"The Blind Side" author is excited for the Oscars

Sun, Mar 7

From geeks to glamour -- so goes life when you're Michael Lewis, author of "The Blind Side" and "Moneyball."

A few hours after addressing a ballroom full of self-proclaimed sports nerds at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday, Lewis was headed to the airport to catch a flight to L.A. for the Academy Awards.

The Blind Side
Warner Bros. PicturesSunday night could be a very big night for "The Blind Side."

"I was offered tickets to the actual ceremony, but Vanity Fair has this party," explained Lewis, a contributing editor to the magazine. "They have the famous party that is sort of the after-the-Oscars party, but there's also a dinner party during the Oscars."

Yes, that's right. Lewis is going to skip the flashbulbs and screaming fans, completely missing out on the chance to have his wardrobe critiqued by fashionistas around the world.

"The premiere of 'The Blind Side' in New York gave me as much experience with the red carpet as I need in my life," he said.

The film, based on the tome of the same name, is nominated for Best Picture. Star Sandra Bullock is favored to take home Best Actress after having already picked up several awards for her portrayal of Memphis housewife Leigh Anne Tuohy.

"I think she's just terrific," Lewis said of Bullock. "The other thing about it is, for her, she was clearly uncomfortable in the role in the beginning. It's a stretch for her. She was scared doing the part, and I always admire people that do things that scare them. It's nice to see her being rewarded for taking the risk."

Bullock wasn't the only one to take a chance that's paying off. Alcon Entertainment saved the project when 20th Century Fox dropped it after Julia Roberts turned down the role of Tuohy.

Lewis still can't believe the film was on the verge of falling apart. The story of Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher and the affluent family that adopted him was simple yet compelling, and the scene-by-scene construction of the book lent itself to adaptation. He felt "The Blind Side" was destined for the big screen, even before the book was published.

He was right. The film became a critical and commercial success -- as did the book. Winning the Academy's biggest award is more of a long shot, but the best-selling author is fine with that.

"Given that they nominated 10 pictures for the Oscars, it didn't surprise me that it ended up being one of them," Lewis said. "It would shock me if it won."