Busy Philipps Recounts What Happened During Oscars' Best Picture Blunder from the Front Row: 'We All Heard It Right There'
Busy Philipps was front and center on Oscar night during the now-infamous ending — in which an envelope mix-up caused Bonnie and Clyde costars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to mistakenly announce La La Land as the Best Picture winner instead of Moonlight, the actual victor.
But according to the 37-year-old actress, news of the error hit her and the rest of the celebs sitting in the Dolby Theatre’s front row first — before anyone on stage had even been informed.
On Tuesday night, Philipps explained what happened on in a series of videos on her Instagram Story.
“La La Land got up there, all of a sudden this stage manager or somebody who worked there with a microphone crouched in front of Casey and started whispering into his microphone really urgently and saying, ‘It’s a mistake! Moonlight is supposed to be Best Picture. It’s a mistake! It’s a mistake! Moonlight is Best Picture!’ ” she said.
“We all heard it right there — like right in the front,” she added. “Nobody else heard it.”
Reacting to the news, Philipps said she started “panicking and shaking.”
“First of all, it was very jarring that this man ran in and was on the microphone — clearly something was very wrong. And secondly… we were all like, ‘What the — what is this guy saying? What? What?’ ”
It was then that Philipps reached for help from the only person nearby she thought could fix the situation.
“I grabbed Ben Affleck’s arm, who I don’t know at all obviously, and was like, ‘I feel like you need to do something! You’re Ben Affleck! Do something!’
Affleck didn’t help, only looking back in confusion. But by that point, he didn’t have to. The confusion was being cleared up on stage — where the Moonlight cast was brought up to accept Hollywood’s top honor.
Afterward, Philipps was approached by La La Land Rosemarie DeWitt — who had been watching Philipps’ over-the-top reaction to the news from the stage.
“She had a crazy take on it,” Philipps said. “She said, ‘Well, I was on stage and I sort of locked in on you and Michelle because I know you and you guys were right there in the front row. And then I saw something happening and I saw your faces and I saw you grab Ben Affleck and I thought something terrible was about to happen.’ ”
“She genuinely thought either someone had just died from my insanely huge reaction or like there was about to be a terrorist attack — like something really, really bad,” Philipps added. “So when it was just like they didn’t win Best Picture, she was like, ‘Eh.’ ”
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While Williams didn’t win, Philipps said the two friends did come out triumphant by having their shocked faces captured and shared the moment the blunder went down.
“We all now have that picture —which I feel like I should frame,” she joked to her followers. “It’s pretty exciting that I’m in that picture. It’s kind of just like if you got to go to the Oscars and sit front row for that!”
As good as her story is though, Philipps did almost miss the moment entirely.
“I did have to pee really bad, and Michelle and I were like, ‘Well La La Land is going to win so should we go pee because we know it’s going to win,’ ” she said. “Wow — I’m glad we did not leave!”