submitted by Herald Sun, Melbourne on 28.02.2007
Miller George and furry friend pose with the Oscar for best animated feature film for Happy Feet
Aussie director George Miller described his Oscar win as the biggest party of his life.
The Sydney film-maker, whose penguin extravaganza Happy Feet won Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, did not get any sleep after a night of celebrating before hitting the media circuit yesterday.
"I'm still running on an adrenalin high -- it's all still a blur," Miller said.
"It was a really great night, certainly one of the best parties of my life.
The Oscar-toting Miller was a guest of honour at several glamorous post-ceremony parties.
The 61-year-old and wife Margaret rubbed shoulders with Hollywood's biggest names at the Governor's Ball, the Vanity Fair party and chart star Prince's bash at the Roosevelt Hotel.
"I talked to some people I really admire, like Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep," Miller said.
"And Jack Nicholson, who I have worked with before, was really happy about the win.
"We went to the Vanity Fair party where we bumped into all these Australians -- Anthony LaPaglia, Gia Carides, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-lee Furness, Nicole (Kidman) and Naomi (Watts).
"I realised I'd be in trouble if I had too many drinks so I paced myself and only had three or four glasses of wine.
"By the time we got back to the hotel at 4am the phones just didn't stop ringing -- we've been up all night."
There was no chance for rest yesterday, with the in-demand director running between media commitments and last-minute meetings with studios before he flies back to Australia.
On getting back to Sydney, Miller plans to give the Oscar to his 86-year-old mother, Angela, in the northern suburbs.
"I have got this superstition that whenever I get an award I give it away to a loved one," he said.
"So this heavy little guy is going to mum, who's been such a good mum."
Miller said one of his three children was yet to find out dad had won Oscar gold as he was away on school camp.
The former doctor, who raised money to make his 1979 classic Mad Max working as an emergency room locum, said he never intended to be a film-maker.
"I got interested in making films but never thought there was a real career to be had," he said.
"In Australia in the '70s, there was no real film industry where you could make a living from it."
During the interview on Hollywood's famed Sunset Boulevard, passers-by literally stopped their cars in the busy street on seeing the gold statuette, with the affable director happily handing it to excited strangers to hold.
Miller said while he was overwhelmed at winning the major accolade, he had not become teary.
"I honestly don't take them (awards) that seriously," he said.
"The times I do cry and get really nervous is when the film comes out, because you've worked so hard and you never know if it's going to be successful or not.
"It's important to remember awards are the . . . icing on the cake.
"Everyone in the movie industry works so hard, so after all the hard work it's good to party."
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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