Despite the utter shock and confusion that engulfed the Dolby Theatre at the Academy Awards on Sunday night after Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway incorrectly declared La La Land the winner of the Best Picture prize, it seems Beatty remains as mystified as anyone.
Walking past the backstage area at the Dolby Theatre en route to the Governors Ball, Beatty, 79, told a small group of reporters, “I don’t know anything … I don’t think anyone knows. I’ve asked and I haven’t got an answer.”
Dunaway erroneously declared La La Land the winner after she peeked over at the card Beatty eyed for several seconds. It was only after filmmakers began to give their victory speeches that Moonlight was revealed as the actual winner of Hollywood’s top prize.
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“I read the card that was in the envelope,” the legendary star also said. “I read it but I didn’t say La La Land. I thought, ‘This is very strange because it says Best Actress on the card.’ And I felt that maybe there was some sort of misprint.”
“As planned, I gave it to Faye,” he added, still holding two envelopes. “And that’s all I want to say on the subject.”
The actor arrived at the Governors Ball after the awards show, posed for photos and hugged and greeted a few of his friends, and seemed in relatively decent spirits.
Earlier, Beatty addressed the worldwide audience on camera just after it became clear that Moonlight was the actual winner.
“I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said on the stage. “I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
Reporting by LIZZ LEONARD