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Oscars 2021: Emerald Fennell pays tribute to Saved By The Bell’s Zack Morris

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Kayleigh Dray
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Emerald Fennell attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Emerald Fennell won big at the Oscars, but the Promising Young Woman director hadn’t written an acceptance speech. So, she decided to wing it…

Emerald Fennell is, deservedly, an Oscars winner!

The Promising Young Woman director took home the Oscar for best original screenplay, pipping the likes of Will Berson and Shaka King (Judas And The Black Messiah), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Darius Marder and Abraham Marder (Sound Of Metal), and Aaron Sorkin (The Trial Of The Chicago 7) to the post.

And, just like that, the talented actor, director and writer (who famously portrayed Camilla Parker-Bowles in Netflix’s The Crown) became the first woman to take home the trophy in the category in a whopping 13 years.

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Taking to the stage to accept the “very cold” gong, Fennell confessed: “They said write a speech and I didn’t because just I didn’t think this would ever happen. 

“Am I going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh? I’m so sorry, I don’t want him to be so cross with me,” she joked. (Soderbergh is the producer of the ceremony this year.)

Hilariously, Fennell continued: “The only speech I ever wrote was when I was 10 and I had a look to see if there would be anything useful from it but unfortunately I mostly thanked Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell. He was my very first husband.

“Unfortunately, he hasn’t been a part of my life as much as I had hoped so that speech is not that useful.”

Fennell went on to thank the “greatest” cast and crew, including star Carey Mulligan, for helping make the film possible. She also gave her son a special shoutout, joking that she was thankful that he was not born until after the movie was done filming.

“All I can say is – I’m trying very hard not to cry, which is very difficult as an English person, because I don’t cry ever – this film was made by the most incredible people in the world.

“We made it in 23 days, and they just brought their complete genius and love and humour to it.”

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Fighting back tears, Fennell decided to finish off with a joke.

“Steven, I hope that was alright,” she said, much to the delight of everyone watching.

Congratulations to the Promising Young Woman creator!

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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