It was quite a night backstage in the Oscar press room. There was the nearly-terminal case of second-hand embarrassment brought on by witnessing James Franco's unyielding apathy paired with Anne Hathaway’s unbridled exuberance and constant yelps of enthusiasm. There was Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake's direly un-funny exchange, which we dearly hope isn't a preview of their new film, "Friends with Benefits"). There was "country music's newest star," Gwyneth Paltrow, nervously warbling a Best Song nominee with her eyes squeezed shut, and Melissa Leo dropping the f-bomb for the first time in Oscar history after she won Best Supporting Actress in "The Fighter." And amid all that, PopcornBiz had a chance to speak to the night's big winners as they floated in fresh from the Kodak stage, still flush with victory.
Leo, in a gold sequin and white lace Marc Bouwer gown, apologized for her momentary vulgarity, saying it was just part of her "vernacular" and addressed any lingering controversy over her self-financed "For Your Consideration," ads which some media watchers speculated could have soured Oscar voters. "It was no campaign," Leo clarified. "It was a photo in a magazine. I wanted a pretty photo in a magazine. That's all it was."
When her "Fighter" co-star Christian Bale came backstage following his win, he had a laugh about Leo's momentary lapse in verbal decorum, which he missed because he was at the bar grabbing a drink. "I've laid down plenty of [f-bombs] myself, so I think I know what it was all about," Bale offered with a grin and a shrug.
Natalie Portman, in a vibrant purple Rodarte gown, told us her baby, which she doesn't yet know the sex, became extra active during one section of the Oscar telecast. "The baby was definitely kicking a lot during the song portion of the show," the actress revealed, calling her child, conceived with "Black Swan" choreographer Benjamin Millepied, "the little dancer."
Not so keen on dancing was Colin Firth following his win for "The King’s Speech," despite what he said during his acceptance speech. Onstage, Firth joked, "I have a feeling my career has just peaked" and then excused himself from the podium as he was "experiencing stirrings that are threatening to form themselves into dance moves."
But backstage he claimed to have refrained from any bogeying, insisting, "I think I need some quality time alone. I don’t think this is the particular forum to display that sort of thing. Anyone who's seen 'Mamma Mia' will know what I'm talking about."