×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kevin O’Connell Wins First Oscar for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ After 21 Nominations

The 21st time was the charm for legendary sound mixer Kevin O’Connell at the Oscars. He won his first Academy Award — after 20 previous losses — for his work on Mel Gibson’s WWII drama “Hacksaw Ridge.”

The win was a modest upset, as many pundits had pegged musical “La La Land” to waltz off with the prize.

“I can’t even tell you the experience it was for me,” O’Connell said backstage after the victory. “As much as I thought I knew what it would feel like [to win an Oscar] I didn’t. It was the greatest feeling in my entire life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to work with [the sound mixing team].”

O’Connell shares the Oscar win with Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace. It’s the first Oscar for all four men.

Wright noted the triumph was especially sweet to share with O’Connell. “It’s extra special to be standing here with Kevin,” Wright said backstage. “Rob and myself — we’ve idolized him, we grew up on the films that he’s mixed. We’ve learned by watching the films he’s done. To win an Oscar standing next to him is unbelievable.”

O’Connell admitted he had grown accustomed to his losing streak. “I wasn’t expecting it to happen,” he said. “But I feel as though I’m eternally grateful that it happened specifically because of the project that it was. Mel Gibson did such an amazing job, Andrew Garfield, the entire cast and crew.”

When asked which of his 21 nominated films was the most difficult, O’Connell went back to an old school title: “I’m gonna go back to 1986 with ‘Top Gun.’ It was an incredible amount of work, a huge undertaking, we didn’t have automation that we do now that helps us do our job. [That was] by far the most difficult film I’ve worked on.”

More Film

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' to Soar Above Box Office Competition Over Memorial Day Weekend

    When Disney first released “Aladdin” in 1992, Bill Clinton was just settling in to the Oval Office, “Game of Thrones” wasn’t much more than a book idea percolating in the mind of author George R.R. Martin, and Johnny Carson was wrapping up his stint as “Tonight Show” host. In some ways, 2019 feels like a [...]

  • Daniel Dae Kim Hellboy

    Cannes: Daniel Dae Kim Joins Joe Penna’s Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Stowaway’

    Daniel Dae Kim, best known recently for ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” will join Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette in Joe Penna’s sci-fi thriller “Stowaway.” The movie marks the second feature from Penna and Ryan Morrison, the duo behind the Cannes Official Selection film “Arctic,” which released earlier this year. XYZ Films and CAA Media Finance [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Karim Ainouz on Cannes Un Certain Regard's ‘The Invisible Life’

    CANNES  —  Karim Aïnouz’s “The Invisible Life” begins with two  sisters, not much over 20, Eurídice (Carol Duarte) and Guida (Julia Stockler) sitting by the shore of one of the multiple bays around Rio de Janeiro, a lush tropical forest behind. They have all their life in front of them. Guida suddenly dashes off clambering [...]

  • Cannes: Neon, Hulu Acquire 'Portrait of

    Cannes: Neon, Hulu Acquire Celine Sciamma’s 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

    Neon and Hulu have acquired North American rights to Céline Sciamma’s love story “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” which premiered in competition at Cannes. Neon is planning a theatrical release for the film this year, which will include an awards campaign in all categories. The film is set in Brittany, France in 1770. Marianne [...]

  • Brightburn review

    Film Review: 'Brightburn'

    “Superman” meets “The Omen” in “Brightburn,” a watchable but super-silly mix of superheroics and evil-child horror that mashes together singularly uninspired ideas from both. Offering R-rated fantasy competition to “Aladdin” this Memorial Day weekend, it should do OK with undiscriminating audiences seeking familiar, forgettable genre thrills. But the franchise prayers that an open-ended fadeout dangles [...]

  • Aladdin

    Film Review: Will Smith in 'Aladdin'

    Of all the characters in Walt Disney Studios’ canon, is there any more animated than the Genie from “Aladdin”? In 1992, old-school cartooning seemed the only way to keep up with comedian Robin Williams’ rapid-fire sense of humor and free-associative gift for improvisation. Much of the appeal of the original “Aladdin” came thanks to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content