Learned my lesson last year. Eat before you go. Starbucks run. Front row this year. Reporter to my left is trying to get the scoop on my marital/dating status, reporter to my right is fantastically wacky. I like her.
11:33AM George Clooney: Go big or go home. Came early for "free booze". Repeated question that each reporter asked--total media pro. It's good to be a friend of George--Viola/ Brad stay at Lake Como. Sam from KTLA wants to know how he can stay here. Ah, the media is so funny. Sooo handsome. Oooo, he dropped an F-bomb. Awesome. Rooting for Alexander Payne. Delicious...reporter next to me giggles because I uttered that comment out loud.
Hear my question at the 5:15 mark.....
11:58AM Max von Sydow: What an honor. Media asking who he was excited to meet. Christopher Plummer. He's so distinguished. How about the ladies? asks a reporter. He responds, "Yes, some of the directors too." Ah, a sense of humor. Moves in to hear a question. Standing in front of me. Should I hug him? Nominated 29 years ago for Pelle the Conquerer here. Yes, someone finally asks him a good question.
12:05PM Viola Davis: Hot, hot in hot pink. "if you guys could see me at home with my cornrows...." Great story about getting George's villa for her honeymoon. "Greatest gift anyone could have given us". Lost her hair at 28 after reading bad review about her Broadway show due to stress. "At 46, let so much of that go. Define joy and happiness for yourself. and I've got my hair." She has the room memorized. It's quiet in here. Sign of a star. Wearing JC Abando that day.
12:11PM Jonah Hill/Brad Pitt: Matching gray suits. Brad has shiny hair. Everyone talking to Brad. Jonah is hanging back, kind of quiet. Lots of Latin outlets asking about Demian's performance. "a story of value and getting second chances." (Pitt). Pranks: Brad is the "bobby Fischer is pranks...a masterful art form with this guy", says Hill.
12:18PM Janet McTeer: Wearing a formal suit. Says it was hard "trying to play an Irishman in front of an Irish crew. That was really scary." Their reaction was "what the f--k was that?!". HA! Second f-bomb of the day. Rooting for Glenn. Her cell phone rings. She quickly says "have a little bit of respect for the talent. It's a text". Hilarious. Hid her hands a lot in the film because the are"quite girly". Didn't wear men's underwear in the film. (Just in case you were wondering.)
12:23PM Glenn Close: Hawaiian jacket. "You are one of five...how could you possibly think of yourself as a loser. " Inspiring to hear how she got Albert Nobbs done. 1998 is the year she took out the first option on this movie. You are awesome, Glenn.
12:27PM Octavia Spencer: "It will hit me two weeks later and I will enjoy it......and I am a symbol of hope for all of the other actors that have been doing it as long as I have". "I've mauled everyone" since she's near Brad, Meryl, George. What was it like to maul George? That's what I wanted to ask. Behave. Didn't like people misinterpreting her words during the press junket process for The Help. It's tough, but a part of the process. Waiting for food. No alcohol until then. Smart lady. Sings "Oscar nominee" into the mic over and over.
12:32 Kenneth Branagh: First time at luncheon even though it's not his first nomination. Enjoys working with Dame Judi Dench. Emma Watson in her first grown-up role resonated with him.
12:36. Berenice Bejo: speaks Spanish, talks about life in Argentina. Preparation the same as a film. Experience is different for audience. (I asked her whether it was different for an actor to prepare for a silent movie.) Dress is done. "No, it's like Christmas. You don't say a thing". Guess we won't find out her Oscar designer today. Wants husband to like her dress. Today's dress: Elie Saab
12:39PM Jean DuJardin: Movie poster controversy question. Skip it says the moderator. Yep, keep the questions conservative. Oooooooo...French. Translator is here. The Artist is an LA film. Likes "energy, playing with extras, the food.". (Wait, playing with the extras??) Back to French. Back to food likes cinnamon rolls. Not preparing a speech. He "wants element of surprise".
12:43PM Gary Oldman: Finally an Oscar nominee after all of these years. "it's a fairy tale". "I'm having a ball". He likes hanging out with Brad and George. Me too. Talks about Academy recognizing people in their 20's thru 80's. Interviewed Ben Gazzara about 5 months ago who just passed away. "Oscar is better than the money. The villains are the one you do for money they"re expensive. They will be now." Yes, sir, they will....your agent will be happy too.
12:50PM Lady next to me is wielding an unwieldy pen. I'm wearing a DVF dress, watch out!
12:50PM Melissa McCarthy: Everyone gets excited. Gorgeous in green. Gets teary-eyed looking at Oscar behind her. Ah, I'm afraid she's going to burst into tears. No competition with her friend Octavia. Melissa is smaller in real life. No idea who her designer is, but she's wearing Neil Lane jewelry.
12:54PM Michelle Williams: Very Mia Farrow-looking today. So luminous. Oscar dress question. No dress yet. "should I have?". Her advice for other nominees? "Bring a snack". Word. That is so true. Oscar Day is a hungry day. Dress is awesome. Doesn't know designer of her dress today. So charming
12:57PM Nick Nolte: He is sweaty and very red. Starts out with a joke. Looks like Santa Claus. I am just stunned. Tells a story about leaving a party at 5am and how he needs stricter rules. Story about Jimmy from Pittsburgh. Who is Jimmy? I'm confused. Still going at 1:02. PR Guy makes him shorten story. WTF???
1:03PM Demian Bechir: Like Javier Bardem last year, he gets big cheers. Handsome. He likes hanging with Brad and George too. They're like the cool kids in the club. First Mexican actor nominated since Tony Quinn. Spanish, blah, blah.....I catch every other word. Immigration debate continues due to subject matter on film. "it's a human issue, not a political issue". He's doing a play in Mexico. Flew in this morning. Everyone fighting to be the last question. He's popular.
Photo: Courtesy of A.M.P.A.S.