Josh Rottenberg
February 22, 2009 AT 08:13 PM EST

“Hooray, independents!” This final line of Melissa Leo’s Best

Actress acceptance speech summed up the overall feeling

inside the tent on Santa Monica Beach, where Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards were held. “Long before Oscar came along and noticed me,

I was making movies in the independent community and [these] are my

people,” the Frozen River star told “It’s so much fun to mingle with people who really love good


Fun was certainly the order of the day at the Spirits, which have a more freewheeling, flip-flops-and-jeans feeling than the Oscars. “When the first thing you’re offered on your way in is a Jameson on the rocks, you know you’re not in for a boring afternoon,” said Ben Kingsley. While F-bomb-laden acceptance speeches seemed to be practically encouraged, Best Actor

winner Mickey Rourke took his to a whole other level.

His profanity-laced thank-you spiel included botched studio head and

co-star names, references to past escapades with the Santa

Monica police department, and a reminder that not all women can climb a stripper pole equally well.

(“Melissa–er, Marisa [Tomei] had to do all this with a bare ass and she

brought it,” he said of his Oscar-nominated costar.) The room was rolling, including Philip Seymour

Hoffman, who presented the award to Rourke. “It’s been a while and Mickey had a lot

to say,” Hoffman told EW afterward. “And he covered it all.”

Rourke also noted while at the microphone that he was not a fan of

the ceremony’s trademark spoofs of the Best Feature songs, which this year were

performed by Christina Applegate, Teri Hatcher, Taraji P. Henson, Robyn

Hitchcock, and Rainn Wilson. He threatened to beat Wilson up for

singing The Wrestler’s number in a long blonde wig and neon

tights. “I was scared at first and was very glad that Mickey probably doesn’t watch The Office so he probably has no idea who I am,” Wilson told EW

on his way to the after-party. “But he pulled

me aside and said, ‘It’s okay.’ Thankfully, I am not really

on his list.” — Reported and written by Carrie Bell

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