First-time Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon

During the 78th Annual Academy Awards®, millions watched as Reese Witherspoon was awarded the Best Actress statuette for her work in Walk the Line. Only hours after being crowned Hollywood's new golden girl, Reese returns to the very spot where she accepted her first Oscar® to reflect on the big night.

As a Southern belle growing up in Nashville, Reese says she never dreamed that she'd win an Oscar. After celebrating until 3 a.m. on Oscar night, she says reality began to sink in when her head finally hit the pillow.

"[Winning] felt surreal to me," Reese says. "It was just nice to have a moment and just go, 'Wait, I've done something. I actually made a good movie.'"

In Walk the Line, Reese plays country music star June Carter Cash and wows audiences with her impressive vocals. After a night of thanking friends, family and co-stars, Reese lost her voice, but she kept a tight grip on her prized Oscar!
Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon

On Oscar® night, Reese won the world over with her Southern charm, but Ryan Phillippe, her husband, has been a big fan for years.

Before the Best Actress award was announced, Gayle King caught up with Ryan backstage. Ryan, who co-stars in the Best Picture winner Crash, says he's usually shy at glitzy, red carpet events, but Gayle got him to open up about the mother of his two children.

"I think who [Reese] is sort of radiates and emanates," he said. "She's incredibly conscientious, kind and good to people. She has a perspective that extends far beyond her own personal gain, and I think that's an impressive thing."

When discussing his wife's Christian Dior Oscar gown, it was obvious that Ryan admired his wife's inner and outer beauty! "I think it's the best [dress] she's ever worn," he says.
Reese Witherspoon's parents, John and Betty

During Reese's emotional Oscar® acceptance speech, she thanked her parents, John and Betty Witherspoon, for always telling her how proud they were...whether she was making her bed or making a movie!

Reese's mother, Betty, says watching her daughter win an Academy Award® was one of her proudest moments. "You think that this will never happen...and then all of a sudden, you just scream with delight, and you're just thrilled and you just can't believe it," she says.

With all the media hype and Hollywood hoopla that surrounds an Oscar win, Reese says she relies on her family to keep her grounded...and no one does it better than her 6-year-old daughter, Ava.

"I talked to my daughter this morning, and I go, 'Honey, Mommy won the award last night,'" Reese says. "And she goes, 'I know, I know. And I lost my tooth two days ago, so I'm the first kid who lost a tooth in March!'"

"That keeps it real for you," Reese says.
Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon

Though it's too early to tell how an Oscar® win will change Reese's career, she says she hopes for more complex roles like June Carter Cash in the future.

"I hope to have more opportunities to do more good work and create more [female] characters that I feel like are real—that have flaws and have challenges," Reese says. "The great thing about [playing] June was she just wasn't just the girlfriend or the wife...she really had so many things that she fought with and struggled with in her mind. I'd love to have more people write those kind of roles."
First-time Oscar host Jon Stewart

How does first-time Oscar® host Jon Stewart feel after his big night?

"I got up at 5:30. I had half a melon and I began to Jazzercise, and I am ready," he jokes. "No, I'm exhausted!"

Now that all the Oscars have been awarded, Jon says he's pleased with his own performance.

"We did so much work and so much preparation, I didn't want to come out here and just screw it all up," Jon says. "So I was really happy that we got out and we accomplished what I thought we wanted to do, and the main thing was we wanted to have fun, because you never know, is something like this going to come your way again? ... I had too much fun. I had the kind of fun that could get you arrested. I had ugly fun!"

Jon says the best part of hosting was seeing rap group Three 6 Mafia accept their Oscar for Best Original Song. "Those guys brought an exuberance—a certain joy—where all of a sudden you went, 'Oh right, that's what you're supposed to do!' You're supposed to go, 'Oscar, oh my God, Oscar!'"
Jon Stewart

Even though the audience was filled with Hollywood legends and some of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry, Jon says he wasn't nervous. Shortly after the ceremony began, Jon says one moment in particular helped settle any nerves he might have had.

"I looked down, and [Jamie Foxx] was laughing, and it just put me at ease," Jon recalls. "If Jamie's laughing, this is going to be okay."

As the host of Comedy Central's Daily Show, Jon says he feels more pressure from his own audience of non-celebrities.

"[Jack] Nicholson, I'll never see that dude again. You know what I mean?" Jon jokes. "If he hates me, it's like, 'Okay, see you in the movies, buddy!' But for your own audience, I think you feel more responsibility."
Jon Stewart's wife, Tracey

Jon's magical night may not have happened if he listened to his wife, Tracey. Years ago, Jon told Tracey to tell him to say no if he was ever offered the Oscar® gig. When that day finally arrived, Tracey says she tried to talk him out of it...but Jon recanted and said he never thought he'd actually be asked!

Tracey watched Jon's antics from the audience on Oscar night, and although millions were also watching, she says she was never nervous for her husband. "I've learned over the years, I never have to be nervous for him," she says. "He always comes through."

Jon and his team of writers spent many long nights and weekends working on his Oscar material, and despite the hard work, Jon says he "had a ball." Oprah wants to know...would he ever host again?

"It was such a great experience," Jon says with a grin. "I don't know!"