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A.R. Rahman revisits his Oscars experience in video shared by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The music composer cites Penelop Cruz as the inspiration behind his Tamil speech on the Oscars stage

Entertainment Web Desk Calcutta Published 04.03.23, 01:36 PM
A.R. Rahman won two Oscars for best Song and Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire in 2009

A.R. Rahman won two Oscars for best Song and Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire in 2009 The Academy/Twitter

Music composer A.R. Rahman revisited his experience of winning two Oscars for the 2009 movie Slumdog Millionaire in a recent video dropped by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, ahead of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony on March 12.

In the two-minute-32-second-long video, Rahman revealed that Penelope Cruz’s trophy-acceptance speech in Spanish had inspired him to speak in Tamil on the Oscars stage.


“My speech was not prepared. I said I'll go with the flow. Maximum I would say thank you and go off. But when I was sitting there, I was watching Penelope Cruz speaking Spanish. Then I was like, Oh, that's cool,” the Grammy-winning composer revealed.

Rahman also explained the meaning of his Tamil quote in the video. "All perfect praise belongs to God alone. It is from a holy book. It's a promise from God. That if you remember me in the happy times, I'll remember you in sad times. So, that was the happiest time of my life and I wanted to remember God who's common to all of us," he explained.

The 56-year-old composer said though he was unsure about his Oscars win, veteran composer Danny Elfman had assured him that he was “gonna get it”. “I went to all these amazing dinners before the Oscars. But still I was unsure. And then the whole of India was cheering. I felt like a gladiator. When they announced my name for the score, I was like, is this real? Or is this a dream? And because I had to perform next, I was like A.R., don't react. There’s this and more. Don't mess up your performance,” he said.

Speaking about his second Oscars win, for the Best Song, Rahman said that his statement about “hate and love” was misinterpreted by some sections and erroneously linked with religion. “This is the state of every artist in the world. That’s what makes them an artist — they love to give, not take. Love is all about giving,” he said.

He also shared a funny incident at an airport while flying back to India after his Oscars victory. Rahman was carrying his trophies in the hand baggage and was asked to wait by the airport security. “There were almost like 100 people in the security check. So the officer took these two Oscars and said ‘Look what I have’ and everybody went gaga. They were just ‘Oh my God’,” he recalled.

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