Wes Anderson Shares Why He Was Absent From Oscars & What He Would’ve Said Following Win For Netflix Short ‘The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar’

After missing the chance to accept his first Oscar in person, following his win for Best Live-Action Short for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Wes Anderson has addressed the circumstances surrounding his absence and what he would’ve said in his speech.

“If I could have been there, I (along with [producer] Steven Rales) would have said ‘Thank You’ to: the family of Roald Dahl; the team at Netflix; Benedict [Cumberbatch] and Ralph [Fiennes] and Ben Kingsley and Dev [Patel] … and more [of the cast and crew],” Anderson stated. “And also: If I had not met Owen Wilson in a corridor at the University of Texas between classes when I was 18 years old, I would certainly not be receiving this award tonight — but unfortunately Steven and I are in Germany and we start shooting our new movie early tomorrow morning, so I did not actually receive the award [in person] or get a chance to say any of that.”

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Anderson is currently gearing up for production on The Phoenician Scheme, his next feature starring Benicio Del Toro, Michael Cera, and Bill Murray, which he penned with longtime collaborator Roman Coppola. One of four Roald Dahl shorts he was tapped to direct for Netflix, following his experience adapting Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar stars Cumberbatch as a man who uses his clairvoyance to cheat at gambling.

Pic world premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival and last night beat out films including The After (from Misan Harriman and Nicky Bentham), Invincible (Vincent René-Lortie, Samuel Caron), Knight of Fortune (Lasse Lyskjær Noer, Christian Norlyk), and Red, White and Blue (Nazrin Choudhury, Sara McFarlane).

First nominated for an Oscar in 2002 for his script to The Royal Tenenbaums, written with Wilson, Anderson’s nomination last night was his eighth. Other nominated works from the filmmaker include Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs.

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