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Last night's Oscars were full of stunning celebrities, jaw-dropping performances and of course, an unanticipated acceptance speech by the writer of Imitation Game, Graham Moore. While most actors thanked the Academy and fellow actors for support, Moore did one better and promoted the importance of being different.
"This sort of felt like the thing I always wanted to say and I never thought in my life I'd actually be on a stage and say it," Moore said.
After taking home the award for Best Adapted Screen Play Moore referenced his life-long battle with depression and mental illness.
“I deal with depression every day,” he told reporters in the press room. “I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I'm standing here.”
His film, Imitation Game is centered Alan Turing, a man who solved the Enigma Code and helped the United States defeat Nazi forces in WW2. Turing was the founder of computer science and is also considered a philosopher, mathematical biologist and long distance runner. Despite making huge contributions to science and technology, Turing was never recognized for his brilliant achievement. He killed himself at the age of 41 in 1954.
"Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage like this and look out at all of these disconcertingly attractive faces. I do! And that's the most unfair thing I've ever heard," said Moore.
As a graduate of Columbia University, Moore also mentioned the importance of marching to your own beat.
“Stay weird, stay different and then, when it's your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along,” said Moore.