Daniel Day-Lewis has explained why he kissed fellow best actor nominee George Clooney after winning the award at Sunday night's Oscars.

The There Will Be Blood actor gave an affectionate kiss to wife Rebecca Miller after Dame Helen Mirren announced he had won the Academy award before turning to Clooney - nominated for his role in Michael Clayton - and bestowing a kiss on the former ER star.

Talking to Variety after the ceremony at Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre, Day-Lewis admitted: "George has been there for me."

"I kissed my wife, and in the interests of parity, I kissed George," he added.

Day-Lewis claimed the second best actor Oscar of his career for his role as amoral oil prospector Daniel Plainview in PT Anderson's There Will Be Blood, though the film lost out to No Country For Old Men in the best picture and best director categories.

In one of the night's biggest surprises, French actress Marion Cotillard took the best actress prize for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, with predicted winner Julie Christie missing out.

Though Cotillard's win was her third of the awards season - after taking best actress gongs at the Golden Globes and the Baftas - her acceptance speech at the Oscars was as breathless as her teary victory comments at the British Academy awards.

Speaking afterwards, the 32-year-old said: "It feels so good. I'm totally overwhelmed with joy and sparkles and fireworks, and everything which goes like 'BAM! BAM! BAM!'"

She added: "[It's as if] I just ate all those things, and it's happening right here, right now. It's so unexpected, it's surreal, but I love it, I love it."

Juno scribe Diablo Cody - who took the best original screenplay award - explained she would be willing to pay off every journalist in the world if they promised never to mention her former work as a stripper, while Ratatouille director Brad Bird said his triumph in the best animated feature category was "no less sweet" than his win for The Incredibles.

25/02/2008 09:31:07