Billy Crystal merits an Oscar nomination
21 Dec 2012 12:51
Along with the likes of Donald Sutherland, John Goodman and Patrick Stewart, Billy Crystal is one of a number of Hollywood notaries who, despite their esteemed careers, have never been nominated for an Oscar.
Crystal believes he came close a couple of times, first for 1989’s When Harry Met Sally, then with City Slickers two years later.
“I was mad at myself for getting sucked into it [the hype],” says Crystal, who’s promoting his latest film Parental Guidance, a comedy in which a couple collide with their daughter over how to bring up the grandchildren. “I hope some day I’m worthy to be even thought about, but it’s not a great goal of mine,” he says, chuckling.
Unlike his fellow alumni, however, Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards no less than nine times, earning plaudits for his comedic medleys. “It’s like waking up with someone you don’t want to wake up with every day,” says 64-year-old Crystal on preparing for a ceremony that’s watched by a global audience of one billion.
“And because you’re working right through the show and re-writing as it’s going, that’s a bunch of months of pressure,” he adds.
His latest stint as Oscars host was in February of this year though he faced criticism from some quarters for lacking originality.
“The world is watching and the world is a rough room, so you can’t please everybody ”“ and now in the world of social media, you can’t please anybody, it feels like!” says Crystal, who studied TV and film direction under Martin Scorsese at New York University before trying his hand at stand-up.
“I remember when Lord Of The Rings swept everything and the show got dull ”“ because they were winning everything ”“ and they blamed me! It’s always the host’s fault and it’s not fair!”
In Parental Guidance, Crystal plays Artie, a grumpy baseball fan who’s married to Diane, played by Hollywood legend Bette Midler.
“Bette and I have known each other for a long time but we’ve never worked with each other, which everyone seems to think is odd. I kinda think that’s good because it seems like a natural combination.”
Parental Guidance marks Crystal’s first major movie role since 2002’s Analyze That. But Crystal hasn’t been sitting in an armchair with a pipe and slippers reflecting on the good times.
Aside from the Oscars, he created, performed and toured his Tony Award-winning one man show 700 Sundays. Next year he’s bringing out a book as well as promoting Monsters University, a prequel to the phenomenally successful animation Monsters, Inc.