Actor Faye Dunaway has said that she felt “very guilty” for the error when she and Warren Beatty announced this year’s Best Picture award at the Oscars. She and Beatty had announced La La Land the winner because they had been handed the wrong envelope backstage at the show. Moonlight had won Best Picture.
Dunaway told NBC News on Monday that she thought Beatty’s long pause when he opened the winner’s envelope was a “dramatic pause”. “He paused, he looked over me, offstage, he looked around and I finally said, ‘You’re impossible!’ And I thought he was joking, I thought he was stalling. Warren’s like that, he kind of holds the power – a dramatic pause! It’s part of his charm.”
She added that she was not angry but “completely stunned” by the incident. This was her first public remarks on what had happened at the show on February 26.
After the goof-up, the Academy Award organisers have banned two PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountants who had handed over the envelope with the winner’s name to the Bonnie and Clyde actors. PwC had also apologised for the error. Beatty and Dunaway had apparently been handed a duplicate envelope for the best actress award, which had gone to Emma Stone. The firm and its predecessors have been handling the voting process for the past 83 years.
After the much talked about mistake, the Academy said it would continue working with PwC but would not allow the accountants to use their mobile phones on Oscar night.