"I saved up my money for a week so I could see Welcome to the Dollhouse," Sidibe, the Independent Spirit Awards' best female lead winner, said in her beaming acceptance speech Friday night. She excitedly explained that it was the first film that made her think: "I could do that." A notion that gave birth to her own independent spirit and an Oscar-nominated performance in her first film, Precious.
Her costar Mo'Nique credited their "low-budget, independent film's" leaders for teaching her how to bring her A-game and score yet another trophy this awards season for best supporting female.
But it wasn't all about the best feature film of the year, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. Crazy Heart star Jeff Bridges continued his winning streak for best male lead, exclaiming to his wife that his Spirit award trophy would "really tie the room together!" He explained to PEOPLE after that it was his "little nod to The Dude."
Another memorable moment kicked off the show when, as if responding to Dirty Harry himself, Woody Harrelson told the Spirit crowd just how lucky he felt to win best supporting male. "I think you're all better," The Messenger star said of his fellow nominees. "It's never felt right to me to declare a winner. We're all just actors and lucky to be doing this ... of course now, it feels a little more right."
A full list of winners and nominees is available on the Spirit Awards site. And, counting down to Oscar night: the 82nd Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 7, and televised live on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET.
Reporting by Shayna Arnold