Backstage Interview: Original Song Winner Sam Smith

Q. Hello.  I just wonder how will you celebrate tonight, because I saw your glass over there?

A. (Sam Smith)  I think a drink is in order, definitely.  We’ve got friends and family here, and we are going to party, I think.

A. (Jimmy Napes)  Turn up.

Q. Hi guys.  Congratulations.  Sam, you gave a lovely speech about what Ian McKellen said to you, and I wondered if you’ve already texted him or spoken to him or if you’re planning to have a conversation in the foreseeable future with him?

A. (Sam Smith)  I wish I had his number.  I don’t know him.  I just love Gandalf.

A. (Jimmy Napes)  It’s like bingo a little bit, isn’t it?

Q. To win tonight, not only as an openly gay man, but to win an Oscar in the year where we’ve seen an increase in LGBT visibility with films likeCAROL and THE DANISH GIRL, what does that mean to you?

A. (Sam Smith)  It means the world to me.  When I read the Ian McKellen piece, I was just bowled over by it, and I wanted to take this opportunity to show how much I care about my community.  In the past in my career, people have said at the beginning that I didn’t and stuff, and I just wanted to make it clear how much I truly do care about the LGBT community.  At the same time, I’m just ‑‑ we are just completely overwhelmed.

A. (Jimmy Napes)  We can’t even speak.

A. (Sam Smith)  I’m a little bit drunk as well.

Q. Congratulations.  So now that you’ve won an Oscar, what do you plan to accomplish outside of work?

A. (Jimmy Napes)  It is hard to top this one, isn’t it?  The James Bond film is the first film we’ve written a song for, and we are going to make another record together.  And outside of work, just enjoy ourselves.  I just had a baby, so I’m going to spend lots of time with him.

A. (Sam Smith)  Outside of work, me and Jimmy, it’s Jimmy’s baby Jackson’s first birthday in a few weeks, and we are dressing up as Igglepiggle and ‑‑

A. (Jimmy Napes)  And Upsy Daisy from IN THE NIGHT GARDEN.  It’s his favorite cartoon, so we’re going to do that.

Q. First of all, congratulations on the win.  Sam, I wanted to talk to you just a little bit.  Beautiful acceptance speech with regard to the LGBT community.  Obviously, diversity has been a big issue throughout this entire Oscar ceremony.  Curious as to your take on Chris Rock and the way he handled it tonight.

A. (Sam Smith)  I thought it amazing.  I thought it was amazing.  And it was so prominent throughout the show, and I thought that was important.  It’s important that all of these things get raised because we are not okay, you know.  There is so much that needs to be changed in the world, and it’s so amazing that people are speaking about it and fighting against it.

Q. Congrats on your win.  Sam, really beautiful speech.  It turns out you are not actually the first openly gay winner.

A. (Sam Smith)  Shit.  Fuck that.

Q. But is that actually even better news that this barrier has already been broken?

A. (Sam Smith)  Two is my lucky number, so it’s all good.  Who was the other person?

Q. Howard Ashman.

A. (Sam Smith)  I should know him.  We should date.

Q. Congratulations, guys.  And of course, Sam, on Black Twitter we love you, so congratulations.  Obviously we are talking about diversity today.  Do you think black lives matter, and what does that mean to you in terms of all of the love that you get from our community because we really support you and really love how you bring just another twist all around the country to our music?

A. (Sam Smith)  Of course I do, I think that; of course I do.  I’m still learning.  I’m still learning every day how bad it is in certain places for black people and for the black culture, and I’m still learning slowly but surely, but it’s absolutely awful what is going on in certain parts of the world, and I’m just really behind it.  That’s all I can say.

Q. Congratulations to both of you.  My question is for Sam.  You look incredible.  I wanted to know if you did anything specific to prepare for tonight?

A. (Sam Smith) I have been eating the most boring food you can imagine for months now, and I’m going to destroy some burgers and chocolate cakes in a second and some beer.  You have no idea.

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