David Alan Grier shares the Oscars moments you didn't see on TV

David Alan Grier
David Alan Grier
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No matter how many movies they star in or Tony nominations they earn, celebrities still get stage fright just like the rest of us. In a recent interview with The A.V. Club, Oscars announcer David Alan Grier shared that he was certainly feeling the pressure while holding the mic to play the voice of god this past Sunday. “My main job was ‘do not fuck up the names,’” he said. “My goal was not to be the story the next day that I ruined the Oscars, like I announced the wrong person… you don’t want to do that. That was my one concern.”

He didn’t mess anything up, luckily. (Even if he did, Al Pacino’s delightful “My eyes see Oppenheimer” would have likely taken some of the heat off anyway.) But he also wasn’t the only one in that room feeling a little nervous about his time on stage.

“Right before the Oscars went to broadcast, I came out and did a little warm-up speech—with some comedy—advising how the winners should receive the award,” he shared, explaining that the bit was mostly meant to “loosen everybody up.” “You know, ‘you did the fucking work, man. Now it’s time to get drunk and party. Some of y’all are going to win and when you win, go on and get it. Just don’t fuck it up,’” he elaborated.

Grier also explained that the Oscars were a little different than, say, the Golden Globes in terms of the tone of the room. “Unknown to you guys, there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of anxiety, a lot of just worry and fear,” he said. “You wouldn’t think that is there, but it’s all there, [even with] the biggest stars in the world.” (Last year, SZA described the Grammys environment in a similar manner: “There is so much wanting in there. Wanting to be noticed, wanting to be acknowledged, to win... wanting to feel valuable or validated.”)

Because of this, Grier’s goal wasn’t to roast anyone or “rake you over the coals.” “No, I’m trying to make you laugh and chill. Let’s have fun,” he shared. In the end, he “had a ball.” It sounds like some other stars probably did too because of his efforts.

Grier will next appear in The American Society of Magical Negroes, opening in theaters tomorrow, March 15.