The Most Talked-About Acceptance Speeches in Oscar History
Oscar speeches run the gamut from heartfelt and funny to self-indulgent and obnoxious. And that's pretty much what we've come to expect.
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Every so often, however, somebody grabs the microphone and delivers a speech so over-the-top that we can't help but take notice. Whether they're dropping F-bombs, delivering political messages, or pretending to look surprised after winning almost three dozen awards for the same role (prove us wrong, Anne Hathaway), some actors and actresses leave more of a lasting impression than others.
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Here's a look at ten of the most unusual, controversial and infamous acceptance speeches in Oscar history.
Despite having an aisle seat at the 71st Academy Awards, Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni gleefully stood up and climbed across the seatbacks to accept the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for "Life is Beautiful." Upon winning the Best Actor statuette later the same night, he declared his gratitude by saying, "I would like to be Jupiter, and kidnap everybody, and lie down in the firmament making love to everybody."
Adrien Brody was on top of the world after winning an Oscar for his performance in "The Pianist" at the 75th Academy Awards. After making his way to the stage, Brody embraced presenter Halle Berry by laying a big, fat smooch square on her lips. When he finally took the microphone, he pointed at Berry and said, "I bet they didn't tell you that [kiss] was in the gift bag."
Melissa Leo seemed composed — yet somewhat overwhelmed — when she took the stage to accept her award for Best Supporting Actress at the 83rd Academy Awards. After thanking a few people and making a few jokes, she went silent before saying, "When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago, it looks so f***ing easy." She followed with an "Oops!" and clasped her hand over her mouth before finishing the speech.
After being presented with an Academy Award for his role in "City Slickers," 73-year-old actor Jack Palance took the opportunity to demonstrate his strength. He dropped to the floor and performed a series of one-armed push-ups in the middle of his speech. Billy Crystal, who acted as the host of the 64th Academy Awards, made it a running gag for the rest of the telecast.
When "Bowling For Columbine" took Best Documentary Feature at the 75th Academy Awards, director Michael Moore graciously invited all of his fellow nominees to the stage. Then, about thirty seconds into his acceptance speech, he began voicing his displeasure with the results of the 2000 presidential election, as well as his opposition to the Iraq War. Audience members loudly booed or cheered until he finished his speech.
Marlon Brando (Sacheen Littlefeather)
Marlon Brando boycotted the 45th Academy Awards, so when his name was called as the recipient of the Best Actor Oscar for "The Godfather," a representative named Sacheen Littlefeather took the stage in his place. Littlefeather, who identified herself as the president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, relayed Brando's reasoning for declining the Oscar, which was to protest "the treatment of American Indians, today, by the film industry … and on television and movie reruns."
"It's my privilege. Thank you." That was Joe Pesci's acceptance speech, in its entirety, after winning for Best Supporting Actor in "Goodfellas" at the 63rd Academy Awards. It's also one of the shortest in Oscar history.
Angelina Jolie brought her brother, James Haven, as her date to the 72nd Academy Awards, so it only made sense that she would thank him when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Girl, Interrupted." Still, it was a bit weird when she started off her speech by saying, "I'm so in love with my brother right now." Jolie and Haven raised even more eyebrows when they shared an open-mouth kiss later on in the evening.
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
At the beginning of his speech, Cuba Gooding, Jr. told the producers of the 69th Academy Awards that they could cut away from him if he ran over his time limit. He did, and they cued the music. However, Gooding didn't stop; he continued to thank everyone he could remember, shouting "I love you, I love you!" as the music swelled behind him. When he was finished, he placed his Oscar on the stage and jumped for joy.