Nearly a full month has passed since the 89th Academy Awards show committed what many have come to regard as one of the most egregious and high-profile faux pas in Oscars history: when “La La Land” was announced as best picture instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.”
And yet, “La La Land” leading man and beloved Hollywood “nice guy,” Ryan Gosling, is only just now offering an explanation for his oddly blithe reaction to the best picture mix-up. Amid a legion of shock, bewilderment, and light chaos following the Academy’s correction, the camera panned to Gosling’s face as he erupted into a fit of laughter — picture that has since circulated the viral rounds of cyberspace.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Gosling explained that his reaction (which might have otherwise been interpreted as some derivative of bitterness) was actually motivated by a surge of relief.
“I was watching people start to have this panicked reaction in the crowd,” Gosling said, referencing the unnerving moments during “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz’s acceptance speech when several headset-clad crew members swarmed the outskirts of the stage without explanation. “I felt like someone had been hurt. I thought there was some kind of medical situation, and I had this worst-case scenario playing out in my head.”
So, when the motive behind the growing pandemonium was revealed, Gosling found himself unable to stifle his flustered giggles.
“I just heard ‘oh, “Moonlight” won,’ and I was so relieved that I started laughing,” he continued. “But truthfully, I was also so thrilled that ‘Moonlight’ won. It’s such a ground-breaking film, made for a million dollars, and an incredible achievement. I’m so happy for them that they were being recognized.”