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Oscars 2020: why Brad Pitt’s acceptance speech admission is so important

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The actor has revealed that he has been receiving help when writing his hilarious thank you speeches this awards season. This is why that admission really matters. 

It’s been the question on everyone’s lips this awards season: who is writing Brad Pitt’s speeches?

The actor, who just picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2020 Academy Awards for his work in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, has been one of the funniest presences at awards ceremonies this year. From cracking jokes about Brexit and Prince Harry at the BAFTAS – through Margot Robbie, who delivered his speech for him in his absence – and poking fun at everything from his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio to Pitt’s own single status at the Golden Globes, the actor was often funnier than many of the hosts of the awards shows he was nominated at.

So much so that the internet was moved to ask: Is someone writing Pitt’s speeches for him? The answer is… sort of.

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Speaking backstage at the 2020 Oscars, while celebrating his Best Supporting Actor win, Pitt revealed that he asked a few friends to “help out” with writing his speeches because speaking in public makes him nervous. The admission seemed small, but it was a reminder that anxiety and nerves are something that everyone can struggle with. 

Oscars 2020: Brad Pitt delivered an emotional acceptance speech.

“I have some very, very funny friends who help me out,” Pitt said backstage. “Historically, I’ve always been really tentative about speeches. They make me nervous.”

Pitt added, though, that while he does have some help when it comes to the wise-cracking, the emotional heart of his acceptance speeches is all him. “This round I figured if we’re going to do this, [I’d better] put some real work into it, to try to get comfortable, and this is the result of that… I definitely write them. I have some very, very funny friends that have helped me with some laughs, but it’s got to come from the heart.”

And that’s exactly what Pitt did at the 2020 Oscars. Accepting his first acting Oscar – he does already have an Academy Award for his work as a producer on 12 Years A Slave – Pitt was visibly overwhelmed with emotion.

“Thank you,” he said. “This is incredible, really incredible. Thank you to the academy for this honour of honours.” 

Oscars 2020: Brad Pitt backstage after accepting his award for Best Supporting Actor.

He continued: “This really is about Quentin Jerome Tarantino. You are original. You are one of a kind. The film industry would be a much drier place without you… Listen, I’m a bit gobsmacked.” 

“I’m not… I’m not one to look back, but this has made me do so and I think of my folks taking me to the drive-in to see Butch and Sundance and loading up my car and moving out here and Geena and Ridley giving me my first shot, to all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way to stand here now.

At the end of his speech, Pitt paused and reflected on his many and varied successes over the years, both personal and professional. “Once upon a time in Hollywood… ain’t that the truth,” he said. “This is for my kids, who colour everything I do. I adore you.”

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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