Sound mixer finally wins Oscar – on 21st try

'Hacksaw Ridge' sound mixer Kevin O'Connell is nominated 21 times over 33 years

Agence France-Presse

2:11:11pm February 27, 2017

2:11:11pm February 27, 2017

OSCAR AT LAST. Kevin O'Connell (far right), along with his 'Hacksaw Ridge' team Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace, speak to the media after winning for Best Sound Mixing at the Oscars. Screengrab from YouTube/Variety

OSCAR AT LAST. Kevin O'Connell (far right), along with his 'Hacksaw Ridge' team Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace, speak to the media after winning for Best Sound Mixing at the Oscars. Screengrab from YouTube/Variety

HOLLYWOOD, USA – Sound mixer Kevin O'Connell on Sunday, February 26 won an Oscar for his work on war drama Hacksaw Ridge, breaking a rather epic losing streak – he had been nominated 20 times before with no success. (FULL LIST: Winners, Oscars 2017)

O'Connell, whose 21 nominations have come over a 33-year period, appeared stunned as his name was read out and dedicated the award to his mother.

"A special thank you tonight to my mother, Skippy O'Connell, who 39 years ago got me a job in sound," he said. 

"And when I asked her, 'Ma, how can I ever thank you?' She looked at me and she said, 'You know, I'll tell you how you can thank me. You can work hard. You can work really hard and then someday, you go win yourself an Oscar and you can stand up there on that stage and you can thank me in front of the whole world'."

He told reporters that finally winning the golden statuette after so many tries was "the greatest feeling in my entire life."

O'Connell has worked on everything from classic blockbusters including Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark to dramas like Terms of Endearment and Memoirs of a Geisha.

He told reporters that Top Gun was probably the most difficult movie he had ever worked on.

"It was an incredible amount of work and we didn't have automation at the time," he said.

O'Connell shared the award on Sunday with Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace.

Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson's searing World War II drama, marked the filmmaker's return into Hollywood's good graces after a decade in the wilderness over accusations of anti-Semitism and homophobic slurs. 

The film, which received 6 Oscar nods, tells the true story of Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who enlists and is determined to save lives on the frontline, but refuses to carry a gun on moral grounds.

It won two awards – for sound mixing and film editing. – Rappler.com

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