much controversy it drummed up after its release. The film, which centers on a black pianist named Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who hires a prejudiced white chauffeur named Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) to drive him around the South for a concert tour in the 1960s, polarized critics over its depictions of race. Some praised its central story line of two men overcoming their differences to form a genuine friendship, while others believed it leveraged the black man pain to better the white man.
Ali thanked Shirley while accepting the Oscar for best supporting actor, but there was no mention of the pianist made during the best picture speeches. Shirley family has previously expressed concerns over his depiction in the film.
11:07: Alfonso Cuarón wins best director for “Roma.” This is his fourth Oscar and second win tonight.
“Being here doesn’t get old,” joked Cuarón, who already won best cinematography for his critically acclaimed film, based on his upbringing in 1970s Mexico City. He thanked the cast and crew and gave a shout-out to Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira. “They are truly the film,” he said of the Oscar-nominated actresses.
“I want to thank the academy for recognizing a film centered around an indigenous woman, one of the 70 million domestic workers in the world without work rights — a character that has historically been relegated to the background in cinema,” he said.
“As artists, our job is to look where others don’t,” he continued. “This responsibility becomes much more important in times where we are being encouraged to look away.”
10:58: Olivia Colman wins best actress for “The Favourite.”
The first major upset of the night came about three hours into the show — Olivia Colman won over Glenn Close, who dominated trophies throughout award season and was favored by many to win for “The Wife.” (She now zero for seven Oscar nominations.)
Colman was in tears by the time she reached the stage, and her mouth was still wide open in surprise. It was the first award of the night for “The Favourite,” which had a field-leading 10 nominations. (Her co-star, Emma Stone, was also crying in the audience.) It took Colman a few seconds to gather her composure. “It genuinely quite stressful. This is hilarious. ”
She went on to thank her director, Yorgos Lanthimos, as well as her co-stars, Stone and Rachel Weisz, whom she called “the two loveliest women in the world to fall in love with.” She also gave a shout-out to her competition.
“Glenn Close, you’ve been my idol for so long, and this is not how I wanted it to be,” Colman said tearfully, as Close laughed and waved off the compliment. “I think you’re amazing and I love you very much. ”
Colman got the “wrap up” signal from producers and ended with a shout-out to her husband and children. “My kids, if you’re home and watching — well, if not, well done. But I sort of hope you are, this is not going to happen again.”
10:43: Rami Malek wins best actor for “Bohemian Rhapsody. ”
Malek, accepting his first Oscar for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, began by breathlessly and sweetly thanking his mother and his late father.
Oh my God, my mom is in here somewhere. Oh, I love you. I love you, lady,” he said, before choking down emotion. “My dad didn’t get to see me do any of this, but I think he looking down on me right now. This is a monumental moment, one I’m so appreciative to all of you [for], to everyone who had a hand in getting me here.
He reflected on what telling stories that often go unheard could mean to some people.
I think about what it would have been like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him, and I think his curly-haired little mind would be blown,” he said. “That kid was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out.
Malek, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Egypt, is a first-generation American, and he was particularly proud of being part of a movie about “a gay man, an immigrant who lived his life unapologetically himself.
“The fact that i’m celebrating him and his story here tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this,” Malek added.
10:41: Barbra Streisand introduced Spike Lee “BlacKkKlansman.” “Truth is especially precious these days,” the singer-actress said before revealing that her enthusiastic tweets about the film led to a thank you note from the director himself. The two bonded over their Brooklyn roots and love of hats, Streisand told the audience, from which Lee gave a lively shout.
10:26: Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt win best original song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.”
A tearful Gaga thanked her family and co-star Bradley Cooper before telling viewers at home, “This is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time. It not about winning — what it about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There a discipline for passion, and it not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or get beaten up. It about how many times you stand up and are brave and keep going.”
Ronson took the mic to thank Gaga, “only because you can’t really thank yourself. I think when you’re in the room with this person, you don’t have to do that much. She acts, she sings the song. Lady Gaga, we salute you. ”
10:24: Ludwig Goransson wins best original score for “Black Panther.” This is his first win and first nomination.
