Jimmy Kimmel tried, on Oscar night, to convince best-picture presenter Warren Beatty to appear on his ABC late night show the next night to talk about the snafu. “I told Warren Beatty he was in trouble…There is only one way to handle this: you need to come on my show tomorrow night and explain what happened,” Oscar-host Kimmel told Bill Simmons on his podcast.
According to Kimmel, Beatty’s responsed, “That sounds great, for you, but I think I’m just going to wait a while.”
Beatty did a “very smart thing” in hanging on to the envelope, Kimmel said in his first interview since the movie-derby debacle. “That’s the smoking gun. A soon as you give those up, who knows who switched out what.”
But category co-presenter Faye Dunaway, who was the one to actually read out the wrong movie, was “so much smarter than Warren Beatty” in that she beat a hasty exit from the scene, Kimmel joked. “I could see her; she was so far in the back of the stage she was not even in the Dolby Theater anymore; she was at Dave & Busters next door….I saw her waaaaay in the background, just kind of like blonde hair flashing as she retreated.”
Dunaway was the Justin Timberlake of the Oscar debacle, Simmons said, comparing it to the Timberlake/Janet Jackson Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction: “Faye Dunaway, she’s the one who pulled the boob. [Beatty] got blamed but she’s the one who read [the card].
But Simmons earlier told Kimmel the category screw up was “like the JFK assassination, and you’re Jackie O, crawling in the back of the limo wondering what happened.”
Anyway, Simmons was consistent throughout the interview in calling it “the most famous Oscar moment of all time.” He forecast it would be the first paragraph of Warren Beatty’s obituary. Kimmel said that would be a shame because the first graf should be “all the women he fu*ked…in alphabetical order” and, only after that should the Oscar error be mentioned.
Continuing his obituary theme, Simmons also forecast the mistake would be the first paragraph of Kimmel’s.
On a less morbid note, Kimmel explained how he had planned to end the Academy Awards broadcast. As Beatty and Dunaway were announcing the Best Picture win, Kimmel was in the audience, seated next to Matt Damon, producer of Manchester By The Sea, which Kimmel assumed would not win. After the acceptance speechifying, he would turn to Damon, on camera, and say, “It’s unbelievable, Casey Affleck won and Kenneth [Lonergan] won, and there really is only one person who didn’t win tonight for this movie and it’s you.”
(Similarly, during the Emmy Awards, which Kimmel also hosted, Damon walked on stage to poke fun at Kimmel after his ABC late-night show did not win in the category for which it was nominated.)
“It would have been a nice little button to the night,” Kimmel explained to Simmons.
But the joke got scrubbed when “suddenly the stage manager wanders up on stage, and he’s in the shot which I know is not supposed to happen,” Kimmel said. Damon told him someone on stage said something about the wrong movie having been named.
Kimmel says his only regret is that Casey Afflecks’s win for Manchester was not announced immediately prior to the Best Picture envelope snafu, in which case it would have been Damon up on stage giving an acceptance speech, “and then I would have had to go on stage and tell Matt Damon he didn’t win.”