93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: BEST PICTURE

SPEECH BY: Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, Producers


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Q. Let me tell you, I loved this movie.  Congratulations.  What a night for you guys.  Best picture, I mean, I don't know how you can top it off, but let me tell you, Chloe, you spent four months filming this movie in the middle of nowhere in an RV.  Tonight you couldn't be further from that in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.  So I'm wondering if this movie changed how you live your own life?
A. (Chloé Zhao)  Well, all of us that you saw today on that stage did exactly the same thing.  I think there is a lot of things that changed.  One definitely is that I think I need less stuff to live.  For sure.  I could have just a little, fewer things. 

Q. Congratulations, everybody.  This is one of those wins I think that people are going to be talking about for a very, very, very long time.  And I just wonder for you what the significance of this win, among all of the other accolades this film has received, among all of the other praise that this film has seen this awards season, what are you carrying forward after all of this is over? 
A. (Peter Spears)  Well, I think this actually for me, this is the most fulfilling because it was the first time we were all able to be back together in a year or close to it.  So usually you've spent a lot of time together through some of this awards circuit, and you've gotten to know a lot of the other people who made all of the wonderful films.  This is the first time we got to be reunited and got to see some of the other great filmmakers and the people who made some of the other beautiful movies that were nominated.

Q. Congratulations on this historic night.  But the Oscars changed things up a little this year, moving Best Picture up a couple spots from being the very last one.  Was that a surprise to you guys?  What did you make of the change?  Did it make it less stressful at the end of the day?  What did you think? 
A. (Dan Janvey)  It surely was a surprise.  I think a lot of us grew up watching the Oscars, and I've gotten used to that being last.  And, yeah, it was, it was incredibly fun that they shook it up.  And I thought that the producers did a great job making this possible for us to be in person and the whole Academy.  As producers, it's hard to imagine what went into the making of this show.  So very appreciative of that. 

Q. Greetings from Turkey.  Congratulations.  And Chloé, how did you find being a woman in 2021 ‑‑ how has the definition of being a woman changed? 
A. (Chloé Zhao)  Has the definition of being a woman changed?  Probably not.  But it's pretty fabulous to be a woman in 2021. 

Q. Yes.  Hi, this is Natalie Morales.  And congratulations.  A huge night for Nomadland.  And Chloe, I want to ask you first off, being the first woman of color to win Best Director, what does that mean to you and also for this film?  It had to be so fulfilling.  It took you all on a journey.  What is the significance of this movie, particularly now as we are getting through the pandemic? 
A. (Chloé Zhao)  You know, I'm extremely lucky to be able to do what I love for a living.  And if this win means more people get to live their dreams, I'm extremely grateful. 
Peter?  Pandemic, getting through pandemic, what do you think? 
A. (Peter Spears)  Well, the ability to finish this movie in the midst of a pandemic and then to release the movie in the midst of a pandemic was a Herculean effort and something we never thought we would be doing as we tried to finish it up and thought about how we would finish it.  But the fact that in that process, it seems that the timing was right and the story that we wanted to tell and the story we did tell really resonated in a way for people about community and our shared humanity.  It felt like it was even a deeper sort of meaning than it might have been had it come out prior to that. 

Q. Congratulations, everybody.  And Chloé, I'll wait for you to stand up.  I'm just going to say, Chloé, what ‑‑ as an Asian filmmaker, how do you see this as an inspiration to other Asian filmmakers out there?  And also the journey of this film, I mean, especially actually reverting back to that inspiring Asian filmmakers, especially in the light of what is going on today with the rise in Asian hate crimes and all of rest of it, what are your thoughts on that? 
A. Well, I think it's for, you know, for Asian filmmakers, I think for all filmmakers we have to stay true to who we are, you know, and we have to tell the stories that we feel connected to.  We shouldn't feel like there is only certain type of story we have to tell.  But it's a way for us to connect with other people.  That is why I love filmmaking.  You know?  And hopefully a lot of the stories, brilliant stories we tell tonight, like Tyler Perry said, that was a beautiful speech about let's get together, and let's stop hate, hate for anybody. 

Q. Congratulations. 

Q. Thank you.  And congratulations to our winners.  Thank you.


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