Barry Jenkins hopes Best Picture win inspires others "to love yourself"
Moonlight writer and director Barry Jenkins has revealed what he intended to say during his Oscars acceptance speech.
Jenkins’ film won Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars, following an infamous mix-up that saw La La Land initially announced as the winner.
Speaking at SXSW in Austin on Sunday (March 11), Jenkins delivered the speech he had originally planned. He said that he ended up not giving it after experiencing “shock and awe” on the night.
“Tarell [Alvin McCraney, Moonlight co-writer] and I are Chiron, we are that boy,” Variety reports Jenkins said. He added: “We certainly didn’t think he would grow up to win Best Picture”.
Jenkins continued: “I’ve said that a lot and what I have to admit is that we play those limitations upon ourselves. I denied myself that dream, not you, not anybody else, [but] me. And so, to anyone watching this that sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself.”
“Because doing so may be the difference between dreaming at all and somehow – with the Academy’s grace – realising dreams you never allowed yourself to have.”
“I have this thing I wanted to say about brick walls,” Jenkins went on to add during his SXSW keynote address. “I’ve run through a lot of brick walls to get to this stage. I only realised looking back that is what I’d done. I look back and I realise there are friends who are left on the other side of those walls. It’s a very bittersweet thing.”
He also described how he had been told that making a movie like Moonlight would be “career suicide”.
“If I cried that night, it wasn’t because we won Best Picture,” he added. “I cried because I realised I denied myself that dream for so long.”
Last year’s Oscars ceremony saw Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announce the wrong winner for Best Picture, having been given the wrong envelope, one containing the winner of the previous category (Emma Stone, Best Actress for La La Land).
Beatty and Dunaway returned to announce the Best Picture winner for 2018, with no mistakes taking place the second time around.