Brad Pitt has won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the 92nd Academy Awards. Pitt saw off strong competition from Al Pacino and Joe Pesci for The Irishman, Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes.
In the 1960s-set Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pitt’s Booth is the easygoing stunt double for fading star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio); Booth also encounters the notorious Manson “family” who are living outside Los Angeles at the Spahn Ranch, a former filming location.
Pitt, 56, began his acceptance speech with a reference to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and its blocking of John Bolton’s testimony. “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here,” said Pitt, “… which is 45 seconds more than the senate gave John Bolton this week.”
The actor dedicated his award to “my kids, who colour everything I do – I adore you” before paying tribute to Tarantino, whom he described as “an original … one of a kind. The film industry would be a much drier place without you.” He also gave a shout-out to his parents, to stunt people, and to his co-star DiCaprio, on whose coattails he said he was “happy to ride … the view’s fantastic”.
Pitt has already won a string of prizes for the role, including best supporting actor at the Baftas, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. This is his first Oscar for acting, having previously been nominated for best supporting actor for 12 Monkeys and best actor for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Moneyball. However, his work as a producer has seen him win a best picture Oscar for 12 Years a Slave and earn best picture nominations for Moneyball and The Big Short.