Lily Gladstone Says ‘It’s Irrelevant Whether or Not I’ Won the Oscar and ‘Nobody Was Upset’ Back Home Over the Loss: ‘Flower Moon’ Did Its Job

Lily Gladstone went back home to the Blackfeet Nation after her lengthy awards season with “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “nobody was upset” that she didn’t win the Oscar for best actress. Gladstone was a frontrunner for the Academy Award alongside Emma Stone, but it was Stone who prevailed on Oscars night for her performance in “Poor Things.” It turns out some of the Blackfeet Nation leaders assumed Gladstone would be coming home with the gold.

“It was funny, the organizers of the event called me beforehand and they said that they’d got a bunch of little cardboard cut-outs of gold-man statues that looked like an Oscar, to give to the kids,” Gladstone recently told Empire magazine. “They asked if that was okay, or if it was gonna hurt my feelings. I said: ‘No, absolutely not.’ That’s just the whole thing of award campaigns and the competitive nature of pitting art against art. Clearly this film, in this moment, had meaning. It did its job.”

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“But yeah, nobody was upset that it didn’t happen,” she continued about the Oscar loss. “When the Golden Globe happened, a lot of people who are very far away from the industry just kind of thought it was the Oscars. It’s about the fact that the film has been awarded and it’s historic, and it’s still just a really meaningful moment. So it’s irrelevant whether or not I walked home with that statue in hand.”

Gladstone stressed that “regardless of how things turned out,” she still has work coming out and new acting projects lined up. One of these is the release of her indie “Fancy Dance” on Apple TV+, and another is her attachment to lead “The Memory Police,” an adaptation of Yoko Ogawa’s 1994 sci-fi novel that has a script by Charlie Kaufman and director Reed Morano attached. She’ll also be starring opposite Bowen Yang in Bleecker Street and Shivhans Pictures’ remake of Ang Lee’s 1993 romantic comedy “The Wedding Banquet” from director Andrew Ahn.

Gladstone’s acclaimed performance as Mollie Kyle in “Killers of the Flower Moon” won best actress prizes at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards prior to the Oscars, making her a big contender for the Academy Award. She would’ve made history as the first Native American performer to win best actress.

In a social media post the day after the Oscars, Gladstone told her followers that she was “feeling the love big time today” despite not winning best actress. She also acknowledged that just because she did not win didn’t mean history wasn’t made in other ways that deserve attention. The actor pointed to the live performance of “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which was nominated for best original song and featured several Osage artists on stage.

“When watching the Osage Singers at the Oscars, my inner voice said, ‘They’re the ones bringing us all up on stage tonight, that’s how it should be,’” Gladstone wrote. “The history in the film and of the moment rightfully belong to the Osage Nation. What an honor to be close enough to feel the drum.”

Read Gladstone’s Empire magazine interview here.

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