Moonlight actress Naomie Harris admits it was “a little awkward” learning her movie had won the Best Picture Oscar moments after La La Land had mistakenly been crowned winner.
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the Best Picture Oscar prize at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night (26Feb17) and had mistakenly been given the wrong envelope, meaning they announced La La Land had won the night’s most coveted honour.
Stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, director Damien Chazelle and producers had taken to the stage and began their acceptance speeches when it was revealed the real winner was Moonlight, with producer Jordan Horowitz held up the real card to the camera to prove it.
Moonlight producers, director Barry Jenkins and stars Naomie and Mahershala Ali were visibly shocked by the mix-up and took to the stage to accept the prize, and Naomie admits that moment will be forever ingrained in her memory.
“It’s a moment I’m never gonna forget,” she told BBC Breakfast from the Vanity Fair afterparty. “I don’t think it’s ever happened in the history of the Oscars. It was quite extraordinary and I have to say, a little awkward. More than a little awkward actually.
“I went up on stage with this gormless (bewildered) expression because I didn’t know what was happening when they said ‘it’s Moonlight’ I was just like stunned and shocked and even shaking in fact, it was a very strange moment.”
Speaking on U.K. show Lorraine, she added the mix-up was a shame because what should have been a celebratory moment was swept up in confusion.
Barry added that it was “human error” and the “outcome was still the same” and revealed Warren had gone up to him and showed him the card first to explain the mistake.
Mahershala, who picked up the award for Best Supporting Actor, told reporters backstage the mistake “threw me more than a bit” and added, “I didn’t want to go take something away from someone. I feel very fortunate to have us all walk away with Best Picture. It’s very remarkable.”
Warren explained the flub onstage afterwards, saying he had been given the envelope for the Best Actress prize, which went to Emma Stone for La La Land, but Emma added afterwards she had held onto her card. PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are in charge of the cards, are investigating.