'La La Land' producer, Pikesville native Marc Platt reflects on Oscars best picture mix-up

Reflecting on what was likely the most bizarre night of his professional life, Pikesville native Marc Platt, one of the producers of “La La Land,” refused to be upset about his film’s two-minute-plus stint as a best picture Oscar winner.

"A mistake was made," Platt said the morning after actress Faye Dunaway, the victim of an apparent envelope mix-up, mistakenly announced “La La Land” as the winner of the Oscars' biggest award. ("Moonlight" was the actual winner.) “We’re all human beings, people make mistakes. It was a momentary uncomfortableness, but the truth is the truth.”

Platt said he was still awaiting a full explanation of what happened, and why. But any hurt he might have felt, he said, was tempered by genuine affection for “Moonlight.”

“I’m a great admirer of ‘Moonlight,’ which is an exquisite, beautiful film as well,” he said. “The right movie, the one that got voted to win, won and got recognized. It would have been way worse, had the mistake not been discovered until a long time later.”

That said, he admitted that the moment when he and his fellow producers — up on stage to accept the award — became aware that a mistake had been made was a little surreal, as was the ensuing confusion. 

“We’re sorry for that [only] momentary uplift, but in the scheme of things ... it's fine," Platt said Monday morning, as he prepared to fly back to New York and then on to London, where his next movie, “Mary Poppins Returns,” is being shot. “A bit messy. Like I said, it was surreal in the moment, but in the end it all kind of made sense. And it just is — it’s a reality.”

At the post-Oscars Governor’s Ball, the mood was confused, but celebratory. There were still a lot of congratulations to be given to “La La Land,” which ended the evening with six Oscars, including best actress for Emma Stone and best director for Damien Chazelle.

It helped, Platt noted, that the confusion was handled with grace and class by both sides.

“People felt bad, but people, I think, appreciated the way it was handled,” he said. “There’s not a lot you can say, other than that 'I’m sorry that happened, and your movie’s great.' And you move on.”

 

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