It's Not What They Win, It's How They Accept the Oscar

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Pimping is harder than it looks and being out of touch is en vogue -- at least according to a couple of Sunday night's Oscar winners.

There were several acceptance speeches that will stand out in the minds of Oscar watchers -- Reese Witherspoon's earnest and humble tribute to her mother and grandmother, George Clooney's politically charged speech, "Crash" producers' surprise at beating out "Brokeback Mountain" for best picture, and, of course, the rap group clad in sneakers and jeans that couldn't believe its good fortune at winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Three 6 Mafia, the hip-hop group that took home the Oscar for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," a song featured in the movie "Hustle and Flow," politely censored itself for its live performance. But group members could barely contain their excitement when they beat out country legend Dolly Parton for the award.

D.J. Paul, Juicy J and Crunchy Black accepted the award with such enthusiasm that it prompted host Jon Stewart to tell the seasoned filmmakers in the crowd, "That's how you accept an Oscar."

"My heart was beating so fast, it nearly popped out of my mouth," Juicy J said after the show. "I couldn't believe it. He [his band mate] was running up there. I'm running behind him -- I'm like are the police chasing us or what?"

As far as cutting the profanity from the song, the group was more than happy to comply.

"It was OK. We didn't mind at all, man," Juicy J said. "It's like when they nominated us, we were so excited."

Besides, Juicy J added, "My momma's watching, man."

Crashing the Party

With all the Oscar hype and predictions surrounding "Brokeback Mountain," "Crash" producers, who made the film on a shoestring budget, never expected to garner enough votes to pull off a best film Oscar.

"I knew I wasn't [going to win]," said producer Paul Haggis. "I was ready to stand up and shake ['Brokeback Mountain' director] Ang Lee's hand. … We had all these people to work into a schedule and no time and no money. I wrote two pitches five years ago: 'Million Dollar Baby' and 'Crash.' I never thought either would be made and then to see them both win."

Besides the upset victories for Three 6 Mafia and "Crash," the big Oscar winners were, for the most part, accurately predicted by the experts.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was grateful, but not surprised by his best actor win for "Capote" because he had won many of the awards -- including the Screen Actors' Guild -- leading up to the Oscars. He did not bark his speech like he had promised his old roommate at New York University.

"I wanted to thank a lot of people I hadn't thanked yet -- and I wanted to make sure that was done," he said.

Hoffman gave a special thank you to his mother.

"Be proud, mom, because I am proud of you, and we are here tonight and it's so good," he said. "Thank you."

Rachel Weisz won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in the thriller "The Constant Gardener" and maintained an air of calm.

"That's what happens to me when I get really nervous," she explained. "I go very, very like seemingly calm. Inside I'm kind of a hurricane."

Man of the Hour

But it was the man who won the Oscar for best supporting actor who was perhaps the most watched person at the awards and who decided to use his acceptance speech as a bit of a platform. George Clooney embraced the assertion, made by Stewart, that Hollywood was far removed from the American mainstream.

"We are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in awhile. It's probably a good thing," Clooney said. "This academy, this group of people gave Hattie [McDaniel] an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters."

After the ceremony, Clooney said that he "did enjoy the idea" of Hollywood being out of touch.

"It must've been a fascinating thing in 1939," he said, referring to McDaniel's Oscar win for best supporting actress. "That's what I was talking about -- out of touch."

For Clooney, however, the best part of winning was reveling in the aftermath.

"It's pretty fun," he said. "You know what's going to be fun later on tonight when I have a couple of drinks and I do a couple of interviews. Then I'm going to meet my buddies at some pub, and they're all there with their wives and I get to walk in with an Oscar and that's going to be. … That's the fun of it. You know calling up the old man and my mom and that's going to be fun."

Clooney said that he never saw himself as an actor when he was a child and that he had hoped to become a television news reporter instead.

"I wanted to be what my father did," he said. "Either being on a talk show or being a newsman, and I sort of realized when I tried reporting a couple of times that I only lacked talent and smarts. So I figured I'll get into acting that will be better."

Dream Come True for Witherspoon

On the other hand, Reese Witherspoon, who won for best actress for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the Johnny Cash bio-flick "Walk the Line," has been in the business since she was a child.

At 14 years old, she starred in the tear-jerker "Man on the Moon." Witherspoon credited her family with keeping her grounded and instilling her with great confidence.

"I'm so blessed to have my family here tonight," she said in her acceptance speech. "My mother and my father are here. And I just want to say thank you so much for everything -- for being so proud of me. It didn't matter if it was making my bed or making a movie, they never hesitated to say how proud they were of me."

Witherspoon told "Good Morning America" that her mind went mostly blank when she realized she had won the Oscar and that she could only think of her parents and grandmother.

"I couldn't think of much," Witherspoon said. "But you know I just kept thinking my mother, my mother, my grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, my mother -- because really they are the reason I feel like I'm here tonight."

Winning an Oscar was something she had dreamed about for a long time, she said.

"Every time I got dumped by a boy, I always fantasized that one day he would be sorry and I would get up on stage somewhere and I would just tell him what I really thought of him," Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon also paid homage to Johnny Cash and June Carter in her acceptance speech. Like them, she said, she has tried to have memorable performances that resonate with the audience.

"I want to say that Johnny Cash and June Carter had a wonderful tradition of honoring other artists and musicians and singers," she said in her speech. "People used to ask June how she was doing, and she used to say, 'I'm just trying to matter.'"

"And I know what she means, you know -- I know what she means, you know -- I'm just trying to matter and live a good life and make work that means something to somebody, and you have all made me feel that I might have accomplished that tonight, so thank you so much for this honor."

Witherspoon said her victory was a victory for all women -- even those nominees she defeated.

"I learned a long time ago that you don't accomplish something without a whole group of other people," she said.

"So every success that one woman has is another success for another woman, and I know that those women feel that too."

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