When George Stevens Jr. got a late-night call Wednesday, he assumed it was a political pal eager to talk about the convention. Instead, it was a rep from the Academy Awards, calling to say he’s getting an honorary Oscar.
The academy will honor the veteran producer for “exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences”: Stevens founded the American Film Institute in 1967 and created the Kennedy Center Honors. Though this is his first Oscar, he’s already got two golden statuettes at home, which his father, director George Stevens, won for “A Place in the Sun” and “Giant.”
“This will fit very nicely between them,” he told us.
But the honor poses a unique dilemma: His Oscar will be formally presented Dec. 1 at the academy’s Governors Awards dinner in L.A. — the same night the 2012 Kennedy Center honorees will be feted at a State Department dinner and just 24 hours before the annual red-carpet show that Stevens oversees. In 34 years, he’s never missed an Honors dinner. . . but hey, it’s an Oscar.
“I have to figure out how to be in two places at once,” he said, “and that is a work in progress.”
Earlier: George Stevens Jr.: A career in TV, a love for film, and a new book, 5/15/12
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