Hollywood's starriest night paid tribute to both the year's biggest winners and assorted achievements that had otherwise been overlooked by the annual awards show (mostly thanks to host Chris Rock, who didn't balk at skewering the event's lack of diversity throughout the evening in various ways, from the pointed to the hilarious). The night was punctuated by a flurry of wins for George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" (including a wham-bam series of below-the-line wins, along with a major best editing win) and some big love for features like best picture winner "Spotlight" and acting achievements of "Room" and "The Revenant," and it sent awards season out on a very high note.
Indiewire was on hand for the show, including holding down a prime spot backstage, where all of the night's winners happily made their way back to chat about their newest honor to a room filled with journalists eager to ask them for their thoughts on, well, just about everything. Below is a collection of some of the best quips, lines and insights from this year's big Oscar winners.
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Best Original Screenplay, "Spotlight"
The first award of the evening, bestowed on "Spotlight" co-writers Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, may not have been a huge surprise for anyone who had been closely observing the Oscars horse race, but it was still a satisfying start to the show.
For McCarthy and Singer, who won big the day before at the Indie Spirits, it was a fine continuation of a very successful new partnership. As Singer said when asked about his work with McCarthy: "Your words in your script, it's never realized without an incredible director."
The film, which went on to win best picture, has also renewed interest in the atrocities perpetuated by the Catholic church, far beyond just Boston. Earlier in the day, Singer and McCarthy joined a protest in downtown Los Angeles with members of the survivors' network SNAP. "We were out protesting with probably a good 20, 30 SNAP folks. It was very fulfilling to stand there with them," Singer said.
McCarthy echoed Singer's sentiment, by saying that their work in the film was "more of a social calling than a job."
When asked if the duo would be working together again soon, McCarthy joked, "You mean 'Spotlight 2'?"
It was at that moment that a lighting cord fell loose behind the pair, and the filmmaker couldn't help but quip, "That was the Catholic church, ladies and gentlemen, that's the power of the Catholic church!"
Adam McKay, Best Adapted Screenplay, "The Big Short"
"The Big Short" director and co-writer Adam McKay didn't hesitate to get topical during his acceptance speech for best adapted screenplay, and that continued backstage, where he was asked about his thoughts on Chris Rock's opening monologue. "I thought it was great, I thought it was really great," McKay said. "I thought it was jabbing at Hollywood, yet at the same time, even-handed, kind of dealing with like a new era of how we discuss diversity. Really impressive, and really funny!"
His co-writer, Charles Randolph, piped in with a hearty "agreed!"
Alicia Vikander, Best Supporting Actress, "The Danish Girl"
Closely cradling her newly earned hardware, Alicia Vikander looked nothing short of starry-eyed. When asked what she thought when they called her name, she said, "I’m still trying to remember anything that happened in the last five minutes!"
Vikander remembered her early years in the industry and still seemed a bit shocked by her big win. "This is a celebration of film and the people behind it, so I'm just really honored to be invited to be part of this tonight. To get this is just beyond anything I would ever imagine," she said. "I never thought from back home that I would get to do films in English. I didn't know that I could as a foreign actress. If I could continue to work, that would be great!"