Oscar-Winning Precious Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher on Awards Season: 'I Wish I Could Bottle It'
One of last night's biggest Academy Award upsets came when Geoffrey Fletcher's name was called as the winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, beating out heavily tipped frontrunners Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air. Fletcher was clearly moved by the win, as he was on Friday when he won Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards for his work on Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.
Movieline spoke with Fletcher this weekend about his awards season ride, which ended with those two dramatic high points.
"I'll tell you, it's a thrill," Fletcher said to me on Friday, prior to his Independent Spirit win. "People say, 'Enjoy it. Savor it.' I wish I could bottle it, because our schedules are so intense. I look up and a whole day has passed, and I ask myself, 'Did I enjoy this?' For another part of me, it's still setting in, and I can't fully understand how it feels yet. Maybe I will six months from now, I don't know."
Fletcher may have been beaming, but he confessed to more than a few worries: "The work is what got us here. The longer I feel distance from my work, the more concerned I become!" he laughed. "But I wouldn't trade it to the world. One never knows how many times these experiences come along. You never know if it's a one-time thing or if it will happen again, and that's the way to look at life: Enjoy every moment and be in every moment. That's what I'm trying to do with this."
If the Indie Spirits and Oscars had gone another way, Fletcher said, he still would have found a bright side to focus on.
"There are a lot of very good films this year, and every film has had a degree of attention," he said. "Things have been spread around, so it's great. You meet so many gifted people throughout this process that you start to cheer for them, even if they're your competitors sometimes! It's a wonderful experience, and no, I certainly haven't gotten tired of any of the positive attention that this film has gotten. I'm so happy to be a part of this entire team."
Fletcher, who has now become the first African American to win his category, will next be scripting Attica for Doug Liman. On Friday night, he sounded eager to get to work, though he was still a little hesitant to leave the heightened awards season behind.
"For me, as you can tell, there are a lot of complex thoughts about it that I'm still sorting out." Fletcher chuckled. "As we speak!"