Jason Fraley, WTOP Film Critic
WASHINGTON – Mr. Oscar Goes to Washington.
The folks at the Academy Awards are taking a page from the Olympic torch.
The Oscar statue is taking a three-week tour of the United States to promote the Academy Awards on Feb. 24.
After hitting New York on Monday and Philadelphia on Wednesday, the statue entered the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center on Thursday morning.
Morning Drive anchor Mike Moss says it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to hold the statue.
“I’ll never touch it again, so I don’t want to let it go too easily,” Moss says.
Co-anchor Bruce Alan joked with Oscar caretakers Ben Gleib and Angie Greenup about the statue’s weight of 8.5 pounds.
When picking up the statue, a lot people’s first reaction is that it’s heavier than they thought, Greenup says.
“I don’t think it’s that heavy. I don’t know what people are talking about,” Greenup says. “People need to get into the gym and do some bicep curls.”
The group is crossing the country in an RV, but they are allowed to sleep in hotels.
“Oscar has not been a diva about it,” Greenup says. “He’s been very good.”
Next stop: Baltimore, which earlier this week welcomed another award, football’s Vince Lombardi Trophy for the Ravens’ thrilling Super Bowl victory.
After that, the Oscar Road Trip will hit Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix, before making its final stop on the red carpet the night of the Academy Awards.
This particular statue will be given to an actual Oscar winner in the next several years, so we’ll be tracking the serial number.
In the meantime, I asked Gleib how Forrest Gump would describe his cross-country trip.
“Everywhere I went, I was Oscar-ing,” he said, emphasizing the “g” in true Tom Hanks form.