Scene-stealers on Oscars red carpet
The big stars wait until the last hour before showing up, so last Sunday, we got a good tan while waiting
LOS ANGELES—We did see the fabulous right leg that stole the red carpet scene at the recent Academy Awards. As we write this, Angelina Jolie’s
famous gam (@AngiesRightLeg) already has over 33,000 followers on Twitter.
But we’re getting ahead of our story. Let’s start from the beginning. While the stars arrived much later in gleaming stretch limos, journalists drove their Toyotas, Fords and Hondas to the parking lot of a theater/club. Then we took a shuttle that took us near the show’s venue, Hollyw
ood and Highland Center, formerly the Kodak Theatre. A short walk and we were on ground zero, on which millions of eyes around the globe were focused. But first, security check and a walk through metal detectors.
The Center and a portion of Hollywood Boulevard were a beehive of activity but the rest of the complex was Ghost Town. All the stores, restaurants and cinemas at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre were closed for this big day.
A guard checked on the arriving journalists’ badges and pointed left or right. When he gestured right, that sent reporters up the stairs to the interview room. When he pointed left, you went to the most coveted spot on earth on that day—the red carpet.
The thing with the red carpet is that the big stars wait until the last hour before showing up. Last Sunday, we got a good tan while waiting. But a sense of anticipation
hung in the air. A Goodyear blimp and several TV news helicopters hovered above and added to the excitement.
“The Artist” husband-and-wife team, director Michel Hazanavicius and actress Berenice Bejo, were among the first to arrive and got all the attention from media before the mad crush began.
Otherwise, celebs usually come with their publicists who go through the media in advance, asking if a TV or print reporter is interested in interviewing their respective clients. Of course, publicists of top stars can be choosy—they first read the names of the media organizations lined up and decide who gets to interview their clients.
When most of the stars arrived, seemingly at the same time all of a sudden, it was a parade of one familiar face after another.
One of the most awaited entrances was that of Sacha Baron Cohen, whose request to attend the Oscars as General Aladeen, his character in a new movie, “The Dictator,” had been originally denied. At the last minute, the Academy reversed its decision. So all eyes were on the fully bearded dictator from the nation of Wadiya when he arrived, with two sexy female aides on each side.
After “accidentally” spilling “ashes” of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on a surprised Ryan Seacrest, the dictator was led away by security guards. When he reached
our corner, the dictator spilled some
more ashes (actually powdered pancake mix, we were told) on the red carpet. Later, when comedienne Tina Fey walked by that spot, we saw her make the sign of the cross.
Having just seen Cohen in full military regalia, we didn’t know if a nun who appeared on the red carpet was for real or not. It turned out she was the real deal—Mother Dolores, a starlet who appeared in movies with such actors as Elvis Presley, George Hamilton and Walter Matthau. But she left Hollywood almost half a century ago to become a cloistered Benedictine nun.
Mother Dolores’ story is the subject of HBO’s “God is the Bigger Elvis,” which was nominated in the Academy’s best documentary short category. Blessed with a radiant smile, Mother Dolores, 73, who keeps her Academy membership, was a refreshing presence on the red carpet.
George Clooney, ever the simpatico guy, made it a point to approach the bleachers full of screaming fans to greet and shake hands with some of them. Tom Cruise did the same. Then the crowd on the red carpet seemingly vanished into thin air.
After a sudden lull of a few minutes, the right leg appeared from a black billowy skirt’s thigh-high slit. Wearing bright red lipstick, her long hair cascading down her shoulders, Angelinawas a knockout on the red carpet. As usual. She and husband Brad Pitt were separately interviewed by the media.
When she finished her press chats, Angelina also went to the fans and then paused, right leg forward, to wait for Brad who was still graciously answering a reporter’s questions. We thought that she smiled more often and was in a playful mood that evening. She and her right leg were definitely having a good time.
When Brad was finally done, he joined the mesmerizing right leg and they entered the theater together. That signaled us to make our own mad scramble to the interview room.
When we finished writing this piece, we logged back on to Twitter and saw that @AngiesRightLeg’s followers had jumped from 33,000 to over 36,000.
(E-mail the columnist at [email protected]. Follow him at https://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)