James Cameron wants ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow to win Director Oscar


The Oscars are coming soon, and I can’t wait. As the campaigns reach a fever pitch, certain categories are being solidified, and other categories are still up for grabs. It’s pretty much a shoo-in that Jeff Bridges is going to take Best Actor, and although Sandra Bullock is the easy choice for Best Actress, I could conceivably see Meryl Streep as the “underdog” winner. Christoph Waltz is definitely going home with Best Supporting Actor, and Mo’Nique is probably going to win Supporting Actress, although that one isn’t as established as many think.

One of the biggest contests of the year will be for Best Director and Best Picture. James Cameron and Avatar seem like the easy favorites – Avatar, after all, has made a bajillion dollars, and Cameron and his team pretty much invented a new way to make movies. So you’d think Cameron and Avatar would be the established winners by now, right? Not so much. Because Hollywood loves to shatter a glass ceiling, and this year that glass ceiling might be for the first woman to ever win Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker. She also happens to be Cameron’s ex-wife. And she also happens to be a director Cameron has long-championed.

When Cameron was being interviewed by Charlie Rose yesterday, he claimed that his “fantasy” was for Bigelow to win Best Director, and for Avatar to win Best Picture. Which is honestly how I think it’s going to go down, but it’s still nice to hear Cameron be so magnanimous with a fellow director, not to mention his ex-wife. HuffPo has the video, but here’s the transcript of the exchange with Charlie Rose:

Charlie Rose:
What do you make of this competition between you and Kathryn Bigelow? Two very different people who married. But more than that, two people who share this sense of wanting to be good filmmakers.
James Cameron:
Yeah, I think we’re really not that different in so many ways, and we know that about each other, that we’re both dedicated to the craft. And for both of us, it’s very much about the work and about a total, consuming passion for filmmaking. And you know, I think that’s what drew us together, is each respected the other’s passion and craft and so on, plus she was gorgeous.
Charlie Rose:
Is gorgeous.
James Cameron:
Yeah. You know, but in our minds, it’s not a competition. That’s a narrative that’s imposed by others, because it’s, you know, it makes a good story. We’re so celebratory of each other’s work, and we’ve remained — you know, I produced two of her films, one of which I produced — wrote and produced — wrote it with Jay Cocks — after we were divorced. So, we’ve worked together, and we’ve been supportive colleagues. She saw “Avatar” five times at different stages of its development, from very crude –

Charlie Rose:
You mean you would go show it to her and say tell me what you think.
James Cameron:
Yeah. She’s come over — and tirelessly come over, watch the film. This is over a period of six or eight months and give me notes and even Mark Boal, who wrote “The Hurt Locker,” came and gave me very good notes, very helpful notes. And they had shared Hurt Locker with me earlier on.

Charlie Rose:
James Cameron:
And my note was very simple. Don’t change a damn thing. You know, because they showed it to me fairly late in the process because I had been shooting. And I said, don’t change a damn thing. This thing is great. And they were, of course, very nervous –

Charlie Rose:
Why is it so great, do you think?
James Cameron:
I think just because it’s consummately good filmmaking — excuse me, consummately good filmmaking. I mean, you are in those guys’ shoes, and you’re there. I mean, I have been at screenings and watched people literally sit on the edge of their seat, literally. I mean, you hear that expression all the time. Literally sit forward for the entire movie, hand clinched like this. It’s that tight. It’s that taught, you know. And for her to — I mean, she’s outgunned the guys, you know, definitely. And of course, her –

Charlie Rose:
You’re not surprised by that.
James Cameron:
Not at all, not at all because she’s always done that. But it’s the recognition, you know, finally the recognition catching up with the scope of her talent.

Charlie Rose:
So if someone sitting there says, look, I’m going to give it to Cameron, best picture but Bigelow best director –
James Cameron:
That would be a fantasy. That would be my fantasy outcome, absolutely.

Charlie Rose:
That would be what you’d like to see?
James Cameron:
That’s the best possible outcome because it’s — because I know how hard my team worked and how much they would — how proud they would be of that accolade, you know what I mean? And look, for myself, I have already got an Oscar. I’ve got a couple of them, you know. And I respect the whole institution of the Academy Awards because it’s so — it’s the pinnacle of achievement in my chosen profession. But I don’t really need another one. But to be honored — you know, to have the team honored and for their accomplishment, that would mean so much to them. And I think that would be the fantasy outcome in all of this.

Charlie Rose:
So you’re saying to the voters, please take a look at my team and go for us as best picture. But –
James Cameron:
Yeah, and I –
Charlie Rose:
– go for Kathryn Bigelow for best director.
James Cameron:
I mean, all I can say is that that would make me very happy if that — you know, I don’t want to try to get –

Charlie Rose:
Happier than if it was best director for James Cameron?
James Cameron:
Honestly, yes.
Charlie Rose:
I believe you.
James Cameron:
Absolutely. I mean, I just think she’s worked so hard for so long. And there’s something very irresistible about the idea of a woman finally being anointed in that role. It’s ridiculously long overdue. And she, of course, would reject that being a woman should have anything to do with it.

[Transcript from ‘The Charlie Rose Show’ via HuffPo]

So at least we know Cameron gets along with at least one of his ex-wives… although bat-sh-t crazy Linda Hamiliton thinks they still get along too. Just sayin’. I do think it’s high time a woman won Best Director, but I fear the backlash against Bigelow if she wins, especially because it’s such a small film. I tend to think Cameron worries about a backlash against her too, and that’s why he’s coming out ahead of the Oscars to tell the industry that he’ll support her victory if it happens. Which is extremely classy, I think.


James Cameron at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on February 6, 2010. Bigelow on Valentine’s Day in Beverly Hills. Credit: WENN.

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10 Responses to “James Cameron wants ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow to win Director Oscar”

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  1. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named says:

    God, I hope she wins. Not because she’s a woman though, but because she deserves to win. I also think Jane Campion deserved to win for Directing the Piano, but they gave her a Best Writer award instead.

    I’m in filmmaking and I just wish that the fact that she’s a woman didn’t have to play a part in this at all. Her looks, her gender, her age, who she was married to, all of it is so irrelevant. She’s immensely TALENTED, end of story.

  2. Codzilla says:

    “The Hurt Locker” is a masterpiece, and if Bigelow wins, I don’t think anyone can rightfully say that her victory is gender based. Also, I don’t get the backlash thing, but if it does happen, that would be a disgrace.

  3. vale says:

    Just came back from seeing Precious- Monique most definitely deserves it, and I’m not an expert. I’ve seen most of the movies nominated and she was just beyond any other supporting actress.
    I truly hope Avatar doesn’t win though.

  4. buckley says:

    Go away with your fake humility Jimmy

  5. mistral says:

    They have apparently always remained very good friends and colleagues. She even brought him the Hurt Locker script to get his opinion on it before taking it on. So, I don’t think he’ll get mad if she beats him. There is no animosity/rivalry between the two.

  6. Jules says:

    Good because Cameron doesn’t deserve a damn thing for that over-hyped crap known as Avatar!

  7. David says:

    I disagree. I think Cameron’s doing this more to take the air out of the “Bigelow vs. Cameron” hubbub the press is already making. He already has one, so even if she wins it doesn’t really make a difference to him. It reeks of “I”m happy that she’s getting re-married because I already got re-married and we went to Hawaii for the honeymoon.”

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