BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – More than 150 Oscar nominees gathered at a Beverly Hills hotel on Monday to celebrate the joy of just being nominated.
Honorees in all 24 of this year’s Oscar categories — from hairstylists to A-listers — turned out for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annual nominees luncheon.
But the festivities held in a blue-hued ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel were not without a little business — like when Oscar show co-producer Craig Zadan told prospective winners to keep it moving on the big night.
“Please get to the stage quickly, really quickly,” Zadan said. “The moment you reach the microphone, the timer begins and you will have 45 seconds to speak.”
Seeking to tighten a broadcast that has approached four hours in recent years, Zadan warned potential group winners to select a designated speaker “who should begin to speak immediately before the whole group has assembled onstage.”
“The show is successful if the pacing of the evening feels brisk,” he said to a chorus of laughter from the skeptical crowd.
Before lunch was served, nominees mingled around tables adorned with white roses and chatted about the stress of award season.
“I’m not used to this,” said Julie Delpy, nominated for best adapted screenplay for “Before Midnight.” ”It’s hard, actually, because I don’t have a structure around me with like 10 nannies. It gets really messy. I’m just hanging in there, barely.”
The writer-actress added that she hadn’t yet settled on her Oscar night look.
“I’m kind of nervous,” she admitted. “I’m not the kind of actress that is in the gym and not eating. Some people do that, but I’m not able to. I have a kid and I’m raising him and I’m writing. So doing two hours at the gym is not something I have time to do or like to do.”
Delpy then rushed over to fellow nominee and rising fashion star Lupita Nyong’o of “12 Years a Slave” and gushed as the two snapped a photo together.
Nearby, a giggling Meryl Streep chatted with Bruce Dern; Josh Gad greeted Sandra Bullock with a kiss on both cheeks; and Ethan Hawke could be seen introducing his date for the afternoon, daughter Maya Thurman Hawke, to everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Spike Jonze.
At one point, Bono announced that he was going to perform the nominated song “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela” on the March 2 Oscar broadcast.
When it came time for the traditional nominee class photo, everyone headed for the stage, including Cate Blanchett, who ditched her Christian Louboutin heels and ran most of the way.
Could she have been practicing for Oscar night?
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