Crowe, Roberts Go Back to Work

"Suddenly, going to work tomorrow doesn't seem like such a good idea," said surprised Best Director Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh on Sunday night after collecting his trophy for Traffic.

But back to work it was for all the new Oscar winners; after all, there's a strike a-brewing, and top talents like Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts, and Benicio Del Toro are all booked.

Soderbergh was headed back to the set of Ocean's Eleven, where he reteams with Julia Roberts, whom he directed to her first Oscar in Erin Brockovich.

A still-flustered Roberts said backstage at the Oscars, "I won't have a proper thought for, I'd say, six to 10 days, which is unfortunate because I start a movie in three, but it's with Steven Soderbergh, so I think he'll understand. I don't think he'll be making sense for a good four to five days [himself]."

Crowe Checks Into Princeton, Del Toro's in Portland Best Actor winner Crowe reported to Princeton University on Tuesday to begin filming his new movie, A Beautiful Mind, for director Ron Howard; he'll play a schizophrenic math genius. One of his rivals for the Oscar this year, Ed Harris, co-stars in the film.

Unbelievably, Best Supporting Actor winner Benicio Del Toro said he almost skipped the ceremony because he was on location in Portland, Ore., filming the thriller The Hunted with Tommy Lee Jones. As for his high-profile, Oscar-winner-packed project The Assumption of a Virgin, with director Walter Salles, Geoffrey Rush, and Juliette Binoche, Del Toro told reporters that that will have to wait until after any possible strikes.

Now that she's won an Oscar, Pollock's Marcia Gay Harden is finding more people interested in her next projects, which include a CBS TV series with Richard Dreyfuss; "I play a pop-culture history professor," she says. Already in the can is the movie Gaudi Afternoon, of which Harden says, "I play a very alternative San Francisco character with Judy Davis, Juliette Lewis, and Lili Taylor. It's a romp … it takes place in and around the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona [Spain]."

Oscar's Long-term Impact When asked how an Oscar win would affect their careers in the long run, the winners gave varied responses.

Harden doesn't necessarily expect Hollywood to be at her feet now that she's won an Oscar. "I think it means more to me personally than it does in terms of my career," she said backstage. "Because, if you look at other actresses' work who've won or been nominated, some of them go on to do great things, and others you don't know where they went."

For his part, Del Toro allowed that his new Oscar would give him "more freedom" in his film choices.

"I've always followed the same methodology, from my first film … up to the one I'm shooting right now," said Soderbergh. "So I don't think I could alter my way of working and thinking, even if I tried. I'm just going to keep, you know, plodding along and trying to stay busy."

That shouldn't be a problem, Steven.

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