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Frances McDormand's howl during Oscars speech had a special meaning

The actor let out an impressive howl during her acceptance speech for Best Picture. It was a tribute to a late member of the film's crew.
/ Source: TODAY

Frances McDormand's' unique Oscars acceptance speech certainly left a lasting impression on viewers, but it also had a special meaning.

On Sunday night, the actor accepted the Best Picture win for her film “Nomadland” and surprised everyone when she capped her short speech by howling like a wolf.

“We give this one to our wolf,” the 63-year-old said then let out a five-second howl.

As it turns out, McDormand's howl was actually a tribute to the film's production sound mixer Michael Wolf Snyder, who took his own life in March.

According to a statement from his father that was posted on Facebook, Snyder struggled with depression for many years.

"I’m sure it was difficult for Michael that he spent most of the last year alone in his small, Queens apartment, being responsible about dealing with the coronavirus," he wrote. "In spite of this, we all believed he was doing well, and for most of this past year I think he was. He seemed especially joyful and invigorated in these last few months since he was able to return to work on several different film projects."

Snyder was included in the Oscar broadcast's In Memoriam segment.

McDormand previously spoke about Snyder's importance to the film in a statement to Variety after his death.

“Wolf recorded our heartbeats. Our every breath. For me, he is ‘Nomadland,’” she said.

Frances McDormand
Frances McDormand's howl during her acceptance speech for Best Picture was a tribute to sound man Michael Wolf Snyder. A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images

It was a big night for McDormand, who also took home the award for Best Actress for her role in "Nomadland."

During her Best Picture speech, the actor encouraged viewers to watch her movie "on the largest screen possible" and urged them to return to theaters one day soon.

“Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao, who became the first woman of color to win the Best Director award last night, worked with Snyder several times.

“After hustling on each location, we sat together, in silence, tuned in, listened and honored the world around us and each other,” she told Variety. “I will always miss him.”

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