Faye Dunaway, who co-presented the final award with actor Warren Beatty, sat down with “NBC Nightly News” host Lester Holt to talk about the debacle. Though Beatty addressed the conflict both on stage and to reporters after the show, Dunaway, who was the person who actually announced that “La La Land” won Best Picture, kept mum on the subject until now.
“I thought he was joking,” the actress said of Beatty’s now notorious stall before announcing the winner. She did not know that her co-presenter was mistakenly given the wrong envelope before handing it over to her. She then read the film title off the card.
Dunaway said that she felt “very guilty” about the whole situation.
“I could have done something, surely,” she recalled thinking to herself. “Why didn’t I see Emma Stone’s name at the top of the card?”
Within hours, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers took responsibility for the mess, admitting that their employee gave Beatty the envelope for Best Actress in a Leading Role instead of Best Picture.
Last month, the board governing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to retain the services of PwC despite the flub, though the accountant responsible for handing the wrong card will no longer be involved with the Oscars.
More of Holt’s interview with Dunaway will air Tuesday on the “Today” show.