Los Angeles, Feb 10 (PTI) Superstar Brad Pitt, who has been this award season's darling with his funny, self-deprecating speeches, won his maiden acting Oscar for his performance as stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino's Hollywood memory capsule 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'.
The 56-year-old actor was recognised in the best supporting actor category for his role in the 1960s-set drama, which received a total of 11 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday night.
The win marks the first acting Oscar for Pitt, who took home the trophy as the producer of best picture winner '12 Years a Slave' in 2014.
Pitt, who was presented the trophy by last year's best supporting actress winner Regina King, credited the 'one of a kind' and 'original' Tarantino for his win.
'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 and I love the ethos you gave (to) Cliff Booth. Look for the best in people, expect the worst but look for the best,' the actor said in his acceptance speech.
Pitt went on to thank his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and sent out 'a little love' to Hollywood's stunt coordinators and stunt crews.
The actor also utilised his precious 45 seconds on stage to bring impeachment trial jokes to the Oscars.
'They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week. I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it, in the end the adults do the right thing,' he said taking a sly dig at the Senate voting against allowing witnesses during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
Pitt said he is not somebody to look back, but his first acting Oscar made him reflect on his Hollywood journey.
'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 (Davis) and Ridley (Scott) giving me my first shot to all the wonderful people I've met along way, to stand here now: 'Once upon a time…in Hollywood'. Ain’t that the truth? This is for my kids, who colour everything I do,' the actor said.
Pitt was up against acting giants Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”), Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”), Al Pacino (“The Irishman”) and Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”).
The actor, who has had a great 2019 courtesy “Once Upon...” and James Gray's 'Ad Astra”, impressed both the audiences and critics with his portrayal of Booth, whose dangerous side hides beneath an easy-going persona.
The role, which made many believe that Pitt was Tarantino’s muse in the film, helped the actor win all the precursor awards including the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, the SAG and the Critics Choice Award.
Pitt’s journey to his first acting Oscar has been a roller-coaster ride. In his two decade long career, the actor has been nominated seven times by the Academy.
He received his first Academy Award nomination in 1996 in the best supporting actor category for “12 Monkeys”, but lost to Kevin Spacey (“The Usual Suspects).
The actor got his second nod in the best actor category for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. He again got nominated for the best actor trophy in 2012 for “Moneyball”. He was also up for best picture award in the year 2012 (“Moneyball”) and 2016 (“The Big Short”).
From being the heartthrob of the industry in ‘90s to staying away from media glare during his divorce from actor Angelina Jolie and then bouncing back as the renewed crush of the Hollywood, Pitt’s journey in the movies came a full circle this award season.
The actor has not announced his next acting gig yet, but will be serving as producer on Jon Stewart’s political comedy “Irresistible” and Andrew Dominik-directed “Blonde” based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name. PTI SHD RDS SHD SHD