UT Film Student Hits the Oscars Stage

Honor, courage, and commitment—the core values of the Marine Corps have aided thousands of Marines in and out of combat, but rarely have they landed a Marine right next to Meryl Streep. Last night at the 85th Academy Awards, they did just that.

Jennifer Brofer, a radio-television-film junior at The University of Texas, was one of six film students selected to replace the models that usually present the awards. Chosen from more than 1,100 nationwide applicants, the film students were asked to submit a video answering the question: “What will you contribute to the future of movies?” Brofer’s response revolved around honor, courage, and commitment, the three tenets that she learned serving as a Marine Corps combat correspondent for 10 years.

Last night, Brofer swapped her fatigues for an elegant evening gown and replaced her helmet with professionally styled hair and makeup. She helped present the Oscars for five categories, including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

The Oscar Experience College Search was designed by Academy Awards co-producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan in an attempt to fill the Oscars stage entirely with film enthusiasts, rather than the usual models that Meron contends are “just there to be objectified.” Brofer said she came across the opportunity entirely by chance. “Honestly, on a lark, I saw an article announcing the search, so I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot?’ When I got a Skype call from the producers saying ‘Hey, you’re coming to the Oscars!’ I was absolutely floored.”

The rehearsals started last Wednesday, where Brofer and her five fellow film students learned how to present the awards and escort the winners off the stage. When asked if she was nervous, Brofer replied, “I’m just super excited. We were told that the winners will probably be even more nervous than we are!”

Prior to the ceremony, Brofer didn’t share in the media obsession over red carpet attire—largely because she had no idea what she’d be wearing. “The wardrobe ladies had us try on a bunch of dresses, and I don’t know which one I’ll be wearing yet,” Brofer said on Friday evening. “But I’d wear a paper sack on the stage if it meant presenting the Oscars.”

Whether it was handing Daniel Day Lewis his third Best Actor award or sharing a laugh with Streep on stage, Brofer didn’t miss a chance for inspiration. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet other filmmakers,” Brofer said. “It’s definitely going to help push me to the next step in my film career.”

Photo courtesy of Richard Harbaugh, ©A.M.P.A.S.


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