This year’s annual Independent Spirit Awards is getting a pinch more comedy injected into it’s veins with its latest host, Patton Oswalt. The charismatic film buff has hosted his fair share of award ceremonies, but his love of cinema has him nervous and excited at the same time to do his hosting duties for the big day. There’s a lot of attention being brought on this year’s award show due to the new host and the intriguing “statues” that they’ll be handing out. For those who don’t know, they’ll be replacing the iconic Independent Spirit Award statues with live birds, so this particular ceremony will be quite memorable.

patton oswalt

Earlier this morning myself and a few journalists spoke to Patton Oswalt about the Independent Spirit Awards, but we wanted to ask more than that. How were they going to handle a bunch of birds flying around the awards show? While they didn’t answer a question as to whether or not they could escape, fly around the tent and possibly defecate on a star or two, he did talk to us about his preparation on dealing with the feathered creatures.

Have you been prepping for dealing with live birds? Have you been spending time with birds, taking birds out to dinner? Are you ready to work with birds?

Patton Oswalt: I feel pretty ready. I’ve been going down to the park a lot, chasing them around, yelling at them, so we’ll see. I’m trying to just get over… it’s kind of weird, I probably shouldn’t say this, but I have a paralyzing fear of birds so I have 2 weeks to get over this life-long terror I have. I don’t think it’ll effect my performance but we’ll see.

What happens in case one of the birds dies?

Patton Oswalt: Anyone whose bird dies will be given a baby cougar.

Do the winners actually keep them?

Patton Oswalt: I think that’s going to be up to the individual winners. They can keep them, they can set them free. Trust me, I know actors, I know directors, there’s all kinds of things they could do with birds, some I would rather not go into.


Mr. Oswalt continues on, telling us about some of his favorite movies of this past year that have been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

What was it about this awards ceremony that really drew you to hosting it this year?

Patton Oswalt: For me, being the kind of film buff that I am, this award show digs pretty deep into trying to find movies that took risks and rolling the dice. It rewards people that are clearly emerging that are going to be doing great stuff with their careers, and you can see them early. What I also love is that they keep an eye open for veterans like Robert Redford and Bruce Dern who continue to take risks and seek out challenging, different material. It’s a continuation of that process of risk and independence that the ISA’s really embrace and try to bring attention to.

There’s so many wonderful movies that didn’t get enough love at say the Oscars this year that are getting love here at the Independent Spirit Awards. Which ones do you kind of hope come out of here with a live bird this year?

Patton Oswalt: “The Spectacular Now” I thought was fantastic. “Enough Said,” I hope Enough Said wins everything it gets nominated for. The documentary “The Act of Killing,” I thought it was crucial, hard to watch but crucial. And then I really hope that Bruce Dern wins for “Nebraska” because I thought he was just amazing. That guy’s had awards coming for a long time in my opinion, so that would be great.

So we were wondering how you prepare to host the show like this. Do you spend time to watch all the movies

Patton Oswalt: I watch as many movies as I can. I huddle with all my funny comedian friends and we sit and write jokes, but I try to be very, very aware of who’s going to be there. When I host other award shows, when it comes down to the night of the show you really have to watch the show and be aware of what’s going on out there, and bring that out to what you’re doing. Every time you go back out on stage be present. Real stuff is happening all around you; you’ve got to comment on it.

Are you surprised by the rise of Independent Spirit Award nominee Matthew McConaughey?

Patton Oswalt: No, not at all. He just kicked his career into this turbo level the past couple of years if you watched “Killer Joe” and “Mud,” and then this year especially with “Dallas Buyers Club.” He steals the whole movie with one scene in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” He’s amazing. He’s doing it now on all fronts. The only thing I could think of what he’ll do next is a play somewhere, and I wouldn’t put that beyond his abilities at this point.

Do you think that the Independent Spirit Awards is a pretty good predictor of who’s going to win the Oscar?

Patton Oswalt: I think it goes beyond that. I think that the independent spirit awards are an important predictor of who you’re going to be rooting for in the Oscars ten years down the road. That’s what makes it so exciting for me, that this is like giving an award to Martin Scorsese in 1971 for “Who’s Knocking On My Door.” You’re seeing people that in the beginning of their, I’m going to use the word journey, but it really is. These are the future masters that you’re watching when they’re young, and it makes it that much more crucial and stressful for me. I really want to do well by these guys, because these are the people that are going to be making movies down the road that we’re going to be fighting over at the Oscars.

The 29th Annual Independent Spirit Awards will be taking place on Sunday, March 1st airing at 10 PM EST/PST on IFC.

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