'Moonlight' and 'La La Land' directors talk about historic Oscars blunder

creators damien chazelle
creators damien chazelle


    For Damien Chazelle, it's all personal


For Damien Chazelle, it's all personal 03:05

Story highlights

  • Despite the Oscars mix up, Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins sat down together to discuss their initial reactions
  • Jenkins called the historic blunder "messy" but "gorgeous"

(CNN)The morning after the epic mix-up over the Oscar for best picture, "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle and "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins met for coffee.

Still stunned, they sat down with Variety and discussed what had happened on live television.
"It's messy, but it's kind of gorgeous," Jenkins said.
    In what became the most famous blunder in the history of the Academy Awards, Jenkins was only called to the stage to accept for "Moonlight" after it was revealed that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had been given the wrong envelope. Dunaway had mistakenly announced "La La Land" as best picture.
    Jenkins described the commotion and confusion that followed.
    "You have these two groups of people who came together for a second," he said. "There's a picture with me hugging Jordan (Horowitz, a producer of "La La Land"), and Adele (Romanski, producer of "Moonlight") has her arm on his shoulder. That's what the moment was."
    Chazelle's first thought was that it might have been a joke.
    "Everything looked so energized, I at first thought there was some kind of prank going on," he said.
    Jenkins had a speech prepared, but when the mix-up happened he had no choice to go but off-script.
    "When we were sitting there and that dream of winning didn't come true, I took it off the table," he told Variety. "But then I had to very quickly get back into that place. And my first thought was to get to the stage to give Jordan a hug as quickly as possible."
    It was an unforgettable moment, but both directors said an Oscar doesn't define them or their work.
    "But so many of the filmmakers that inspired both Barry and I have never won an Oscar, or were never nominated," Chazelle said. "So you have to keep that in mind. This only means so much."