Ben Affleck insisted he bore no hard feelings on Sunday as he toasted the Oscars best picture triumph of his thriller "Argo" despite being snubbed in the best director category.
After a manic, frenetic acceptance speech on stage, the 40-year-old film-maker was all smiles as he spoke to journalists after the crowning glory of his Iran hostage drama.
And he insisted the perception of a snub by the Academy had been overblown, noting that several other acclaimed filmmakers had been overlooked in what has been a strong year.
"Naturally, I was disappointed," he said. "But when I look at the directors who weren't nominated -- Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Quentin Tarantino, these were all amazing directors who I admire.
"It was just a tough year. You're not entitled to anything. I am honored to be here, among these movies, and I'm honored to win an Academy Award."
Although "Argo" had built an irresistible momentum heading into Sunday's awards, Affleck insisted he had taken nothing for granted.
"When they gave us the trophies I was confident we would win," he quipped. "I don't get into the Oscar-ology and all the pontificating.
"I mean, it's great and people like reading it but it doesn't help me. I was just thrilled for everyone on the film."
While Argo's victory was largely expected, two of the biggest surprises of the evening came in the best director and best supporting actor categories, where Taiwanese film-maker Ang Lee scooped his second career statuette for "Life of Pi" and Austria's Christoph Waltz upset a field of Hollywood icons including Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones.
Lee, who was also a surprise best director winner with "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006, said the fact that "Life of Pi" had been made at all was a "miracle."
Based on Yann Martel's award-winning 2001 novel about a boy who is cast adrift in a lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger for company, the book was considered unfilmable by many until Lee came on board.
Lee's visually-ravishing film was shot largely in Taiwan, but the director played up the film's cosmopolitan crew in a post-acceptance press conference.
"Ninety percent of the movie was shot in Taiwan. They gave us financial and physical help. But this was really an international film. I feel this film belonged to the world," Lee said.
"It's a miracle the film was made. I carried anxiety around with me for four years," Lee added.
Waltz meanwhile was struggling to comprehend his second Oscar in three years for his part as a dentist-turned-bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained."
"I was on a list with the greatest actors around, with Robert De Niro, with Alan Arkin, with Tommy Lee Jones, with Philip Seymour Hoffman," Waltz said.
"How do you think someone feels when all of a sudden his name is called in that context?"
As Tinseltown prepared to party into the night, Jennifer Lawrence cemented her status as Hollywood's new darling after winning best actress honors for "Silver Linings Playbook."
Lawrence stole the show after tripping up as she rose to claim her award, echoing a wardrobe malfunction at the Screen Actors Guild Awards earlier this year when her dress snagged and ripped.
Asked what happened when she fell, Lawrence replied: "What do you mean what happened? I tried to walk up stairs in this dress. That's what happened."
Probed for her thoughts when she stumbled, she added: "A bad word that I can't say that starts with 'F'."
But while Lawrence can expect to take her pick of roles from now on, her best actor-winning counterpart Daniel Day-Lewis plans to take a rest after landing the third Oscar of his career for his portrayal of US president Abraham Lincoln in "Lincoln."
Day-Lewis was emphatic when asked if there were any other historical figures he would be interested in portraying.
"I can't think of anyone right now because I need to lie down for a couple of years," he said. "It's really hard to imagine doing anything after this."