Wednesday 12 December 2018

Seidler reveals pre-Oscar jitters

David Seidler has admitted he's terrified about having to make an acceptance speech if The King's Speech picks up the Oscar for original screenplay.

The screenwriter - who like the film's lead character King George VI has struggled in the past with a stammer - said he didn't want to embarrass his daughter if he picks up the award.

"Terror. Abject terror. Not so much of stuttering. I'm not really concerned that I will stutter on that occasion. I think it's more that I could easily become the new Sally Field," he said, referring to the actress' emotional 1984 Oscar speech.

"I could easily blubber, because it's been such a long journey, and it's such a meaningful one to me, such a personal journey.

"I hope I don't disgrace my 21-year-old daughter, who's my date for the Oscars. She'll be sitting there mortified if her dad stands up there and can't speak, and weeps.

"But it would be a momentous occasion."

Telling the story of the stammering monarch has been a lifetime ambition for David, ever since he subdued his own stutter nearly 60 years ago.

"I had huge trouble with the 'H' sound, so when the telephone rang, I would break into a cold sweat, because I couldn't say hello," the 73-year-old recalled.

"There came a period when I was actually excused from responding in [school]. I didn't have to speak in class. It was that bad."

© Press Association

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