The Oscars took place on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, and Frances McDormand had one of the evening's most moving speeches. Backstage, she was also witness to one of the night's strangest moments when a man allegedly stole her Oscar. McDormand's alleged Oscar thief has been arrested, and luckily she was reunited with the award shortly after it was taken. On Monday, her publicist Simon Halls issued a statement from McDormand regarding the event to Variety, and her reaction to the whole thing was pretty relatable.
The statement reads:
After a brief time apart, Frances and her Oscar were happily reunited last night. They celebrated their reunion with a double cheeseburger from In-N-Out.
That's right, once McDormand was reunited with her statue, she took it to get a cheeseburger. The actor seem to have a sense of humor about the whole debacle, which took place backstage during the Governors Ball, the official after party for the award show. New York Times journalist Cara Buckley says she saw the theft go down, and described the bizarre incident in a tweet. McDormand reportedly put the statue down on a table to talk when an unidentified man grabbed it and ran. The alleged thief was reportedly stopped by chef Wolfgang Puck's photographer, who got the Oscar back, but the man who allegedly stole it disappeared into the crowd. McDormand didn't seem too fazed by the incident and, according to Buckley's tweet, said to let the man go.
Earlier in the evening, the actor took home the Best Lead Actress award for her role as Mildred Hayes in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The statement from her publicist confirmed that a theft occurred, but also shows the actor wasn't too bothered. Of course, she'd also just accomplished a significant career milestone, and she clearly had interviews to do, family to celebrate with, and In-N-Out to eat.
According to Variety, the Los Angeles Police Department said the alleged thief was arrested and booked on felony grand theft at 11:50 p.m. on Sunday. The suspect is named Terry Bryant, and he appeared to post a video with the statue on Facebook where he told other guests the award was his. It's not clear what the motivation for stealing the award was, and though this incident is strange, it's not the first time in Oscar history a statue has been stolen.
According to Vanity Fair, an Oscar statue was only worth $400 in 2011, when gold prices where higher. It's also illegal to sell an Oscar awarded after 1950, which means they have to be sold under the table. This actually makes them potentially more valuable, and since 1929 there have been 70 statues stolen and some of the stories are equally strange. In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg reportedly sent her Oscar for Ghost in the mail to the Academy for cleaning, but when the package arrived the box was empty. A security guard at an airport in Ontario, California later found the statue in a trash can.
McDormand's stolen Oscar isn't the first time one of these statues has mysteriously gone missing, but it's still one of the oddest stories to come out of Oscar Sunday. Luckily, the award was swiftly returned and the actor seemed more than happy to get on with her evening. Later in the evening, she was spotted getting her statue engraved with her son, Pedro McDormand Coen.
The statue caper is still developing, but it certainly won't be the most memorable part of the evening for the star. This was her fifth Oscar nomination and second Best Actress win. She used her speech to champion the other women nominees. “If I could have all the women stand up with me in this moment,” she said, placing her statue on the floor. “Look around, everybody, look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell, and we all have projects we need to finance.” She also drew attention to "inclusion riders", which put diversity requirements for the film into actors' contracts.
It's difficult to know what might possess someone to steal an Oscar, and this curious incident from Sunday's award certainly caught lots of people's attention. McDormand, however, doesn't seem too worried about it, which is probably because she's too busy basking in her win and eating well-deserved cheeseburgers.