Oscar winners backstage: Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer, Bret McKenzie, Jean Dujardin, more!

Oscar-Bret-Mckenzie

Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Christopher Plummer (Best Supporting Actor winner, Beginners)
On being the oldest Oscar winner:
“I don’t believe that for a second. Charlie Chaplin — wasn’t he 83 even though it was an honorary Oscar? After all, an honorary Oscar is an Oscar.”

On straight actors playing gay parts:
“I think of actors as universally the same, gay or straight. A gay actor can play a straight guy beautifully and vice versa.”

Ludovic Bource (Best Score winner, The Artist)
“All of the work I did on The Artist was a dedication of love to the American cinema.”

Bret McKenzie (Best Song winner, “Man or Muppet”)
On writing a song without (writing partner) Jemaine Clement:
“It seems to have gone very well. I’m looking forward to writing with Jemaine again because I can pull the Oscar card.”

On what’s next for him, McKenzie joked:
“I want to collaborate with Chris Cooper on a rap album”

Jean Dujardin (Best Actor winner, The Artist)
When asked if he used the French F-word equivalent on stage in his acceptance speech:
“Uh.. yeah!”

On how he’ll handle the “transition to talkies”:
“I’m a French actor. I will continue in France, but if it’s possible you can make another silent movie in America, I’d like to.”

Asghar Farhadi (director of A Separation, winner of Best Foreign Film)
On the popularity of A Separation:
“What happens in this film is not specific to a region, perhaps that is why this film is understandable to people throughout the world.”

On whether the Iranian people are watching this year’s Oscars:
“Perhaps the reason they follow it this year is that by every means it is a cultural event for them and they want to hear the name of their country through culture.”

Meryl Streep (Best Actress winner, The Iron Lady)
On winning (again):
“I have everything I’ve ever dreamed of in my life. I think there’s room for other people and frankly I understand ‘Streep fatigue’ and it shocks me that it didn’t override this tonight. I was really happy, but I don’t take anything for granted, that’s for sure.”

On seeing herself in the Margaret Thatcher makeup:
“When we first had the old-age makeup on, I saw my dad. Maybe my dad looked like Margaret Thatcher.”

Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress winner, The Help)
On thanking Steven Spielberg:
“Steven Spielberg is a luminary and as far as I can remember, every decade of my life, has been creating brilliance. The opportunity to play this role changed my life.”

On being a role model for young women:
“I hope I can be some beacon of hope, especially since I’m not the typical Hollywood beauty. [Waits a beat] You guys are supposed to say, ‘No, no you are!’ Work with me here.”

On her dream role:
“I don’t have one role. I want to be a producer. I want to be an activist. I want to be proactive in bringing about work…for everyone who is good at what they do and deserves a shot at it.”

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (director, Saving Face, winner Best Documentary Short — also the first nominee and winner from Pakistan)
On what she would like Americans to know about Pakistan:
“It’s possible that women like myself — emancipated, educated women — are born and raised there and return to give back to that country. People like myself need to go back to create change in Pakistan.”

Gore Verbinski (director of Rango, Best Animated Feature winner)
On independently financing the film:
“It helps when you’re friends with Johnny Depp.”

J. Roy Helland (Best Makeup winner, The Iron Lady)
On working with Best Actress winner Meryl Streep:
“A long, long time ago, I got probably the best lesson I ever did in makeup, when someone said, ‘Don’t paint what you see. Paint what you want.’ So for us, Meryl and I, it’s all about not having it be her, but having it be whoever the character is. And it’s great fun.”

T.J. Martin (Best Documentary Feature winner, Undefeated)
On dropping the F-bomb on stage:
“We’re known for the F-bomb. This is the F-bomb clan. When I say it came from the heart, I am genuinely serious. It was out of spontaneity and it was completely accidental.”

On making a film about race and class:
“We never set out to make a social issues-based film. Our whole intention was to tell a wonderful human interest story, really a coming of age film, and that hopefully, once again, inspired a greater conversation and a greater dialogue.”

Alexander Payne (Best Adapted Screenplay winner, The Descendants)
On using March of the Penguins in The Descendants:
“One of the assistant editors had just dropped it in there. And we tried to replace it and never found anything better. It’s just once of those things. It fell off the truck.”

Michel Hazanavicius (Best Director winner, The Artist)
On thanking Billy Wilder three times:
“He’s the perfect director, the soul of Hollywood, and most of all I wanted to thank him. I love him.”

On his favorite silent films:
“I would say maybe 8? Silent movie is not a genre, it’s just a format. [He proceeds to list about a dozen silent films]. All Charlie Chaplin. You can spend a good week with that.”

Get full coverage of the 2012 Academy Awards:
Sacha baron Cohen’s Dictator drops ”ashes” on Ryan Seacrest
Oscars 2012: See the fashion!
Great movies from 2011 that were ignored by Oscar!

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