"12 Years a Slave" director McQueen on his reaction to his best picture win: "I'm as cool as a cucumber right now. You saw the jump, of course," McQueen said backstage when addressing reporters. "Truly, I'm just so excited. It's one of those moments in life that might not ever happen again. And you're living it. You're there ... physicality takes over. It was my Van Halen jump." On the historical significance of being the first black director behind a best picture win: "Obviously, it's a mark of development," he said. "A mark of how we see that particular time of history now. It's obviously a progression. The background characters are now in the foreground. Their history and their lives and how the lived are being recognized. I think it's indicative of what is going on now. I think people are ready for this narrative. People now want to look at that history. To embrace it and accept it in order to move forward."
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
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