The 2015 Oscars were a night for making statements—from Patricia Arquette calling for gender pay equity to the Academy itself shaming those responsible for the Sony email leaks. But no one moved us quite like writer Graham Moore, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game.
Acknowledging the link between his own journey
as a gay man and the tragic fate of Imitation Game’s hero, Moore told the audience, “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.”
Turing, of course, was the brilliant codebreaker who helped the Allies win WWII, but who was persecuted for being gay and ultimately look his own life.
The 33-year-old Chicago native went on to share a very personal story:
When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different , and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here.
So I would like this moment to be for this kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do.
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. Thank you so much!
“I’m not gay, but I’ve never talked publicly about depression before or any of that and that was so much of what the movie was about and it was one of the things that drew me to Alan Turing so much.
I think we all feel like weirdos for different reasons. Alan had his share of them and I had my own, and that’s what always moved me so much about his story.”
The Imitation Game script was adapted from the Andrew Hodges’ Alan Turing: The Enigma. Previously, Moore’s 2010 debut novel, The Sherlockian, was a New York Times Best Seller.
He’s currently working on the script for The Devil in the White City, which Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to, as well as a crime-drama pilot for HBO and another book.
“My second novel, which I’m in the process of finishing, is another historical piece, it’s a true story,” he told Ropes of Silicon in December. “It’s a legal thriller set in New York in the 1880s and that’s all I’ll say about it now—but it’s another untold true story about a very real legal thriller.”
UPDATED: This story has been updated to reflect new information regarding Moore’s sexuality.
Here’s Moore’s moving acceptance speech.
And Moore talking about his love of science and Alan Turing.