Backstage Chatter at The Oscars

Robert Altman was asked about doing a gay film, he said there's man-and-man, man-and-woman, and woman-and-woman … "oh, I like that one." So, he didn't really answer the question, but it was very funny.

Someone asked how he managed to keep it a secret that 11 years ago he had a heart transplant and Altman said it wasn't that hard since he's not that sought after like many actors. At 81 years old, he had a hard time following the questions and actually apologized for answering some questions incoherently.

Reese Witherspoon was asked what she was wearing, it was an original Christian Dior from a second-hand store in Paris. She bought it and said, "it's mine." She said some folks fixed it up, but it was only worn by one person and it "had a lot of love in it." She said to get ready she fed the kids, chased them around the house, then got her hair, nails and makeup done and was "out the door."

Asked what she'll do next, Witherspoon said she has no idea. She has no work and she hopes this isn't the end of the line. She thanked her grandmother and said she taught her about being a lady and how to use phrases like "thank you sir" and "yes ma'am." When asked what she thought when she heard her name called as the best actress winner, she said, "Oh, no. Oh, no." She said one of the hardest things about doing the movie was talking in front of a large group of people. Her other films have been small and didn't require a lot of press.

Ang Lee said he was glad that the audience embraced "Brokeback Mountain" and that audiences were hungry for a movie about love, complexity and maturity. He said he felt it was a story that needed to be told.

Lee was asked how Heath Ledger felt about losing in the race for best actor. Lee said he thinks people will always remember his performance and that people have said it reminded them of a young Marlon Brando. He said he didn't know if the movie was slighted in the best picture category because of it's subject matter, but the movie outperformed all the others at the box office.

Lee said it wasn't hard to embrace the Western elements of the story, even though he's Taiwanese. He said he learns fast as he did with "Sense and Sensibility." In his opinion, he thinks he does drama best, especially anything dealing with repression or folks that are repressed.

An Asian journalist said that Lee has inspired so many Asian filmmakers, and how he felt about it. He responded that you have to be courageous and brave and that's how it worked for him.

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who won for writing the "Brokeback Mountain" screenplay, said it was a bittersweet victory, after their film lost in the best picture category. McMurtry was wearing jeans with his tuxedo jacket -- a decision that was made both in honor of the film and because it was comfortable.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman said he nearly lost control of his bowels when he got on stage and was swimming in his own head. He was asked what it was like to shoot "Capote" in Manitoba, Canada. He said, "cold." But he said it was a great place to shoot, and he got to know the people in town and loved being there, despite the weather. I asked if he thought when he did the film if it was a role that would win him an Oscar and he said he never thinks of roles as the chance to win an award or it would make him crazy.

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