This probably felt odd to hear during tonight’s Academy Awards, and maybe even stranger to read—but Brad Pitt just won his first acting Oscar.
The actor takes home the award for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, where he plays Cliff Booth, the fictional stunt man for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton. His comedic performance wasn’t just a highlight for the Quentin Tarantino film, but for his career as a whole. That’s not an unpopular opinion, either: Pitt has bagged just about every supporting actor award in the circuit, and that’s a pretty big deal considering that this is his first Academy Award for acting.
The opportunity hasn’t been lost on Pitt either—he has been a true king of acceptance speeches this year. After kicking off the year with a hilarious Titanic jab at Leonardo DiCaprio at the Golden Globes, he’s cemented his place as the comedic relief of Awards Season 2020. If there were any question about that, just go back and watch his Screen Actors Guild Award speech where he ribs Tarantino and both of his ex-wives in a two-minute span.
So, naturally, he kicked off his Oscars speech with a political joke—referencing John Bolton, the ex-Trump adviser.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than what the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he quipped.
Then, Pitt (already starting to eclipse those 45 seconds at this point) gave some love to Tarantino, calling him “original” and “one of a kind,” telling him that “the film industry would be a much drier place without you.” Pitt then turned DiCaprio’s way, and said, “Leo: I‘ll ride on your coattails any day, man.”
Since Pitt played an unheralded stuntman in the film, he smartly shouted out Hollywood’s stunt performers, before mentioning what Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood meant to him, personally. He talked about how, growing up, his parents would take him to the drive-in theater to see the same kinds of Hollywood classics Tarantino riffed on, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Never one to leave on a downbeat, Pitt ended his speech with an all-timer of a kicker.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood… ain’t that the truth,” he said.