The Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star let it all out while accepting the award for best female lead at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.
Groundbreaking director, Spike Lee, who won Best First-time Director himself at the Spirit Awards in 1986 and who teaches a masterclass in film direction at New York University, presented Peele with the Best Director statue.
The Spirit Awards honour low-budget films and are seen as the precursor to the Academy Awards on Sunday.
Chloe Zhao, a Beijing native who immigrated to the United States with her folks when she was 15, was nominated for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Editing and Best Cinematography for her latest film, "The Rider".
Set in 1980s Italy and starring Armie Hammer opposite Chalamet, it tells the story of 17-year-old Elio as he begins a relationship with his father's American research assistant, Oliver.
He said the 23-day-shoot was "scrappy" and that he cried every day because he was so drained.
"I continue to be amazed you let me get to the microphone", McDormand said. We believed in this story, we believed it needed to exist. "I sat down and would smoke a little weed and try to write a mind-bending horror film, my favourite genre and at some point I followed the truth and I realized there are people locked up for smoking less weed than I smoked writing the movie".
Comedian hosts, Nick Kroll, who voices Netflix' "Big Mouth" and John Mulaney, from the Broadway hit, "Oh Hello on Broadway", opened the show by addressing the topical elephant in the room: the #TimesUp movement to stop sexual misconduct and exploitation. "We're going to make this change".
Janney is widely tipped to win the Oscar for playing LaVona Golden, the domineering mother of figure skater Tonya Harding.
"I think that above all what we've always said is that it remains vital that anyone who feels victimized should and does have the right to speak out and come forward", she added. "I don't think people usually think of me this way". "I guess I have to play more dark characters - that's in my future". "I know that's what everybody here does, so we're so honored".
"I thought the film was going to encounter, to say the least division, and that hasn't been the case", Lelio said backstage.