Disney movie star Robin Williams wasn’t just one of the funniest men in Hollywood: he was one of the nicest, too. At the 2003 Critics Choice Awards, both him and horror movie actor Jack Nicholson were up for the Best Actor accolade: Williams for his role as the obsessive photographer in One Hour Photo and Jack Nicholson for his role as the eccentric titular character, a retiree, in drama movie About Schmidt.
The pair were up against various other actors and ‘2000s movies, and the calibre was so high that year, presenter Salma Hayek revealed that the critics had called a tie, with Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in Gangs of New York being announced as joint winners.
“I’m going to call the first name,” she said. “This wonderful person can come up here and say thank you, and then I will say the second name, so there’s going to be so much dramatic tension.” First up was Lewis, who delivered a grateful speech, but things begun to go a bit pear-shaped when Nicholson appeared on-stage.
Admitting that he was feeling more than a little stoned, Nicholson joked, “Well, I don’t usually get this baked when it’s on television.” He enlisted Williams’ help on-stage to assist him in getting through the speech, and the comedy movie actor was more than happy to comply. “What Jack is trying to say here,” Williams explained to a puzzled audience, “is that he’s so happy to be here he could drop a log, really.”
Obviously, times have changed since 2003, and showing up at awards shows high as a kite isn’t as socially acceptable as it was back then. But if you enjoy things that are high in the sky, you might like our list of airplane movies, or our guide to the best fantasy movies.