Sam Rockwell continued his awards season dominance, winning best supporting actor at the Academy Awards on Sunday for his portrayal of the dimwitted, racist cop Jason Dixon in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." It is the first nomination and win for the 49-year-old actor.
"I want to thank the Academy," Rockwell said. "Never thought I'd say those words."
On the Oscars stage Sunday Rockwell talked about how his father instilled in him a love of movies. He said when he was 8, he was called to the principal's office where his father told him they had to go.
"It's Grandma," Rockwell recalled his father saying.
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Later Rockwell asked, "What's wrong with Grandma."
"Nothing," his father said. "We're going to the movies.
Both Rockwell's co-star Frances McDormand and his partner Leslie Bibb could be seen wiping tears away after his win.
Rockwell beat out Willem Dafoe ("The Florida Project"), Christopher Plummer ("All the Money in the World"), Richard Jenkins ("The Shape of Water") and his "Three Billboards" co-star Woody Harrelson for the award.
McDormand gave a long hug to Woody Harrelson during the commercial break.
Rockwell's character was central to much of the divisiveness around the film, as many were troubled by the thought that the story redeemed him by the film's end. Director Martin McDonagh has said, however, that he doesn't think Jason is redeemed.