Among the household names who won big at this year's ceremony, there was one lesser known nominee who made history...
The saying ‘third time lucky’ just doesn’t cut it for Kevin O’Connell. His may not be a name you instantly recognise but, after his triumphant victory at last night’s Oscars, it’s one we should all be celebrating. Why? Because Kevin finally won an Academy Award after losing 20 times. 20 TIMES.
As a sound mixer, O’Connell has worked on some of the biggest films of the last 30 years, receiving his first Oscar nomination in 1984 for his work on Terms of Endearment. Since then, he has been nominated for films including Top Gun, A Few Good Men, Twister, Pearl Harbor, Spider-Man, Memoirs of a Geisha and Transformers.
This year saw him nominated for the 21st time, for his work on Hacksaw Ridge. We can only imagine how Kev- he’d want us to call him Kev- must have been feeling as he attended the ceremony yesterday. He probably had no expectations, no speech prepared. He may have been feeling a little jaded, exhausted even from practising his humble losing face. What a phenomenal surprise, then, when Kevin’s name was called. We all felt Kev’s joy.
Bounding onto the stage, Kevin delivered a heart-warming speech, dedicating his win to his late mother:
“A special thanks to my mother, Skippy O’Connell, who 39 years ago got me ma job in sound and when I asked her ‘Ma, how can I ever thank you?’ she looked at me and she said ‘You know, I’ll tell you how you can thank me: you can work hard. You can work really hard and then someday you go win yourself an Oscar and you can stand up there on that stage and you can thank me in front of the whole world.’ Mom, I know you’re looking down on me tonight, so thank you. Thank you all so much, I really appreciate this.”
Kev! What a guy. This is just the sort of motivation we need on a dreary Monday morning. Remember: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. In fact, try 21 times and then you might just find yourself with an Oscar.