LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brie Larson's journey to winning a best-actress Oscar for "Room" began years ago when she learned to stand up for herself against casting directors who wanted to objectify her.
They'd tell her she had auditioned well, but asked her to come back wearing a denim miniskirt and heels.
"I personally always rejected that moment," Larson said backstage Sunday night. "They were asking me to wear a jean miniskirt and heels to be sexy, but that doesn't make me feel sexy. It makes me feel uncomfortable."
Asked how she felt now, a smiling Larson thrust her statue in the air and replied, "Feeling pretty good."
Larson won for her role as an abducted woman who creates a world inside a small shed for her son and then finds it difficult to adjust to life after she is freed.
"This time a year ago I was still trying to figure out who I was," she said. "I had spent about a year prepping and then doing the film. Who I was when the movie was over was so far from what I was before the movie. I'm standing here now completely myself. I feel very strong and happy to be holding this gold guy."
Larson was the heavy favorite to win the Oscar, having earned trophies for the role from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Born Brianne Desaulniers in Sacramento, California, Larson broke into show business doing sketches on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Before finding success on the big screen, the 26-year-old appeared in several television series and dabbled in music, releasing her major label debut in 2005.
Larson joined 27-year-old Swede Alicia Vikander as the youngest acting winners Sunday. Vikander won supporting honors for "The Danish Girl." Both women won on their first nominations.