Date: 10th March 2001
OSCAR nominees planning their acceptance speeches will have to keep them short and to the point, because producers are threatening to "mercilessly cut short anyone who rambles."
This year (01), the length permitted for acceptance speeches is set at 45 seconds, but producer GIL CATES's publicist MIKE THOMAS says it's really up to the director to decide whether or not a star is allowed to talk beyond their allocated time. He says, "It really depends on how interesting they are. "If somebody is in the middle of giving their terrifically moving speech, we probably won't cut them off, if they're out there rambling on, we will. "We feel that 45 seconds is ample time for people to say thanks for the award."
But Thomas adds that speeches from actors such as TOM HANKS', who gave a tearful and lengthy blessing of America when he won his first BEST ACTOR award for PHILADELPHIA and CUBA GOODING JR's insistence on talking over the fade out music in his acceptance speech for JERRY MAGUIRE, are relatively new occurrences.
He says, "Looking back at footage of the earliest Oscars back in the 1950s, winners would just get up, say 'thank you very much' and they were gone. "This trend of thanking your agent, your therapist, your ex-wife and your dog is really a recent phenomenon." (LE/WN/RP)