Up in the Air author Walter Kirn’s Twitter reaction to not having been invited to the Oscars has been heard far and wide — his story’s been covered by the New York Times, the Post, and even Perez Hilton (who ran a photo of Kirn with a “WTF?” speech bubble) — much to the surprise of the man himself, whom we reached at his home in Montana. “I didn’t realize that Twitter is a megaphone, not a note passed around fourth grade,” says Kirn, who was particularly shocked to see himself on a site like Perez Hilton. “I assumed that I would be alerted by a phone call or something.”
He’s happy, though, to explain the controversial tweet: “It wasn’t just me popping off. It was me finally saying something after being approached by a million friends in the press and in Hollywood, saying, ‘See you at the Oscars!’ And I’d have to explain with great embarrassment that I hadn’t been invited, over and over.” Though Kirn has been tirelessly promoting a movie that “I don’t make any money from,” in his words, he says he hasn’t reaped many benefits of its success. “I have a book out there to sell, and quite frankly, I’ve got a family to support. People vastly overestimate the amount you get paid when your novel becomes a movie, and for me to go to the Oscars would have been good publicity.”
He says he loves the movie, and in addition to it being good business, just wanted to attend the Oscars for fun. “I wanted to be there to celebrate one of the best things that’s happened to me professionally in my life. My desire to go was not so I could see what Reese Witherspoon was wearing up close, but to participate in a celebration of a movie which I heartily endorse, have seen eight times, and believe should win most of the awards for which it’s nominated.” And to those who say he should stop whining? “I’ve worked 24 years grinding it out in every way I could to support myself and my family,” says Kirn. “When you get a break, are you not allowed to enjoy it? I don’t feel bitterness, I just feel crestfallenness.”
Earlier: Can Somebody Get Poor Walter Kirn a Ticket to the Oscars?