The 33-year-old Tomei, who won the award for her starring role in the 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny, kept the gold statuette in her safety-deposit box for a few years.
"The bank closed and they called me," she told CBS 'Good Morning' co-anchor Mark McEwen. "And they said they were closing up this branch, come get your stuff. I went, and I forgot to bring my I.D., but they remembered me, and they obviously knew that it was mine.
"They let me take it. Now I keep it in my bathroom!"
That bathroom is now in New York, where Tomei, who returns to the big screen in this summer's The Slums of Beverly Hills, lives when she is between projects.
She's at home now, since the closing earlier this summer of a Broadway revival of Wait Until Dark in which she starred with actor-director Quentin Tarrentino. Widely panned by theater critics, the limited-run production closed two months early.
Although she has been acting on stage for a decade, Wait Until Dark marked Tomei's Broadway debut.
That debut was less auspicious than her first one. A first break in television soap operas led to a role in the sitcom A Different World and her start in movies, which quickly sent her film career into orbit.
"I would have liked a little more experience," she said. So not so many eyes were on me right away after that, because I had a lot to learn. I still have a lot to learn."
She describe her 15th film and latest venture, "The Slums of Beverly Hills, as a comedy about "female stuff" and a young girl coming of age.
She has no immediate plans for the future, although she says she wants to reprise he role as the fast-talking, gum-snapping Mona Lisa Vito in a sequel to My Cousin Vinny.
"I think the most important thing is to be really comfortable, wherever you are," she said. "If you are comfortable in your life and connected to yourself, you have a good base to work from. I mean to put it into my work."