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Steven Soderbergh defends putting Best Actor last at the Oscars: It would be "impossible" to end with Best Picture had Chadwick Boseman won

  • Soderbergh says having the 93rd Academy Awards end with Best Actor was always the plan, even before the late Boseman was nominated for Best Actor for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. "That was something we were going to do well before the nominations came out — we talked about that in January," he says of the controversial decision, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "It’s our belief — that I think is not unfounded — that actors’ speeches tend to be more dramatic than producers’ speeches. And so we thought it might be fun to mix it up, especially if people didn’t know that was coming. So that was always part of the plan. And then when the nominations came out and there was even the possibility that Chadwick could win posthumously, our feeling was if he were to win and his widow were to speak on his behalf, there would be nowhere to go after that. So we stuck with it." So is it fair to say Soderbergh and his team were anticipating that Boseman would win? "I said if there was even the sliver of a chance that he would win and that his widow would speak, then we were operating under the fact that was the end of the show," he says. "So it wasn’t like we assumed it would, but if there was even a possibility that it would happen, then you have to account for that. That would have been such a shattering moment, that to come back after that would have been just impossible." Soderbergh also responded to the criticism over the lack of clips during the ceremony: "The understanding was always, there are going to be some things that work and some things that don’t, things that people like, things that people don’t. That’s the point," he says. "So the goal was to really do something different and let the academy sift through the response and decide what they would do going forward. But I have to say everybody — the academy, the network, everybody — was very supportive of all the creative moves that we made."

    TOPICS: Steven Soderbergh, ABC, 93rd Academy Awards, Award Shows