Cuba Gooding Jr. Gets Real About Being A Winner Surrounded By Losers At The Academy Awards

Cuba Gooding Jr. recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show alongside Vera Drake actress Imelda Staunton and both couldn’t help but talk a bit about their past Oscars experiences. Staunton recounted how she brought sandwiches with her to the show to keep her family from starving, which is a delightful tale that ends with her losing out to Hillary Swank. That inspires Gooding Jr. to tell his own Oscar tales, one involving the wise words of Jack Nicholson and the feeling in the room after you’ve become a winner for the night.

He starts with the quip from Nicholson that sorta hits at the truth of an Oscar win when you’re not a repeat winner. The pair starred together in As Good As It Gets and Nicholson apparently shared this bit of wisdom:

‘Cubie, when you’re nominated, you’re hot until that awards show. When you win, you’re hot for one year.’

And that’s it. That’s it in Hollywood…cause the next year, you’re replaced by the next winner and then they get that kind of calling card.

He then moves onto the night itself and his famous acceptance speech where he, in his own words “lost his sh*t out there.” He doesn’t want to take away from it, but the supporting actor award is usually the earliest of the night. That means he got the chance to watch the room go from a slew of potential winners all filled with hope and transform into a large group of losers dealing with the small group of winners in attendance.

As he says, everybody will put up with whatever in that first half hour of the show. But once the end rolls around and the winners have all been announced, people are ready to say “f*ck you” to the winners and get out of the area for another year. Gooding Jr. has said a lot more about his win and the speech over the years, especially the idea that it actually cost him more in his career than it gained for him.

(Via Graham Norton)