Underdog Thwaites Strikes DGA Gold

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While the underdog Arizona Cardinals didn't win the Super Bowl, a night earlier in Los Angeles Peter Thwaites, pegged by many (including us) as a longshot at the DGA Awards, took home the prize.

Thwaites, who hadn't even prepared an acceptance speech, bested a field including David Fincher, Fredrik Bond, Tom Kuntz and Rupert Sanders to take the trophy in his first nomination.

"I just did not think I could win; It was great to be nominated," Thwaites said. "My friend I was going with asked if I was nervous. I said 'What on earth do I have to be nervous about?' I had no conception of it. There was no false modesty in a situation of hope, not at all. I knew that I had absolutely no chance, and that was fine. It was just fantastic that I'd gotten a nomination, and that was going to help me in terms of my career over in the States," said Thwaites, who was on his way to a job in New Zealand and sorting out a move to Los Angeles in March.

"I was supremely relaxed. But when my name came out...I've once been down a bobsleigh run, it was the scariest thing in my life ever, with the Austrian bobsleigh team. When they read my name out it was a bit like that. It really hadn't entered my consciousness in any way, shape or form." And then there was the matter of an acceptance speech. "Of course, in the U.K., in terms of commercials, people go up there, say thanks, and run away and go and get drunk. The DGA is obviously a different thing, and people are giving speeches. So the notion of actually having to go and spend time in front of a microphone was overwhelming. I don't actually remember what I said; it was a blur. People said they liked my speech because it was short." After that, the Hollywood treatment. "I was about to go back to my seat and these big guys in black suits said 'Come with us,' they brought us around the back, into the bowels, and then suddenly there were like 50 photographers, like I was a starlet or something; it's a different planet from where I live."

Barclaycard: Waterslide (BBH, London) Guinness: Light Show (Irish International BBDO)
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