TORONTO – Toronto composer Mychael Danna is looking for work. Perhaps the latest addition to his resume — a shiny new Oscar — will help.
After landing the golden statuette on Sunday for best original score on Ang Lee’s dazzling boy-tiger shipwreck drama “Life of Pi,” Danna admitted his schedule is “free and clear at least for a few months.”
“I was joking with (the film’s team) last night that, ‘Well, I guess I am really, truly unemployed now, as of midnight tonight,’” Danna said with a laugh in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles hotel on Monday.
Still, he doesn’t mind having a break since his work on “Pi” meant he was “away a lot last year, for months at a time,” and he wants to relax with his wife and two young boys (ages two and seven).
“I’m looking at at least a month of nothing, so it’s sort of a pretty nice thing,” said Danna.
“Pi” landed a leading four Academy Awards, including a surprise win for director Ang Lee, who beat out a field that included Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln.”
“Pi” also won for its cinematography and visual effects.
“The thing that really made me happiest was being able to stand with Ang at the end of the night holding two Oscars for two for us, and four in total for ‘Pi,’” said Danna, who has worked with Lee three times now.
“Ang’s award, I think I’m probably much happier for that award than for my own, it’s just so well-deserved. I know what Ang went through to make this film.
“I really felt emotional when he won that.”
In his acceptance speech, Danna thanked his family as well as Lee.
The musician admitted he was worried the orchestra would start playing the “Jaws” film theme — created by his fellow nominee John Williams — to cut off his speech, as they did to some other winners.
“I thought that was brilliant, and John Williams was sitting two rows behind me and I had to turn around,” said Danna with a laugh.
“That’s the thing, to be in the same category as John Williams, whose music was referred to several times in the evening as part of the American repertoire, is pretty amazing; to be sitting near him and hanging out with him and just being part of that list of great composers.”
Danna was up against Williams for “Lincoln” as well as Dario Marianelli for “Anna Karenina,” Alexandre Desplat for “Argo,” and Thomas Newman for “Skyfall.”
After Sunday’s Oscars, Danna also got to shmooz with some big names at the Governors Ball, where he got his golden statuette engraved with his name.
“(It) is a pretty remarkable moment,” said Danna, who won the Golden Globe Award in the same category for his work on “Life of Pi.”
“You’re sitting there at a bar with Ang Lee on one side and (the) best actor, best actress are just all sitting there getting their Oscar plates affixed. The award is so classic looking and just has so much history, you can’t help but just have these flashbacks of all the people from decades past holding this thing.”
Danna also attended the Fox Studios party as well as the Vanity Fair bash.
He found himself standing beside “lots of people that are household names,” engaging in “chit-chat” about their children and fielding congratulations and pats on the back, he said.
He even briefly met British songstress Adele and producer Paul Epworth, who beat him in the best original song category for “Skyfall” James Bond theme.
“You name it, I probably was (near them),” said Danna, admitting his voice was “an octave lower than normal” from the late-night celebrations.
“I was standing beside George Clooney.”
But the highlight for Danna was celebrating with his mother, wife, brother, Lee, and the rest of the “Pi” team at the Fox party.
“It’s like family,” said Danna, noting the vice-president of music at Fox is his engineer’s wife, and her assistant is the niece of Danna’s sister-in-law.
“Really, the big people in my night were the people that I went on this long journey with.”
Danna said he and his wife will to return home to Toronto in the next couple of days so they can catch their son’s school musical.
He hasn’t decided where he’s going to put his Oscar yet but he knows it will have to be placed “high enough so that the kids don’t knock it over,” he said.
“It still feels pretty unreal, I have to say,” Danna said of being in possession of the coveted trophy.
“I think it’s in the other room but I could be wrong, it might be just a delusion.”
And if his house guests want to pose with the Oscar, he knows just how to instruct them.
“I had a little practice with (winning) Genies, so I realize that there is a front and a back to the little guy and it looks really dumb in photos when his butt is sticking out,” said Danna.
“So you’ve got to find that little butt with your thumb and just keep your thumb on the butt crack and you know you’ve got it the right way.”