Goransson, fresh off an impressive Grammys run, thanked “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler while recalling their early work together — as students at the University of Southern California.
“We’re here 12 years later, celebrating one of the most important cinematic moments in history,” he said.
10:14: Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott win best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman. ”
Spike Lee was ecstatic as he ran onstage to accept his first competitive Academy Award (he was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2015), and the sound went out for at least five seconds as, presumably, he uttered words that the censors deemed inappropriate for television. He paid tribute to his grandmother, whose mother was a slave, who lived to be 100 years old and put him through Morehouse College and New York University film school. Lee also made the first overtly political comments of the night: “The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let all mobilize, let all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” he said.
“Let do the right thing!” he added, as the audience laughed knowingly — after all, that was his famously snubbed film in 1990. “You know I had to get that in there,” Lee joked.
10:09: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly win best original screenplay for “Green Book. ”
Despite controversies surrounding the movie accuracy and its portrayal of racial conflict, “Green Book” nabbed the best original screenplay award. Peter Farrelly took the opportunity to thank seemingly everyone he ever met, including “the entire state of Rhode Island,” his wife, kids, brother, his actors and … well, the list goes on. As he put it, “If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to go somewhere far, go together. ”
10:07: Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman “Skin” wins best live-action short film.
“The bigotry they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today, in America, in Europe,” Nattiv said of his grandparents. “This film is about education. It about teaching your kids a better way.”
9:59: We knew it was coming when the curtain lifted up to reveal musicians taking the stage. Bradley Cooper took Lady Gaga hand as they walked up from the audience to the stage and stood by a piano. It “Shallow” time! “Tell me something, girl,” Cooper began, gazing into Gaga eyes.
After Cooper verse, Gaga took her (rightful) seat at the piano, playing as she sang the introspective verse of Ally, her character from “A Star Is Born,” directed by Cooper and up for best picture.
“In the sha ha sha ha llow,” they sang together.”
We waited with bated breath for Ally trademark belt in the middle of the song. The moment prompted Cooper to put his microphone to the side and sit down next to Gaga at the piano, where they sang the end of the song into the same microphone. Given how closely they were sitting and the longing glances they were exchanging, many people were likely wondering whether they were going to kiss. (They didn’t). Hey, it acting, right?
9:57: Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwal win best visual effects for “First Man. ”
9:46: “Period. End of Sentence.” by Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton wins for documentary short subject.
The creators of “Period. End of Sentence.” — the documentary about the stigma around menstruation faced by women in India — were shocked when they took the stage: “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!” Zehtabchi said. “A period should end a sentence, not a girl education,” Berton added.
9:43: “Bao” by Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb wins for best animated short film.
The duo, looking excited, both offered short personal speeches following the win. Domee Shi offered supportive words “to all of the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks.
“Don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world,” she said. “You’re gonna freak people out but you’ll probably connect with them, too, and that an amazing feeling to have. ”
Neiman-Cobb, meanwhile, reflected on having her first child — something that coincided with the creation of “Bao.
“I got to make a short about a mother just as I was becoming one,” she said gleefully.
9:33: David Rawlings and Gillian Welch perform “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. ”
9:30: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” wins best animated feature.
Director Peter Ramsey was the first black director to be nominated in the category.
“We want you all to know, we see you,” Ramsey said to the audience. “You’re powerful. This world needs you, okay? This world needs you. So please, we’re all counting on you.”
9:22: Mahershala Ali wins best supporting actor for “Green Book.” This is his second Oscar.
Though “Green Book” is one of the most polarizing Oscar contenders this year, Ali performance as jazz pianist Don Shirley has garnered positive reviews. Ali thanked Shirley and said that “trying to capture his essence pushed me to my ends, which is a reflection of the person he was and the life that he lived. ”
He also thanked his co-stars and director Peter Farrelly before dedicating the award to his grandmother. “I know I would not be here without her,” he said.
9:19: John Ottman wins best film editing for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This is his first Oscars win.
“Freddie Mercury in a way brought us all together, from wherever he is, just like he did with his audience,” Ottman said.
