It was a royal evening at the 83rd Academy Awards®, as The King's Speech ruled the night. The historical drama took home four Oscars from its 12 nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper) and Original Screenplay (David Seidler). Now, the men of this year's Best Picture winner join Oprah on the Oscar stage!
Many in the press were naming Colin as the odds-on favorite to win Best Actor for his portrayal of King George VI, and Colin says the buzz was hard to ignore. "You try to ignore this stuff. People telling you you're a front-runner is not that helpful in the peace-of-mind stakes, because you can then only lose."
When his name was called, he says it sounded like "someone else's name being read out." Oprah points out that Colin appeared to be very calm in his acceptance speech, so she asks Colin if he did the "happy dance" backstage. "I had to go and find a secluded spot for that...nobody needs to witness that," Colin jokes.
In The King's Speech, Colin's character develops an unlikely friendship with his speech therapist, who is played by Oscar nominee Geoffrey Rush. Off-screen, the two actors became good friends as well—and some even say they have "boy crushes" on each other.
"We text each other...we write to each other sort of as famous couples, [like] Thelma and Louise," Geoffrey jokes. "He said once, 'You're an Andrews sister to my Andrews sister.'"
Geoffrey, who also served as an executive producer on the film, says he's been "blown away" by its success. Initially, though, he says he had his doubts that people would want to see it.
"This is about two middle-aged men who became friends. This is not a genre that has lines around the block," he says. "But we knew there was a wonderful story to be told, so we knuckled down and go on and made the film. Bit by bit, audiences became aware of it and started to give it standing ovations and going to see it two or three times."
Director Tom Hooper also took home an Oscar for the film. In his acceptance speech, he credited his mom, who he says first brought him the idea for The King's Speech. "I think she was knocked out," Tom says. "I brought her over from London for the Golden Globes, and we didn't win. I came to the DGA awards, and I thought, 'Well I'm not going to win that,' so I didn't bring her over and I did win. This was kind of my last chance, so I'm pleased it worked out."
Tom says being up on stage was a blur but he did remember one thing—he forgot to email back Hilary Swank! He says when the actress came onto the stage to present the Best Director award, he suddenly remembered that she had sent him a nice email that he never responded to.
"When I got up on the stage, I kissed her hello and I told her I'm sorry and how much I loved the email and she said, 'I can't believe you're using the Kodak Theatre and winning the Oscar to tell me that,'" Tom says.
In just a few years, Anne Hathaway has gone from teen princess to Oscar host! This year, she graced the academy's stage as the youngest host of all time. Along with her co-host James Franco, she led the night with song, dance and eight costume changes—that's seven gowns and one tuxedo!
Anne says she just "came to have a good time," and she definitely accomplished that. "I had a blast. I kept waiting to become nervous...and the whole thing from beginning to end was just a pure joy," she says. "I was so glad to be part of a team. I thought my co-host James Franco did an incredible job."
Anne says she and James had a lot of fun playing off their different energies, especially when they shot the opening sequence—a process that took about five weeks due to James' busy school schedule.
"In addition to hosting the Oscars and being nominated himself, he's also a student at two different universities and is getting his PhD," Anne says. "As soon as the [Oscar] show ended, he hopped a plane and is in class right now. ... I just partied. I said, 'I'm partying and doing Oprah...you can go to class!"
This year's Best Supporting Actress Award went to Melissa Leo, who plays an overbearing matriarch desperate to turn her sons' boxing careers into the family's meal ticket in The Fighter. Like Colin, Melissa was also named as an odds-on favorite to win, but she says she played a little trick on herself so the buzz wouldn't get to her. "From all those years of going to auditions...[I learned to] leave and forget about it. I learned how to play a mind game with myself," she says.
In fact, Melissa was so blown away by her first Oscar win that she had a little slip-up: According to the Academy, she was the first person in Oscar history to drop the F-word during an acceptance speech. "I find that shocking!" Melissa says. "I grew up with it as a part of my vernacular. I accepted it as that, I brought my son up that way...but I also told him, 'Not in front of grandma!'"
Most everyone can agree that the 83rd Annual Academy Awards ended on a high note when Staten Island's PS 22 choir took the stage to perform "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Now, they're back on the Oscar stage and getting a special surprise from one of today's biggest pop stars—Katy Perry! Along with the children from the PS 22 choir, Katy sings her hit song "Firework."