Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

McKenzie prepared 'losing face' for Oscars cameras

Oscar winner Bret McKenzie. Photo / AP
Oscar winner Bret McKenzie. Photo / AP

Oscar winner Bret McKenzie was so convinced he would miss out on a golden statue that he practised a losing face for television, he revealed after his Academy Award triumph.

The Wellington musician and actor is still on a high after collecting the best original song Oscar for his work on The Muppets movie.

The Flight of the Conchords star said he had spent the post-awards evening celebrating with the Hollywood elite and other celebrities, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Charlene, Princess of Monaco.

"It was a pretty amazing night. I've been here six or seven years, on and off, but [there's] nothing quite like partying with an Oscar in your hand," he told Radio New Zealand. McKenzie, 36, admitted that he was terrified about the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, and had struggled to sleep for the past month.

" When they did actually call my name, I was strangely calm.

"I spent two days practising [a speech] in the shower. I knew that if I didn't prepare something, it'd be a total mess."

He told media he had prepared a reaction if he was pipped to the prize by the other nominated song, Real in Rio from the animated feature Rio.

"[For] the past 24 hours I really thought I wasn't going to get it so I was practising my face."

He joked that he would have either planted his face in his hands or mouthed a swear-word. McKenzie's close friend Taika Waititi famously pretended to be asleep at the 2005 Oscars when his nomination for best live action short film was called out.

In his typically dry tone, McKenzie said the award had already "gone to his head" and "it would be very difficult from now on".

McKenzie's parents said their son had been inundated with phone calls for 24 hours from around the globe, and now he "just wanted to eat lunch".

McKenzie has no immediate projects in the pipeline, and said he intended to simply return home to Wellington to relax.

But he felt the Oscar was likely to open doors to new roles.

"I think I'll be able to take meetings more easily in Hollywood."

- NZ Herald

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