Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone points us back to Tom O’Neil’s claim that Melissa Leo is a diva. Thelma Adams, the author of the original interview, has weighed into the comments section to tell him he’s wrong. The comments are listed in reverse order with the newest at the top so scroll down to see what Ms. Adams said…or read on.

“In the interests of full disclosure, Tom O’Neil is also a friend of mine, so I don’t know why he would take this lovely interview out of context. As the astute comments that preceded mine pointed out [Ed. coughcoughIncludingMinecough], Melissa is no diva, she’s an actress going through deep emotional transformation on screen. She and director Courtney Hunt are in a very good place, they are working arm in arm to promote this terrific, terrific film. For me, knowing an actress of such talent and integrity is a gift, perhaps working with her even better than a bogus basket of muffins apologizing for a slight that did not exist.

Posted by: Thelma Adams | July 30, 2008 at 05:42 PM “

But, like a pit bull gnawing on an Oscar shaped chew toy, Tom O’Neil refuses to drop his claim.

“Oh, come on, Thelma! If no slight existed, why did Hunt ask Leo not to speak to her that way?

On the Oscar trail ahead, I’m sure you and I and our fellow Oscar-watching journos will be seeing lots of Leo in person. If I catch her continuing to pull more of this bully act and be so inconsiderate to colleagues, I’ll continue to report on her diva antics. Although I may not have to do much of that since Leo does a fine job ratting these stories — cluelessly — on herself. Tell your pal that she’s not running for an award called Best Performance by a Diva. By acting this way, she’s hurting her shot for that other award.

Posted by: Tom O’Neil | July 31, 2008 at 06:25 AM”

I’d like to hear from Courtney Hunt about this. I still think Tom is full of it.

Meanwhile, in case you hadn’t heard, The Sundance jury prize-winning Frozen River starring Melissa Leo is in theaters on Friday.

[UPDATE: Tom takes the George Bush approach by stubbornly refusing to admit he was wrong despite mounting evidence to the contrary.]

32 Responses to “Tom O’Neil Won’t Back Down”

  1. Oh man…

  2. DRAMA! *gets popcorn*

  3. Tom O’Neil, Oscar’s hall monitor.

  4. And the award for Best Performance by a Diva goes to…(DP struggles to open the envelope, then sets eyes on the winner): I consider this man the greatest diva in the English language: Tom O’Neil!

  5. hahha…yeah, I see he’s defending himself at AD.

  6. Did you get my awesome Oscar trivia homage?

  7. (hangs head in shame and says meekly) No? I was hoping some smartypants would explain it before I had to ask so I wouldn’t look like a dumbass.

  8. I got it, Dorothy. A play on “Leo,” and how a great performance in one film “spilling over” in the eyes of Academy voters come January’s nominating process to another from the same year. :)

  9. Jeez, I’m dense. Alexander, I could’ve used you 10 minutes ago!

  10. LOL, Ryan. That’s a perfect summation.

  11. Bravo, Alexander. I did throw out the Leo reference over at AD, but the reference I sneaked in this particular thread is a take on F. Murray Abraham’s announcement that Geraldine Page had won the best actress award for “The Trip to Bountiful.” He said: “I consider this woman the greatest actress in the English language,” at which point Ms. Jessica Lange mouthed “Geraldine.”

  12. Haha… Ah, okay, Dorothy.

    Ha, sorry, Craig. :)

  13. Ok, now I’m doubly dense because I missed both of them.

    I should just go back to writing…or back to bed.

  14. Hey, Cher’s a diva and she has an Oscar. I mean, Jennifer Hudson is an American Idol cast-off and SHE has an Oscar.

    Melissa Leo had a small miscommunication (it seems) with her director. Big deal — it happens ALL the time. Until she trashes the Academy, I’d say she has as good a shot as anyone at scoring a nomination.

  15. Well said, K.

  16. What’s funny is, wasn’t Tom O’Neil championing Jennifer Hudson for the Oscar night and day (as k’s post made me determined to point out)? Leo is actually, you know, an actress, and one who hasn’t exactly received much in the way of hte limelight.

