The night figured to be a coronation for the actress, who'd won best actress honors at the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe Awards and other shows for her role in "Blue Jasmine." Instead, the prospect of waiting until nearly the end of Sunday's ceremony proved stressful for the two-time Oscar winner.
"It was an intense, unbearable pressure which I'm so glad is over," Blanchett said after her win. "It has been every year."
Blanchett, who has been nominated for acting Oscars five times, took a hiatus from films in recent years to focus on theater work. She won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2005 for "The Aviator."
"Every year I watch this thing remotely and every year there are five, six, 10, 12 or 20 performances by women that I'm gob smacked by and inspired by," she said. "And it gets whittled down to five. To be in conversation with those women by proxy ... that's the privilege and the rest is just chocolate."
— Anthony McCartney—http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.
EDITOR'S NOTE—Show Bits brings you the 86th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.