A Minute With: Patton Oswalt on Spirit Awards and playing host

Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:29pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When it comes to hosting an awards show, Patton Oswalt has a few tricks up his sleeve that include keeping a celebrity-filled crowd on edge.

The Virginia-born Oswalt, 45, has forged a career in comedy, with roles in TV sitcoms "The King of Queens" and "Two and a Half Men," and films such as 2011's "Young Adult" and last year's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

With his comforting, friendly and often neighborly vocal tone, Oswalt is also a regular voice actor and stand-up comedian. On Saturday, he will host the Film Independent Spirit Awards, a laid-back luncheon held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, California, the day before Hollywood's Oscars night.

Oswalt spoke to Reuters on hosting duties, the industry of independent film and how to break the ice with nominees.

Q: What's all this about you handing out live birds instead of the Spirit award bird statuettes to winners?

A: Oh, good lord, no. We just did that as a goof on the commercial. Why would I give a live, fragile animal to a boozy actor at a beach? That'd be terrible, no!

Q: The Spirit Awards are the day before the Academy Awards and a lot of those actors are going to be on edge as they are also nominated for Oscars. Are you going to put them at ease?

A: It'll be a combination of me being genuinely excited to be there and them being genuinely buzzed from the alcohol that they're serving that I think will relax everybody, that's what I'm hoping for at least.   Continued...

Comedian Patton Oswalt speaks during the second annual 2012 Comedy Awards in New York City April 28, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Chernin