Share & Connect
Last night was the dream night for the beautiful and unconventional film ‘The Artist’. The 2012 Academy Awards was truly a night for artists as solid craftsmanship was celebrated and history was made. One of the delightful results was the well deserved win by the French actor Jean Dujardin for his portrayal of the fading silent movie star George Valentin — an amazing performance that won the Academy’s hearts and votes. It also makes him the first French actor to ever receive the honor.
Dujardin was tearful as Natalie Portman, last year’s winner in the Leading Actress category, as is tradition, introduced the performances all of the nominees. She noted the exquisite achievement of the French actor and he was visibly moved by the kind words. As his name was announced, the charming smile that moviegoers fell in love with in The Artist spread across his face as he approached the scene to accept the statue
Thank you. Oui! I love your country. Thank you to the Academy. It’s funny because in 1929 it wasn’t Billy Crystal, but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscar ceremony. Tickets cost five dollars and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed. So thank you Douglas Fairbanks. Yes Melissa, your grandfather’s spirit and joie de vivre inspired me for this role. And so many of you here tonight have inspired me. Thank you Michel, thank you for this incredible gift. Thank you my wonderful partner Bérénice Bejo. Thank you the wonderful cast and crew. My wife, I love you. Kisses Simon, Jules, Chloe. And if George Valentin could speak, he’d say [French]. Merci beaucoup. I love you.
In his excitement, the 39-year-old actor, the youngest of the nominated, was almost unable to contain his joy and looked as if trying to return to the microphone to speak. Backstage, he got the chance.
Q. Sir, with your great success in this silent movie, are you concerned with the effort to make a transition into talkies?
A. (Jean Dujardin) In America? I’m not American actor. I’m a French actor, and I continue in France and but it’s possible. It’s
A. (Interpreter) If he can make another silent movie in America, he’d like to. He knows he’ll always be a French actor in America so he should find roles that, you know, those kinds of roles.
A. (Jean Dujardin) Thank you.
A. (Interpreter) But he has a few ideas that he wants to develop.
Q. At the end of your acceptance speech, did you perhaps drop the French equivalent of the F word?
A. I said it’s amazing. It’s incredible. It’s unbelievable. Thank you. Ah, yes. I’m sorry.
Q. And I’m wondering where your four legged friend is, Uggie, and how you’re going to celebrate with him?
A. (Jean Dujardin) Uggie? Tonight, Uggie is home in Miami, I think. So but, yes.
A. (Interpreter) He went to bed already.
Q. Hello, Jean. I would like to know what was the process of creating this character and was it any different from the way you created other talking characters?
A. It was not really intellectual, and I’m not an intellectual. No, I watch I watched a lot of movies. Douglas Fairbanks movies, Gene Kelly movies. I had fun pretending to be a movie star in 1920s.
A. Thank you very much. Thank you.