Ottman closed out his speech with the Zoroastrian teaching that was a throughline in the feature film: “Good words, good thoughts, good deeds. ”
9:08: So, Keegan Michael-Key just dropped down into the audience. With umbrella in hand (and harness around him), he landed in an aisle and introduced Bette Midler, who sang “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns.”
9:06: “Roma” wins best foreign language film.
It wasn’t a huge surprise that Alfonso Cuarón “Roma” won the foreign language film category; the Netflix movie is also a front-runner for best picture. Presenting the category with Angela Bassett, Javier Bardem said in Spanish, “There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent.”
Cuarón echoed a similar sentiment in his acceptance speech when he said that all of the Oscar nominees “have proven that we are part of the same ocean. ”
8:58: Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali win best sound mixing for “Bohemian Rhapsody. ”
8:55: John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone win best sound editing for “Bohemian Rhapsody. ”
“We got to work with Queen for our day job, which was wonderful,” Warhurst said.
8:47: Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson performs “I’ll Fight,” a song written by Diane Warren for the documentary “RBG,” about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
8:45: Alfonso Cuarón wins best cinematography for “Roma.”
Cuarón clinched his third Oscar with this award, but he also up for best director, best original screenplay and best picture tonight. His stunning black-and-white film is based on his childhood and focuses on a middle-class family and their housekeeper, played by Yalitza Aparicio (nominated for best actress). Cuarón thanked Aparicio and Marina de Tavira (nominated for best supporting actress), who stars as the family matriarch. The award makes him the first cinematographer to win for a film he also directed.
“If this film was created by my own memories, the film was crafted through the memories of what the great masters of cinematography have given to us,” he said, noting that he was inspired by his longtime collaborator and cinematographer, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, who was unavailable for the project due to scheduling conflicts.
“Thank you very much, Mexico,” Cuarón added.
8:38: Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart win for best production design for “Black Panther.”
Beachler is the first African American to be nominated in this category.
Beachler gave a moving speech in which she thanked the cast and crew of “Black Panther”: “I stand here with agency and self-worth because of [director] Ryan Coogler, who not only made me a better designer, a better storyteller, a better person,” but who also offered her air, patience and “better perspective of life.” She also shared the same advice she once received: When you think things are impossible, remember “I did my best, and my best is good enough.”
8:30: Ruth E. Carter wins best costume design for “Black Panther.”
She is the first black costume designer to ever take home the award, and the second black woman to win an Oscar in a non-acting category.
“Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we made him an African king,” Carter said. Among those she thanked was director Ryan Coogler, whom she called “a guiding force.”
8:28: So far, the producers of tonight Oscars have definitely figured out how to make the time in between awards entertaining. Presenting best costume design, Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry walked out dressed in a mash-up of “The Favourite,” “Mary Queen of Scots” and “Black Panther” — McCarthy dress was covered in plush, fake rabbits.
8:25 Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney win best makeup and hair styling for their work in “Vice.”
8:16: “Free Solo” wins best documentary feature.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, who co-directed the film, featuring professional rock climber Alex Honnold, with her husband, Jimmy Chin, thanked National Geographic “for believing in us and for hiring women and people of color because we only help make the films better.”
“This film is for everyone who believes in the impossible,” she told the audience.
8:10: Regina King wins best supporting actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” This is her first Oscar nomination and win. King thanked director Barry Jenkins and paid homage to James Baldwin, who wrote the novel “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
“To be standing here, representing one of the great artists of our time, James Baldwin, it a little surreal,” she said with tears streaming down her face. “James Baldwin birthed this baby and Barry, you nurtured her, you surrounded her with so much love and support so it appropriate for me to be standing here because I’m an example of what it looks like when support and love is poured into someone. Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for teaching me that God is always leaning, always has been leaning in my direction.”
8:06: This year ceremony lacked an opening monologue because it also lacked a host, so Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler stepped up to the plate before presenting the award for best supporting actress.
“We’re not your hosts, but we’re going to stand here a little too long so the people who get USA Today will think that we hosted,” Fey said.
“So just a quick update for everybody, in case you’re confused, there is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” Rudolph added.
