Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Ridley's regrets over Oscar speech

John Ridley didn't mention director Steve McQueen in his Oscars speech
John Ridley didn't mention director Steve McQueen in his Oscars speech

12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley has revealed he "regrets" not thanking director Steve McQueen in his Oscars speech.

His omission of the British filmmaker sparked speculation that the pair had a rift as he accepted his prize for best adapted screenplay. Steve later failed to thank John in his own acceptance speech for the best film.

"I do regret it. But just 24 hours earlier at the Spirit Awards, I sincerely went on and on about Steve and my work with him. You know, the guy changed my life," he told Entertainment Weekly.

"At the Oscars you have 30 seconds to talk and it's like the oxygen drops out of the room. I know [when I heard my name called] I hugged my wife twice.

He added: "I know David O Russell - again this person people think I have beef with - was the first guy to hug me. I know Meryl Streep reached out and touched my arm."

John said he also regretted not clarifying his acknowledgements to his wife Gayle, who he met on the set of Martin Lawrence's sitcom Martin over 20 years ago, on stage.

"That was my wife you know. I don't think most people got that. Wow, I s****ed up. Well, I know she got it," he said.

"I didn't want to be the guy when you're getting played off by the music, (saying) 'Oh and my wife and I love her.' I wanted to start there and thank someone who believed in me from the beginning. I wanted the bulk of that 30 seconds to go to my wife and whatever I had remaining was going to Solomon Northup who deserves it."

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