  17. Tom thought that Dreamgirls was going to win Best Picture and Best Director too. He was a BIG supporter of Hudson.

    Some actors just get deep into their roles that their characters spill over into their personal lives. Marion Cotillard talked about being on an emotional roller coaster after finishing La Vie en Rose, and Meryl Streep told Anne Hathaway before starting on The Devil Wears Prada that she wouldn’t be kind to her until filming was over. George Clooney and David O. Russell had a serious, heated argument making Three Kings, and that certainly didn’t keep Clooney from ever winning an Oscar. And don’t everyone forget Daniel Day-Lewis — a genius, but a hardcore method actor who stays in character ALL day EVERY day until filming wraps.

    These people all have Oscars. They will likely all receive nominations again in the future. This Melissa Leo thing is such a nonstory; I don’t know why he is trying to make it a bigger deal than it is.

  18. Heh, I love that George f’ing Clooney, who probably could get along with Kim Jong-Il, couldn’t stand David O. Russell like so many others.

    I remember Tom believing Dreamgirls was a virtual lock to win Best Picture and Best Director. Since it failed to be nominated, Dreamgirls is the only statement one has to make to illustrate just how little anyone knows when it comes to what Oscar will really do.

  19. Why are we even paying attention to what Tom O’Neill says anyway? After all, he’s the guy who went out of his way to dismiss SUNRISE out of hand.

    Let me repeat that… SUNRISE. One of the great silent films ever made.

    This guy deserves to get paid to write about movies about as much as I warrant a job on the joy of firearms. Which is to say, not so much.

  20. “After all, he’s the guy who went out of his way to dismiss SUNRISE out of hand.”

    Do tell. I don’t keep up with the never-ending catastrophe that is the writings of Tom O’Neil.

  21. Alexander~~

    Ask and ye shall receive:—vote-was.html

  22. Honestly, my main complaint, as I tried to make clear in my original post, is that this nonsense is appearing in my local newspaper…at least the online version. And we’re not talking about the Bumblefuck Herald either.

  23. Also, I’m aiming for 100 posts this month.

  24. Well, Paul C., that just made my head explode. Can I send you the cleaning bill?

  25. Alexander~~

    Yeah, it’s pretty mindblowing that someone affiliated with a major daily newspaper would dismiss such an acclaimed movie so flippantly. I mean, I expect reverse snobbery masquerading as populism in my mainstream media, but at least put forth an effort.


    Yeah, it’s gets to me too. Joe Blogger posts that same story and it’s certain to be roundly ignored by the mainstream press. But since O’Neil’s affiliated with the LA Times it’s treated as holy writ. Methinks that if the mainstream media wants to establish an online presence, they should be more judicious about making sure their writers post pieces that are worthy of the paper’s good name.

  26. You could literally dismiss anything that way.

    “Waah, Antigone and Creon don’t understand each other. Sophocles’ play is a glorified soap opera!”

    I rather like Wings a lot, partly for personal, girlfriend-related reasons. Objectively, though, so many films have taken its template as formula.

    Sunrise is truly amazing, however.

  27. But, like a pit bull gnawing on an Oscar shaped chew toy, Tom O’Neil refuses to drop his claim.

    That sentence so wins, Craig.

    100 posts? Wow. I don’t know how close you are yet, but today’s the last day of July. :-)

  28. 98 down, 2 to go!

  29. And me, 98 rants.

    Not counting the one I just dropped at the Gold Derby.

    Any snarkenfreude fans can go check out O’Neil’s latest berserk headline: “A truly mad rush to coddle unmasked diva”

    Last week it was “Heath Ledger’s Oscar chances doomed”

    Didn’t he do the same sort of undermining with Bill Murray?

    O’Neil’s method of predicting the Oscars seems to involve shooting down contenders all year long to see who’s left standing after he slanders them.

  30. Thanks for the heads up. I’ve updated the post.

  31. “snarkenfreude” ROFLMAO.

    Ryan, your posts should come with a warning.

  32. I like them better when they sneak up on you.

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