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Live at the Oscars: Hooper Talks Best Director Win for The King's Speech, Thanks Mum UPDATED

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 28, 2011 at 4:01AM

Best Director Tom Hooper thanks his mother. "My mom in 2007 was invited by some Australian friends to a play reading of The King's Speech. She almost didn't go, came home, rang me up, 'I think I've found your next film.' The moral of the story is, listen to your mother." Here's more from his acceptance speech and backstage interview.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Best Director Tom Hooper thanks his mother. "My mom in 2007 was invited by some Australian friends to a play reading of The King's Speech. She almost didn't go, came home, rang me up, 'I think I've found your next film.' The moral of the story is, listen to your mother." Here's more from his acceptance speech and backstage interview.

I figured that Inception and Alice in Wonderland would split the technical awards, and that Oscars would be spread among many films. But I was wrong to think that one director who did not campaign (The Social Network's David Fincher was shooting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) would win over one who did. Hooper was indefatigable. And he directed the likely best picture-winner. A split between best picture and director is very rare, as Sasha Stone and Kris Tapley kept reminding me. In this case, the stats were right.

Backstage, Hooper credits the rehearsal period with an intense bonding experience with his trio of man love with Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth. Helena Bonham Carter arrived to a strong male bond. "She acted the supportive wife brilliantly." He's not going to bed for a while. Oprah Winfrey and The Today Show beckon in the morning.

He says his mother is under a little bit of pressure now. "This play failed to be produced as a fringe theater play, so it was going nowhere," he says. "It's made me more open-minded," he says. "The key thing was getting inside the mind of a stammerer. If Colin could capture the intense drama of being a stammerer, and then add in the drama of being a King against his well."

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Oscars, Tom Hooper, Period


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.