Days before the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Filipino-American composer Robert Lopez was interviewed by US-based PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer) columnist Ruben Nepales.
Husband-and-wife winning tandem: Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez
When told that he could be the first Fil-Am to win an Oscar, Robert said, “I was not aware of that! Wow. I hope, win or lose, that Filipino artists everywhere take my example as proof that you don’t have to look a certain way for your dreams to come true. It just takes hard work, perseverance and some luck.”
Actress Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and cinematographer Matthew Libatique (Black Swan) were the previous Oscar nominees of Filipino descent.
Now that Robert won for his song (co-written by wife Kristen Anderson) Let It Go, theme of Frozen, which won Best Animated Film, he has not just set an example to Filipino artists but has joined the elite EGOT circle.
EGOT stands for Emmy (Television), Grammy (Music), Oscar (Film), Tony (Stage). The musician, whose paternal grandfather is pure Filipino and whose paternal grandmother is Filipino-American-Scottish, is only the 12th individual who has won in all four entertainment award-giving bodies.
Audrey Hepburn, Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Jonathan Turnick, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Richard Rodgers, Rita Moreno, Scott Rudin, and Whoopi Goldberg were the eleven that have that distinction until Lopez joined on March 2, 2014. He’s also the youngest to be “inducted” into the circle at 39.
The father of two daughters (Katie, 8 and Annie, 4) is an active member of the Filipino community in New York. The girls also have voice parts in Frozen. He also said that Katie and Annie had been singing Let It Go even before the movie was released commercially.
In an interview with Janet Nepales (wife of Ruben) for the Manila Bulletin, he said that he noticed the musicality among Filipinos. Although his parents are not particularly into music, “I have so many Filipino friends who are amazing singers, writers and composers in New York City.”
Robert received his first Tony in 2004 for Avenue Q. In 2008 and 2010, he won Daytime Emmys for Wonder Pets.
In 2011, the prolific composer won both a Tony and a Grammy for his work in The Book of Mormon.
Robert is happy of the many versions of Let It Go and particularly like the Africanized Tribal Cover on YouTube http://youtu.be/DAJYk1jOhzk with almost 22 million views.
The most popular though is Demi Lovato’s version http://youtu.be/kHue-HaXXzg with more than 88 million views.
“That means we’re going to sing Let It Go in a long, long time,” one viewer commented after Let It Go was declared Best Original Song.
According to reports, Robert told Agence France-Presse: “Filipino pride. I’m so excited, I’m just sending love to the Philippines. I know they’ve had a tough year and I just send out my feelings to them.”
The selfie that ends all selfies by host Ellen DeGeneres
CNN Poll predicted Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director winners
For the four most important categories in Oscars 2014, CNN ran a poll and predicted 3.
Poll: What film should win the Oscar for best picture?
“American Hustle” (11%)
“Dallas Buyers Club” (13%)
“Captain Phillips” (6%)
“12 Years a Slave” (29%) — Winner
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (13%)
Best Actor Matthew McConaughey, Best Actress Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o and Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto
Poll: Who should win the Oscar for best actor?
Christian Bale, “American Hustle” (8%)
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street” (33%)
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” (5%)
Chiwetel Ejofor, “12 Years a Slave” (18%)
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” (36%) — Winner
Poll: Who should win the Oscar for best actress?
Amy Adams, “American Hustle” (27%)
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity” (35%)
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” (20%) — Winner
Judi Dench, “Philomena” (9%)
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County” (9%)
Poll: Who should win the Oscar for best director?
David O. Russell, “American Hustle” (8%)
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska” (4%)
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity” (39%) — Winner
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave” (28%)
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street” (21%)
Power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Pitt is co-star and producer of Best Picture winner ’12 Years A Slave’
Below is the complete list of winners in the 86th Annual Academy Awards: