Joe Pesci won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars in 1991 for one of the most fast-talking and terrifyingly verbose movie villains in the history of cinema. Goodfellas character Tommy DeVito said a lot of words, most of which were four letters long and began with F.
But away from the thriller movie that won him his most prestigious honour, Pesci is seemingly a man of few words. That’s certainly something he showed when his best movie sent him to the stage of the Shrine Auditorium in LA.
Pesci dominated the big screen in the Martin Scorsese movie Goodfellas, which was no mean feat given the presence of such drama movie icons as Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Paul Sorvino in the cast.
He fought his way to the top of a crowded Best Supporting Actor field in 1991, beating out the likes of Al Pacino and Andy Garcia to win industry recognition for his new movie.
But when Pesci took to the stage, he simply said five words and walked off. So it was that “it’s my privilege, thank you” became the greatest acceptance speech in Oscars history.
Pesci clearly had no time for the teary-eyed meandering of some of the more bloated Oscars speeches and simply wanted to express his thanks more generally. In a way, it means he avoided the danger of missing out anybody important.
For more on this year’s Oscars, check out our guide to the 2023 Oscar winners and Brendan Fraser’s heartbreaking Oscar acceptance speech.
We’ve also got you covered on this year’s nominees including how to watch The Banshees of Inisherin, how to watch Everything Everywhere All at Once, and how to watch Top Gun Maverick.