“That right, and we won’t be doing awards during the commercials, but we will be presenting commercials during the awards,” Poehler said. “So if all the winners could say, ‘Hellmann Mayonnaise, we’re on the side of food’ instead of your speeches, that’d be great.”
8:05: The ceremony kicked off with the obligatory movie montage including films from the past year that didn’t make the Oscars cut. Spotted: “Eighth Grade,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “A Simple Favor” and “Mamma Mia 2.”
8:00: This year ceremony lacked a host after the Kevin Hart debacle (if you don’t remember, here a nice refresher on that disaster), so it kicked off with the remaining members of Queen playing two tunes, beginning with “We Will Rock You” with Adam Lambert subbing in for Freddie Mercury. The celebrity-studded crowd rose to its feet to perform the famous stomp-stomp-clap.
Lambert, who had a small cameo in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” did his best to capture the energy Mercury brought to stage. But, as one colleague quipped, it felt an awful lot like the Oscars was “starting with a 5th place ‘American Idol’ performance.”
After an arm-waving version of “We Are the Champions,” Lambert screamed “Welcome to the Oscars.”
And we’re off.
7:44: Giuliana Rancic and best actress nominee Lady Gaga kicked off their red carpet interview by speaking to one another in Italian. Rancic, who said she fell more in love with her husband after watching “A Star Is Born,” then repeated the same question she asked Gaga director and co-star, best actor nominee Bradley Cooper: “How does it feel, knowing you have that effect?”
“That all you can really hope for,” Gaga said. “[When] you make art and you create something with someone you care about, you can only pray that that blessing of what you made can reach itself into the world and spread love. Of all the things we could spread, that is the most beautiful thing we possibly could. Thank you for even saying that. That wonderful.”
Nicely handled, Gaga.
7:33: What is it like to be an Oscar nominee? “It a moment you only dream about,” said Rami Malek, up for best actor for his acclaimed turn as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. “To be here on this scale is something I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams and it is really beautiful.”
Malek told Seacrest he researched the role by watching and listening to archival performances and interviews with Mercury. “He was spontaneous and effortless and not choreographed,” Malek said. Those are traits the nominee said he will try to channel if he makes it up to the stage tonight — “the ability to look at everyone in the audience and make them feel so comfortable with themselves.”
7:32: Best actor nominee Bradley Cooper joined a seemingly star-struck Giuliana Rancic, who asked what he learned about himself while working on “A Star Is Born,” his directorial debut.
“Ooh, that a deep question,” he said, surprised. “I mean, any time you put your whole heart into something and ask people to come along with you, it very humbling. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Rancic then babbled about how the movie made her fall in love with her husband even more, to which Cooper had a very muted response. The exchange was . . . odd.
7:30: Mike Myers plays a small role in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and it one he took before even reading the script. The self-avowed Queen fan had a huge hand in introducing a new generation to the band with his 1992 movie “Wayne World,” which prominently featured “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“I used to listen to Queen in Toronto, I made a movie and now I’m here,” Myers said.
Rami Malek is up for best actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury; the actor stayed in character throughout filming. “I never got to meet Freddie Mercury but I felt like I did making this film,” Myers said. “What impressed me was [Malek] caught the spirit of what I thought Freddie Mercury was going to be, which was just a brilliant artist.”
7:27: One of the ongoing narratives of this year Oscars is how little personal information Bradley Cooper was willing to reveal while out stumping for his baby, “A Star Is Born.” Sam Elliott, who is up for best supporting actor for his role in that film, toed the same line — but he let a little slip.
When asked how being nominated felt, he was reserved, saying only, “It feels real good.”
But then he talked about meeting Cooper for the first time, when he went to the first-time director home and had dinner. “We spent a couple hours talking about the films and talking about our families and talking about our moms,” he said.
What’d Cooper cook for him? The mustachioed actor was mum on the menu: “I’m not gonna tell you what he made.”
He also dismissed the idea that he would have been nervous to work with Cooper.
“Bradley a brilliant guy,” he said. “At this stage of my game, to have some young guy like that say, ‘Hey man, come play my brother.’ What am I gonna say? No?”
