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Emma Stone on Stunning Oscar Mistake: ‘I Was Holding My Best Actress Card’

When Emma Stone came backstage at the 89th Academy Awards to discuss her Oscar-winning turn in “La La Land,” she knew what was on everyone’s minds: the best picture snafu.

After widening her eyes with a deadpan stare, she cracked “You guys see that?”

And then she got the direct question. What did she think of the moment it was announced “La La Land” actually didn’t win best picture? “I f—ing love ‘Moonlight!’ God, I love ‘Moonlight’ so much! I’m so excited for ‘Moonlight.’ Of course it was an amazing thing to hear ‘La La Land’ [named best picture]. I think we all would’ve loved to win best picture. But we are so excited for ‘Moonlight.’ I think it’s one of the best films of all time, so I was pretty beside myself.

“I also was holding my best actress in a leading role card [from the envelope] that entire time,” she noted, and paused, adding that she’d like to find out exactly why the mistake was made. “I don’t mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I had that card. I’m not sure what happened, and I really wanted to talk to you guys first.”

To clarify, there are always two sets of envelopes at the Academy Awards: The PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountants bring two briefcases, then stand backstage, one on each side of the stage. They hand the envelopes to the presenters right before they walk out.

But Stone took the wild events in stride, putting a positive spin on the place she now has in awards history. “Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time?” she asked the journalists backstage, to which several people shouted back a hearty “yes!”

“Cool! I guess we made history tonight,” Stone continued. “I don’t even know what to say. I was still on such a buzzy train backstage that I was on another planet already. This felt like another planet. I think it’s an incredible outcome but a very strange happening for Oscar history.”

When asked if she felt humbled by her Oscar win, Stone again returned to the best picture incident. “We had a jarring moment. It feels like real life. But everything feels like real life. This is an incredible honor, game-changing, but it’s still me. Nothing changes when I go back home.”

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