Paul Giamatti Jokes About 'Going Viral for Eating a Cheeseburger' in 2024 Critics Choice Awards Speech

The 'Holdovers' actor also thanked his later father Bart Giamatti in his acceptance speech, saying of the award, "This would make him really happy"

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Paul Giamatti at the Critics Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California, on Jan. 14, 2024

Kevin Winter/Getty

Paul Giamatti at the Critics Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California, on Jan. 14, 2024

The 2024 Critics Choice Awards have named their best movie actor of the year: Paul Giamatti!

The Holdovers star beat out fellow leading men Bradley Cooper for Maestro, Leonardo DiCaprio for Killers of the Flower Moon, Colman Domingo for Rustin, Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer and Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction.

Giamatti, 56, began his acceptance speech with a hilarious nod to his post-Golden Globes In-N-Out moment, joking to laughter from the crowd, "Wow, guys. I didn't think my week could get any better than going viral for eating a cheeseburger."

"Seriously guys, I need that endorsement, so let's all just pray for me," he quipped.

Aside from cast, crew, his team and the studio, Giamatti thanked his son Samuel, girlfriend Clara Wong and his late father Bart Giamatti, "who never saw me act professionally" before his death.

"He was a literary critic, and so you couldn't get away with anything but good work with him," the actor went on. "This would make him really happy, and that makes me really happy. So thank you."

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<p>Seacia Pavao/ FOCUS FEATURES</p> Paul Giamatti in <em>The Holdovers</em> (2023)


Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers (2023)

Related: The Holdovers' Paul Giamatti Ends Wry Golden Globes Best Actor Speech with Poignant Praise for Teachers

The awards attention Giamatti is receiving for The Holdovers is special considering the movie marks his reunion with Alexander Payne, who also directed 2004’s Sideways.

For playing a cross-eyed boarding school professor in 1970, Giamatti recently took home a Golden Globe Award. (So did his Critics Choice-winning costar, Da’Vine Joy Randolph.)

It’s the veteran actor’s sixth overall nod, including wins for Sideways and 2006’s Cinderella Man.

See PEOPLE's full coverage of the 29th annual Critics’ Choice Awards as they're broadcasting live from The Barker Hangar in Los Angeles on The CW.

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