7:14: Angela Bassett, who played Wakanda queen mother in “Black Panther,” told Ryan Seacrest that the emotional feedback to the Marvel film was “like nothing I’d ever seen.” It the first superhero movie to be nominated for best picture.
“Isn’t that something?” she said. “So much effort and so much brilliance goes into these kind of films, but it a testament to not only the technique, but also the power that film can have.”
7:10: “The Wife” star Glenn Close, who confirmed her legend status when she accepted the trophy for best actress at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday and brought her dog Pippin onstage, verified some important news to Ryan Seacrest — she has indeed become good friends with Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga mom. Is it strange that she pals with her category rival mom? Not at all! Close said the two met through her charity and have since gone out for “great Italian meals” together.
And in case you were wondering, Close golden gown weighs 42 pounds.
7:01: Willem Dafoe, who is up for best actor for his portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in “At Eternity Gate,” said he was in the Canadian Rockies when he learned of his nomination.
There I was, all by myself in the middle of nowhere, and when I heard my name called, I was quite moved,” Dafoe said.
The actor learned how to paint for the film, sometimes making his own artistic creations after shooting wrapped for the day.
I feel like I experienced something very personal [through painting], and the movie is somewhat a record of that,” Dafoe said.
But don’t expect to purchase any of his work in a gallery anytime soon: “My painting is pretty specific to the movie, but it really changed how I see. It became the key to playing the character.”
6:57: Best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy spoke to Ryan Seacrest alongside her “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” director Marielle Heller. McCarthy endlessly praised Heller, who some critics believe was snubbed in the directing category.
“She a force to be reckoned with, and there such a strong hand in directing,” the actress said. “She has such an easy way to collaborate, but you always feel guided. You always feel looked out for. She an amazing, amazing storyteller.”
Heller responded, “Melissa one of the most impressive actors I’ve ever worked with or will ever work with. It like a master class in character work, watching the way she transforms into Lee [Israel], because her energy actually changes. You can see Melissa has this light, lovely, full-of-life energy, and Lee is this heavy, earthy, dark kind of energy.”
Both also praised best supporting actor nominee Richard E. Grant, who got along with McCarthy so swimmingly that he used to appear on set and take her out for lunch on days when he wasn’t scheduled to work. This morning, he arrived at McCarthy home at 10 and made her entire family eggs before jumping on the trampoline with her children.
“As a director, that all you could hope for,” Heller said of the friendship.
6:52 Jennifer Hudson — who performs “I’ll Fight,” the Diane Warren-penned, Oscar-nominated song from “RBG” — said that she was thrilled to work with Warren.
Warren “is my favorite songwriter. I love that she writes with a purpose, and what better purpose than to write about someone so powerful and who has done so much [to help others], Hudson said.
The song, in particular, meant a lot to Hudson who, at times, felt like Warren wrote it about her.
“I feel like it every woman story,” Hudson said. “We all have to fight day-to-day. We all have struggles, and we all want someone to help us fight.”
6:50: Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn spoke to Ryan Seacrest about working on “The Favourite,” which is up for 10 awards tonight.
“I mean it was very fresh and original. Wasn’t it? These three female leads. It was so dynamic and strong,” Hoult said, of Oscar nominees Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone roles. “Their relationships, combined with Yorgos [Lanthimos] directing, was really special.”
The cast rehearsed by dancing with each other and playing games in lieu of chatting about the script or characters, Hoult continued. So who was the best dancer?
“Come on, now, silly question,” said Alwyn, whose character dances with Weisz in one of the film most memorable scenes.
6:48: Richard E. Grant is up for his first Oscar tonight for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” but his big hope is to meet Barbra Streisand. He already knows what he going to ask her: “Will you marry me?”
He also told Seacrest that his co-star Melissa McCarthy is carrying his twins. “I think you’re confusing me,” Seacrest said. “She not! She not! We should clarify.”
6:39: Spike Lee, who is nominated in the best director category for the first time for “BlacKkKlansman,” bluntly told Ryan Seacrest that “it should have happened before.” (Note: A lot of people agree with him.) But Lee also said he doesn’t need an Oscar. “I think this film is on the right side of history,” he said.
