film independent spirit awards

Melissa Villaseñor Is Your Virtual Film Independent Spirit Awards Host

Looking very dapper in a white tux, Melissa Villaseñor opened this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards with an admission that, no, the event isn’t taking place at the beach tent we all know and love, but it is in “a place more familiar to independent film fans: a completely empty theater.” Villaseñor gave us her thoughts on Minari (“which has the funniest movie grandma not played by Tyler Perry”), One Night in Miami (“best film that sounds like porn but isn’t”), and Nomadland (“really changed the way I look at people who drive around alone in beat-up white vans”). Villaseñor also pointed out that two of the night’s biggest awards, Best Male Lead and Best Director, have no white male nominees — “in other words, if there was an after party, the dance floor would be popping,” she said, before showing us a few of her (flawless) dance moves.

Of course, Villaseñor also got the chance to show off some of her uncanniest impressions in a prerecorded bit involving her takes on John Mulaney, Sarah Silverman, and her Saturday Night Live co-star Kate McKinnon. All three characters (who have previously hosted the Spirit Awards), stopped by to give Villaseñor some advice — Silverman’s is to get high, McKinnon’s is “try not to blink,” and Mulaney’s is just to say “Cassavetes” a bunch. The sketch is an excellent showcase for Villaseñor’s meticulous impressions, which are perfectly observed, down to the hand motions of her Mulaney and the nasal laugh of her Silverman.

Melissa Villaseñor Is Your Virtual Indie Spirit Awards Host