Actors, creatives disappointed with Oscars trimming televised awards

Some actors and creatives are disappointed that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has decided to present eight Oscars in a ceremony held before the main Oscars show, and not broadcast on television for viewers.

Several creatives spoke out about the changes while attending the annual Oscars nominees luncheon Monday, which celebrates all the nominees.

In an effort to combat slumping ratings, the Oscars are undergoing the radical slimming down for next month’s telecast of the 94th Academy Awards by presenting the film editing, production design, sound, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score) and the three short film awards (documentary, live-action and animated) at the ceremony before the March 27 live broadcast begins on ABC.

Actor Penelope Cruz, a nominee this year for her performance in the drama “Parallel Mothers,” said, “I was not very happy to hear about that decision because, you know, the Oscars are… the Oscars, people, I believe they are interested in watching the ceremony and categories, like every, every single category is important. Like, we cannot do anything without each other. We all depend on each other.

Categories like soundtrack or documentary. I was very shocked to hear that they were out of that and actually all the categories that they had have been cut out of the televised ceremony. So, I was a little bit shocked and disappointed about it, because I believe that people at home, when they are watching the ceremony, they know that we are all depend, we all depend on each other. So, all these departments — all these categories are equally important. It’s not just like the four or five in last word of the night.”

Sian Heder, nominated for the adapted screenplay for “CODA,” said, “Well, I think the problem with the changes is it wasn’t a conversation. I think it needed to be a conversation with all of the filmmakers and all of the people who are part of it. And I think, you know, my editor on ‘CODA’ was my key collaborator on the movie in terms of shaping the movie that you see on the screen. I mean, we had an incredible editing process. We cut 30 scenes from the film. We honed, you know, I mean, I’m nominated for adapted screenplay, but, honestly, there was a whole rewriting process that happened in the edit with my editor.

So, it’s hard when you see some of those categories separated as though we’re not all kind of artists doing our thing on the film. At the same time, I do understand that like most audience members out there, you know, might not know what goes into making movies, but this is a chance to be educated about that. So, you know, hopefully, well, you know, and I think the Academy is doing incredible things to be accessible this year. And, so, there also an openness happening there as we’ve talked about having interpreters on stage and captioned clips and making the telecast accessible to the deaf community as well as the hearing community. So, look, we all have to like, learn and grow and change and recognize mistakes when they’re made.”

Jessica Chastain has made a point to credit the work of hair and makeup artists for the success of her Oscar-nominated performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

Should they win, the film’s nominees in the category of achievement in makeup and hairstyling will be accepting their statuettes in a ceremony taking place an hour before the Oscars telecast begins.

“Oftentimes, a lot of attention is, you know, to the actor,” Chastain said.

“We’re like the front, the visual of a performance. But in reality, there’s a huge team of people that creates a performance. And, for sure, Justin (Raleigh), Stephanie (Ingram), Linda (Dowds) — the whole hair makeup team — was instrumental in helping me create Tammy Faye. I mean, I could go on and on. There’s a dialect coach, a singing coach. There’s so many, our director. There’s so many people that participate in creating it. So, I’m absolutely going to be present. I haven’t even talked to Nicole about this because I was told it happens when we’re on the red carpet or what. No! I’m going to be there. Yeah, I’m going to be there when their category is announced.”