Oscar's Newest Golden Boy
BY Jeremy Kinser
February 28 2011 11:40 PM ET
During the past few months as awards season was in full swing, Dave Karger was nearly as ubiquitous as any of the acting nominees for last year’s films. Recognizable to film buffs thanks to his frequent appearances on Access Hollywood, as well as a past co-hosting stint on Turner Classic Movies with Robert Osborne, the handsome 37-year-old journalist, a senior editor at Entertainment Weekly, is the go-to guy for delivering informed, insightful commentary during awards season.
This year Karger, who is gay, was enlisted by the Academy to follow in the footsteps of his friend Osborne and the late Army Archerd as the official red carpet greeter and interviewer. Karger tells The Advocate how he predicts the winners, his opinion on how Anne Hathway and James Franco fared as Oscar hosts, and his involvement in the night’s gayest moment.
The Advocate: You’ve been championing The King’s Speech since last summer. How did you know it would go the distance?
Dave Karger: I saw The King’s Speech last August before it had its premiere at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals and I was just drawn in by the look of it and by the direction and acting. I just fell in love with it as so many people did. I interviewed Colin Firth on his 50th birthday in Toronto and had written something in [Entertainment Weekly] about how it was probably going to be an Oscar film. It’s amazing all these months later that it actually happened. I love The Social Network too, but I got the sense from all the Oscar voters I spoke to who told me King’s Speech was the film that was resonating with them and speaking to them on an emotional level.
You saw Colin and the producers after the awards last night. Did they give you props for your support?
They did actually. Colin said I was one of the true believers in the movie. It was very sweet that he remembered that and it meant a lot. I’m sure by last night Colin Firth was very sick of me. He’d had to talk to me every two days at some award show. I’d interviewed him for the magazine and the website and in front of an audience at the Palm Springs film festival, and on the carpet last night. But each time I saw him there was something different to talk about and he’s very easy to talk to, so that kept it interesting. He’s a great guy.
Network was the early favorite and won so many critics’ awards. How did King's Speech overtake it at all the guilds?
Network is a fantastic movie. I love it and The King’s Speech equally.
The Social Network is more of a critics’ film and King’s Speech is more
of an audience film. In between those two choices, the Academy usually
goes for the audience film. It’s been my mantra throughout this season. I
kept saying to myself that Oscar voters are not critics. I told myself
that they’d have a harder time giving the award to a film that’s a
little on the colder side, like The Social Network is. King’s Speech is a
warmer movie, which really helps its case.
You’re the successor to Army Archerd and Robert Osborne as the Academy Award's official red carpet greeter/interviewer. How did this come about?
It was as much a surprise to me as everyone. A month or two ago I was asked by the Academy to help them with programming on their “Road to Oscars” series on Oscar.com. I helped put together these two minute long packages about each of the 10 best picture nominees. About two weeks before the ceremony I got a call asking if I’d be willing and interested to be their official greeter. It’s a position I’ve known about and dreamed about for years. The first year I went to the Oscars was 1998, which was the year Titanic won. I remember walking down the carpet and seeing Army Archerd, and thinking that one day I would absolutely love to do that. And later Robert Osborne, who is someone I know and look up to and I cohosted a weekend of Turner Classic Movies with him. To follow in the footsteps of Army Archerd and Robert Osborne, are you kidding me? It was an honor.