Brian Cullinan never knew there’d be days like this. The 57-year-old Irish American, originally from New York where he attended Cornell University, has the good life in California. Living in a 4,100-square foot home in Malibu worth $3 million and making partner at PWC. He has the perfect wife and two children, Brett and Bree. Life was good.
Every year he got to go backstage at the Oscars and hand the winning envelopes out to the presenters as they walked on stage. It was like being busboy to the stars, the mailman to the magnificent.
Perhaps he was intoxicated being in such proximity to superstars. Perhaps he was intoxicated. Perhaps he was tweeting furiously, which he was, and not paying attention to his job, which certainly seems the case.
Right before his massive gaffe he had taken a picture of Best Actress winner Emma Stone. Then it was time for the piece de resistance, best film. Drumroll, please....
Cullinan had started the night with 24 cards in his briefcase, the name of the winners on the outside and duplicate copies in case one went astray.
Which meant that at that moment he had three envelopes in his briefcase, the duplicate he had not used for Emma Stone and the two best film awards.
It was three card monte, the old “find the lady” trick, but in this case Cullinan found the wrong lady.
Out came the duplicate card of Emma Stone, best actress. On to the stage strode Warren Beatty. A billion viewers worldwide held their breath as Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie.
Backstage, the luck of the Irish ran out for Cullinan, who doubtless had a case of the toilet trots.
Since 2014 he had the dreamiest job in the world, backstage at the Oscars, handing out the envelopes to the presenters to read out on stage.
It is doubtful he will have the job again anytime soon.
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