93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: DIRECTING

SPEECH BY: Chloé Zhao


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Q. Chloe, what was ‑‑ first of all, congratulations on the win, but what was it like being out there with Frances howling at the moon, and also her winning tonight?  What does that mean to you?

A. Well, the howling is for our production sound mixer, Wolf, who you saw in the memorial.  We, unfortunately, lost him recently, and his name is Wolf, and he's the production sound mixer both on my previous film, the Rider, and he is part of the Rider family, so that howl was for Wolf.  My happiest time is now for the people who know what she did out there as a producer and an actress, how open and how vulnerable she has been and how she has been in this movie to help out the nomads, and she really is Nomadland, so I'm just really, really happy that she got that award.

Q. Hey, congratulations.  I have, I guess, a two‑parter, the historic nature of your win.  Second woman to win best director, first woman of color to win best director.  What does the historic nature of it mean to you at this moment?  And have you talked with Kathryn Bigelow about best director, and what would you like to share with her?
A. Well, you know, I'm extremely fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living, and if this win helps more people like me get to live their dreams, I'm so grateful for this.  I have had a group dinner with Kathryn Bigelow, and definitely fangirled big time.  And, yeah, I would love to talk to her if you have her e‑mail. 

Q. Hi.  How are you?  So congratulations.  Congratulations. 
A. Thank you.

Q. Talk to me about all of this history coming your way all at once.  How does it feel?  I mean, you have literally smashed this glass ceiling that we often talk about.  Tell me about what's coursing through your veins right now. 
A. Well, you know, I feel I'm very lucky I have parents who have always told me that who you are is enough, you know, and who I ‑‑ who you are is your art, you know?  So I always try to stay true to myself and be surrounded by really great, supportive, talented people, so I really share this moment with them.


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