Giving a memorable Oscar acceptance speech is almost as important as giving a great performance. I mean, how else will people remember if you even won or not if they can’t remember your acceptance speech? To wit, VH1 has come up with 5 easy tips every Oscar winner should remember when they accept their award this Sunday night.
1) Make The Music Your Own Personal Soundtrack
The Oscars don’t have their own pit orchestra to entertain the audience in between segments. The musicians are there to “politely” signal to winners that their time is up and they should vacate the stage immediately.
However, actors are hams and actors don’t want to give up their moment in the spotlight. Most winners awkwardly dip out when the music starts to play, but those people are amateurs.
Consider Julia Roberts’s win for Erin Brockovitch in 2001. Now, I don’t remember much about the movie except Roberts’s boobs were on display and water is scary, but everyone vividly remembers Roberts haggling with “Mr. Stick Man” for more time.
The best use of Oscar music, though? Cuba Gooding, Jr. When Gooding won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1996 for Jerry Maguire, he acknowledged that he was running out of time and said the orchestra could play on…but then he went on. What follows is a rousing speech that captured the imagination of all who saw it. Finally! A St. Crispin’s Day speech for our time!
2) Make It All About You And Your Special Journey
Or not. It all depends on what kind of attention you want.
Anne Hathaway made eyes roll across America when she accepted her Oscar for Les Miserables last year with a cloying, “It came true.” It being the dream she dreamed as Fantine (and as Anne Hathaway). It drew attention to her role, her ambition and her hunger for the top prize.
Hathaway, though, has nothing on Sally Field, who famously went off on a tangent about how she didn’t feel like she was really embraced by Hollywood when she won her Oscar for Norma Rae–while she was accepting the award for Places In The Heart. The speech feels like two years of therapy condensed into a minute and the point she arrives at is, “you like me, right now, you like me!”
It’s a speech that produces mild secondhand embarrassment, but hey, we all remember it, right?
3) Bring Up Sex
The Oscars are one of the most dignified and austere nights of the year, which means they need to be SEXED UP. Most of us are fading after twenty minutes of listening to rich and beautiful people praise themselves, so why not keep our interests by heating things up?
Your mom might not have ever seen the Holocaust drama, The Pianist, but she’s definitely seen Adrian Brody plant a passionate kiss on Halle Berry numerous times. MAKE OUT! MAKE OUT! KISS! KISS!
4) Thank Your Family
Look, we get it, Hollywood. Part of your job includes having lawyers and agents and managers and make up people and chauffeurs and Harvey Weinstein involved in your day-to-day life. By all means, thank them. Off stage. With a fruit basket. Or a nice hand-written note.
See, we don’t care about your lawyer. We do care about whether or not you have family members that you love because it makes you look semi-human for a change. Mention your cute kid by name and playfully admonish them to go to bed. Give thanks to your hard-working mom and dad. Say you love your brother! Just look human for three minutes and not like the glorious god of acting you believe you are in your mind.
Then again, if you do mention how much you love your brother, don’t kiss him. That doesn’t make you look relatable, either. (But we will remember it, Angelina Jolie…)
5) Just Say “Thank You”
If all else fails, and you blank out, just remember that all you have to do is to say, “Thank you.” In fact, some of the most memorable speeches are the short ones! Joe Pesci might have done it best in 1991 when he accepted his award for Best Supporting Actor in Goodfellas by just saying, “It’s my privilege. Thank you.”
Hey, it’s not much, but we will remember it.