Swag, baby!

Saturday 6 Mar 10

Last night I went to the Independent Spirit Awards. It was a fun evening.  I sat at the Piaget table.  They were one of the sponsors of the evening, and therefore great friends of independent film and so they are my friend too.  They also very kindly invited me to the evening and gave me a nice Piaget watch to wear.  The last couple of days actually has been a swag overload for me.  It's a very weird thing when you first start being given loads of free stuff just because you're well known. Initially you think you've just stumbled upon really kind people who want to shower you with expensive gifts because you're special. But then you begin to undrstand that people give famous people things because we are walking billboards.  We get photographed all the time (last night I was wearing a free suit by Moods of Norway and a hoodie shirt by S2VS).  We get asked all the time about what we like and what we think and what we want, and of course we are more likely to do so if we have been given things that we like, want or think about and are fresh in our minds to discuss, see? Also we blog about them on our blogs the day after we get them! Actually I am going to wait and do a video of all the swag I have received over the Oscar weekend to show you the sheer outrageousness of it all. Yet, as outrageous as it is - and although, of course, as a celebrity, the richer you get, the less you have to pay for things - there is a point to it, a business model that works. But there is no such thing as a free lunch, or watch, or blender, or vaccum cleaner.We have to pay in other ways, llike having embarassing photographs of yourself holding said vaccum in a phallic manner available for all to see across the internet.

Last night I met the lovely Johnny Weir, the skater and Sundance TV star.  I told Johnny how impressed I had been with not just his skating but also how he quelled the crowds when they were outraged at his low scores at the Olympics.  What a nice boy he is.  I hope to see him again.  I was also so pleased to run into my old friend Colin Firth on the red carpet.  Colin and I met in 1994 in Ireland, when we were both shooting the movie Circle of Friends.  He is brilliant in A Serious Man, and I think you can tell that he is just enjoying himself and having a whale of a time with the success of it.  I was quite shocked last night that he didn't win the Best Actor award.  

It went instead to Jeff Bridges.  There is a perceived notion here that Jeff will win the Oscar, both for his work in Crazy Heart but also as a sort of 'woops, we've never given him one before and we should have, it's his turn' sort of thing. Therefore I thought that Colin would get it last night and Jeff on Sunday. But last night was a sweep for two films that are both in contention for Oscars, Crazy Heart and Precious.  Indeed Precious provided two of the most amazing moments of the night when Gaby Sibide received the Best Actress award and then when Lee Daniels was given the Best Actor award and had a sort of silent conversation with Mo'nique in which they just gazed at each other and nodded for about thirty seconds. It was stunning! Now the town is girding its loins for the big one tomorrow.


I did this interview at the beginning of 2009 when I was at the Sundance film festival promoting Dare.  It has finally surfaced at the SXSW festival and is now online.