Lee noted that his 1989 film, “Do The Right Thing,” hasn’t suffered despite its infamous Oscars snub 30 years ago. “Water under the bridge?” Seacrest asked. “Let not go too far,” Lee said, laughing.
The director told Seacrest he honoring Prince with his vibrant purple suit by British fashion designer Ozwald Boateng and a necklace sporting the late singer trademark symbol. (Prince soulful rendition of the spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep” plays over the ending credits of “BlacKkKlansman.”) Lee is also honoring “Do The Right Thing” Radio Raheem (played by the late Bill Nunn) with the character signature “hate” and “love” knuckle rings.
6:35: If you were confused when you heard Ryan Seacrest congratulate Trevor Noah on his role in “Black Panther,” don’t worry — you’re not the only one who had no idea what he was talking about. Even the Comedy Central host looked a bit sheepish, as he protested, “I made a voice, that all I did.”
Turns out, Noah was the voice behind the spaceship navigation system in the movie. He and director Ryan Coogler bonded when Coogler reached out to learn about Noah native South Africa. Coogler later asked if Noah wanted a small voice-over role, and Noah immediately jumped at the chance to appear (in any way) in the groundbreaking film.
“I would have been a tree in Wakanda,” Noah told Seacrest. “I would have done that proudly. I would have been tree number five in Wakanda.”
6:20: Regina King, wearing a white Oscar de la Renta gown, told Ryan Seacrest that “to be at the Oscars representing James Baldwin is kind of mind-blowing.” King is nominated in the best supporting actress category for her role in Barry Jenkins “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which is based on Baldwin 1974 novel.
King is a famed Hollywood multitasker — she told Seacrest that she was directing an episode of “This Is Us” when she was offered the movie role. And she accepted immediately despite having told her agents that she wanted a break from mother roles.
6:18: Spike Lee showed up on the red carpet wearing the same love/hate rings that Radio Raheem wore in Lee 1989 feature “Do the Right Thing.” That film didn’t earn Lee a best director nor a best picture nomination, which many cultural critics have since viewed as a glaring snub. Lee is up in both of those categories tonight for “BlacKkKlansman,” based on the true story of a black cop infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.
6:05: Emilia Clarke, like the rest of her “Game of Thrones” castmates, gave no useful hints as to what to expect during the last season of the HBO series.
Aside from, you know, how “shocking” it will be.
“It going to be huge,” she said of the show finale. “It took a very long time to shoot this one, and for very good reason. I know there going to be things in this last season that are going to shock people.” This is coming from the actress whose character has slept with her nephew, so prepare yourselves.
6:16: Self-help guru Marie Kondo loves mess, so obviously she at the Oscars.
5:55: How do you win the red carpet at the Oscars within the first hour? Just be Billy Porter.
Almost instantly, the Tony Award winner (who co-hosting ABC red carpet special) started trending worldwide on Twitter for his epic tuxedo gown, which inspired many thrilled reactions.
5:53: Adam Lambert, who will perform alongside Queen during the ceremony opening, had an “American Idol” reunion with E! red carpet host Ryan Seacrest. Lambert has collaborated with Queen for several years and briefly appeared as a trucker in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
When asked what stands out about Freddie Mercury from the stories other band members have shared, Lambert told Seacrest, “I’ve just heard so much about his sense of humor. It was very dry, and he used to mess with the audience.”
5:28: The Academy Awards may not have a host this year, but as Anne Hathaway reminded us on Instagram Sunday afternoon, that may not be such a bad thing. Reminder: Hathaway infamously co-hosted the Oscars with James Franco back in 2011, and the reviews were . . . not great. The consensus was that Hathaway did her best to make the most of the closely watched gig, while Franco attempt was awkward at best. She probably didn’t expect that to happen: She revealed earlier this year that Franco was the one who convinced her to accept the job in the first place.
5 p.m.: After-shows information
E! After Party: Oscars 2019” (11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.): A group of correspondents will be live from the Vanity Fair party and the Governor Ball, hoping to snag a few celebrity interviews.
“Live After Oscar Show” (Monday, 9 a.m.): “Live” co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Seacrest discuss highlights from the telecast and feature backstage interviews with some of the winners.