Melissa Leo Finally Explains Her Controversial Oscar Ads

melissa_leo_consider_225.jpgWell, sorta. In an impromptu interview with The Daily Beast -- the reporter went up to Leo at a restaurant after failing to get a response from her representatives; six hours later he was on the phone with the Oscar nominee -- Leo says that the ads were actually conceived before her nomination for The Fighter, and were possibly the handiwork of Paramount. This despite the fact that Leo previously said Paramount was not involved. Huh.

"I've been busting my ass, trying to get the movie sold and seen, and now I show up where they ask, get put into hair and makeup that they pay for, so I can promote this thing [and campaign]," Leo told The Daily Beast. "So I'm a little confused. I thought this is what we're doing. This is what all the girls are doing. [...] It didn't seem so nomination oriented; it was fun."

It certainly looked like fun, but saying "they" paid for the ads is in direct opposition with what she told Deadline's Pete Hammond when the ads were released.

"I took matters into my own hands," she said an interview published Feb. 4. "I knew what I was doing and told my representation how earnest I was about this idea. I had never heard of any actor taking out an ad as themselves and I wanted to give it a shot." As Hammond noted, a studio source said Paramount was unaware of the ads until they were printed.

So, which is it: Did Paramount pay for the ads or did Leo? And will any of this actual matter with ballots due by the end of the day? Only five more days, folks...

· Melissa Leo Breaks Oscar Silence [The Daily Beast]