Paul Giamatti and Sandra Oh Look Back at 'Sideways' Ahead of 20-Year Anniversary (Exclusive)

Alexander Payne's wine-soaked slice-of-life drama turns 20 in 2024.

Sandra Oh and Paul Giamatti are looking back at Sideways ahead of the 20th anniversary of Alexander Payne's memorable slice-of-life comedy.

ET's Denny Directo spoke with both stars backstage at the Palm Springs International Film Awards -- where Giamatti was honored with the Icon Award for his starring role in Payne's latest film, The Holdovers -- and they reflected on the big anniversary of their Oscar-winning comedy.

Oh admitted that it does feel appropriate that 20 years have passed since she and Giamatti starred opposite each other as Stephanie and Miles in the wine-soaked slice-of-life comedy. However, she told Giamatti that "to see you in The Holdovers, that's the prize."

"Paul's probably one of the smartest people," she raved of her former co-star. "He's, like, wicked smart."

In the 2004 film, Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church played jaded pals trying to find themselves through a mid-life crisis in California's Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Along the way, they meet Oh's Stephanie and Virginia Madsen's Maya, who throw some hitches in their best-laid plans.

So, will there be any cork-popping for the 20th anniversary of the film's first screening, which happened at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 13, 2004?

"I don't know what's going on with that," Giamatti admitted. "I don't know what we're doing."

"That is soon, right!" Oh chimed in. 

Of the film's continued resonance with fans, Giamatti admitted he's stayed appreciative, adding, "I mean, it doesn't happen a lot."

"I think it's really, really rare," Oh agreed.

"Yeah, it's nice," Giamatti added.   

At the time, Sideways was nominated for five Oscars at the 77th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Payne, Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Church and Madsen, respectively, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Payne and Jim Taylor -- which ended up being the film's only win.

However, Giamatti is in line to earn his possible second Oscar nod for his role as private school teacher Paul Hunham in The Holdovers, which has already garnered him nominations from the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards.


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