I was almost embarrassed when they called my name.
De Niro had given arguably the greatest performance of his life. Ralph Fiennes certainly deserved it, and was still due from Schindler’s List. Brad Pitt I didn’t mind beating. He’s just a pretty face anyway. (You know I’m kidding, Braddy.) But it was my night at the Oscars. Again.
I got up for the twelfth time of the night. I would, of course, have to go up again to collect Best Picture. The newspapers would have to fight over the headline, “Best Movie Ever lives up to name.”
I joked about running out of speeches, and did this make me the “Best Actor Ever,” for which I got a standing ovation. I brought Sally with me to share the moment, knowing there would be too many people on stage for Best Picture.
At the after-party, I turned away from Ricky Gervais – with a joke, of course – and turned to Sally with a smile. We kissed long after Kanye was done singing Power (a song he admitted he’d written with me in mind). I looked into her eyes.
“How am I supposed to improve on 2011? Best Movie Ever is number one at the box office, grossing $763 million its first weekend.”
“The Only Show is the number one show on TV, and my youtube channel has more hits than Gaga and Bieber combined.”
“Our book is a New York Times bestseller. And George Clooney just told me I’ve been named Sexiest Man Alive. Though that could be him flirting. He’s always had a thing for me. Dirty old man.”
That’s when Sally told me the five most important words I would ever hear.
“I don’t know about sexiest. Top five, maybe.”
Those weren’t the words. I forgot she said those words. Ignore them. But then she smiled and said, “Just remember: Now is all there is.”
I didn’t need to worry about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Or how I would top my monumental successes. I would just live in the moment.
People probably remember that party as the one where Stephen Colbert and I went skinny dipping in the infinity pool. But I’ll always remember it for that moment with Sally.
It’s funny to sit down and write about the past. To look back on what you thought were successes at the time, not knowing you would eclipse them with even bigger achievements so soon after. But it’s those little steps I needed to take, to become who I am today.