Friday, May 24, 2024

Alessandro Nivola Wins Best Actor at Tribeca Film Festival, Shows Up By Accident: “One of the weirdest days of my life”


We’re just thrilled that on Thursday night Alessandro Nivola has won Best Actor at the Tribeca Film Festival for a movie called “One Percent More Humid.” Nivola, who’s married to actress Emily Mortimer, has just done wall-to-wall good work since we met him in 1999 with “Mansfield Park” through all kinds of great performances in “Laurel Canyon,” the two “Goal!” movies, “Janie Jones,” “American Hustle,” and many others. He goes to Cannes next month in Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here.”

Nivola wrote me today after he won the Tribeca award. I thought I’d share this with you:

“I was on the Tribeca foreign film jury this year and most of my fellow jurors had to go out of town before the Awards ceremony.  It was down to just Willem Dafoe and he said “come on man – you’re not gonna make me do this alone are you?”  Emily is out of town and I’d been neglecting my kids so I wasn’t planning on going, but I reluctantly agreed to go keep him company.  So on the day, we had just finished presenting the foreign awards and were sitting back stage after in the green room having a drink when the festival organizers came in and told us we had to go and watch the end of the ceremony out in the auditorium.  We were like “Why?? we’ve done our bit and now we’re having a drink!” But they were insistent and even physically pushed us back inside.

Willem and I by this time were pretty pissed off and we went and sat at the very back of the auditorium with our feet up on the seats in front of us like two naughty high-schoolers, when suddenly he elbows me in the ribs and says, “You won, man!”  I said “what?” And he said “they just called your name.”

I had no idea what the f**k was going on.  I didn’t know I was eligible for any award and because we’d been bitching I hadn’t heard them talking about my performance – “For his raw, complex and deeply human portrayal of a middle-aged teacher and writer who tries to rekindle his creativity by plunging into an ill-advised affair with a student…blah blah blah” and I hadn’t heard it.  I had no speech – nothing prepared – and there were like 500 people there.  I made my way all the way down to the stage, stared at everyone like I was brain dead, said some embarrassing nonsense that I can’t remember, and went home.  One of the weirdest days of my life…”

Congrats, Alessandro! And now on to many more awards…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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