Oscars: Surprises, Stumbles and Stories From the Red Carpet

Jennifer Lawrence meeting Channing Tatum
Jennifer Lawrence meeting Channing Tatum
 Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Light rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the nominees as they walked the Oscar red carpet ahead of the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday.

The three-hour red carpet marathon was a lively one, as publicists and their stars maneuvered their way down the long carpet, talking to press and trying to save some energy for the show ahead.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals all the behind-the-scenes action from the Academy Awards red carpet, from Jennifer Lawrence's stumble to Bette Midler's praise of newcomer Lupita Nyong'o.

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1:30 p.m.: The red carpet opens in one hour, and it's still drizzling. The Oscar statues lining the red carpet are still covered in plastic, and reporters are wandering around with umbrellas and sour looks on their faces.

1:45 p.m.: The rain stops. The statues are uncovered, and the sun peeks through the clouds.

2:15 p.m.: Wolfgang Puck and a gaggle of chefs arrive on the red carpet, throwing chocolate Oscars at the crowd. Oliver, Wolfgang's 8-year-old son, joins him on the carpet, pointing out to his dad that a little rain could ruin the extravagant cake.

2:20 p.m.: The first nominees arrive on the red carpet, most from the short documentary category.

2:36 p.m.: Malcolm Clarke, director of short doc The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, tells THR that Leonardo DiCaprio's high school teacher had sent him an email. "She said, 'If you meet Leo DiCaprio, tell him he still has a library book that's overdue and there are $600 of charges,' " he said.

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2:56 p.m.: Director Paul Feig, who directed the Oscar promos featuring host Ellen DeGeneres, says that DeGeneres requested Feig because she's a Bridesmaids fan. "Next thing I knew, we were on the backlot with 250 people, dancers and Ellen," he says. "For me, the Oscars are fun. I wanted to see glitz and glamour." He'll start shooting Susan Cooper at the end of March.

3:20 p.m.: John Lasseter says he's most proud of the character Elsa in Frozen. "In the early days she was a villain, and I kept thinking, I don't know why she would be a villain. She's just afraid,'" he says. He's excited to see Idina Menzel perform during the show: "We hear the set is spectacular."

3:51 p.m.: 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen tells THR he's not sure what he'll be doing on Monday, the day after the Oscars. "It totally depends on what the possibilities are. I don't know," he says. He says the biggest highlight for him has been meeting other filmmakers and actors. "That never happens. So the fact that you have a concentrated group of filmmakers is wonderful." He tells THR he's "working on something" related to a musical, and that he's "looking forward to the challenge" of doing some television projects.

4:00 p.m.: Captain Phillips star and supporting actor nominee Barkhad Abdi walks the carpet with his co-star Faysal Ahmed. "I'm really grateful and honored be here," he said. "We're going to enjoy it -- enjoy the day and the night." Abdi, who is moving to L.A. soon, says that he's looking for his next project based on the storyline. "I really like the script for this movie The Place That Hits the Sun," he says.

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4:01 p.m.: Kristin Chenoweth and Captain Phillips producer Dana Brunetti walk the carpet together. Chenoweth, wearing a gold Roberto Cavalli dress, says she had thought she was going to wear a different dress, a lime green one. She says she weighed in on Brunetti's shoes. Brunetti, who is throwing an Oscar afterparty, says his plans for the night are to "stay away from the door." "I learned long ago -- if you're throwing a party, stay away from the door and turn your phone off," he says with a laugh.

4:02 p.m.: Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron: "The most interesting reaction I get is when someone asks, 'How difficult was it to shoot in space?" The Mexican director says that he loves hearing that because it means the visual effects crew did their job. "When we were making this film, I told them, 'When we finish this film, I want NASA to sue us.' "

4:11 p.m.: Idina Menzel, who will perform Frozen's "Let It Go" during the show, says she's a little nervous about her performance. "Once I'm on the stage, it'll all click in," she says. "But right now it's a little overwhelming."

4:12 p.m.: 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor says people come up to him "in the strangest places" to talk about the film. "Airport lounges, coffee shops, anywhere, like when I'm cleaning the car. It's all sorts of different people, different backgrounds, different countries, and they've all been moved by the film." He's especially proud that the film was received "in the spirit that it was made."

4:20 p.m.: Jennifer Lawrence arrives, wearing red Dior, and trips over a cone after exiting her limo. She has a good laugh about it.

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4:23 p.m.: Nebraska star Bruce Dern walks the carpet hand-in-hand with his daughter, Laura Dern. "Any time people in my industry want to put me on an all-star team, and to say that I can play, I love it," he says of all his accolades. As for his plans tomorrow? "She wants a piece of chocolate cake," says Dern, referring to his daughter. "And I'll have a couple Pepsis with olives in them."

4:27 p.m.: Best supporting actress nominee Lupita Nyong'o, wearing a custom Prada light blue silk georgette gown, talks to THR about her fashion sense. "I've always cared about it. I've always had some sense of style. It wasn't always good, but it was always mine," she says. The 12 Years a Slave actress has given some heartfelt acceptance speeches during awards season. "I just try to express what I feel in my heart," she says.

4:30 p.m.: Bette Milder, wearing a cap-sleeved Reem Acra dress, admires new Hollywood "it" girl Nyong'o, who is doing interviews in front of her on the red carpet. She tells her rep to be careful not to step on Nyong'o's dress. Nyong'o and her 12 Years a Slave co-star Sarah Paulson hug on the carpet.

4:32 p.m.: Nebraska star and nominee June Squibb says she's been wearing Tadashi Shoji's designs to many of her recent awards shows. She wears an emerald green dress on the red carpet. "I'll feel a little like I have my life back" says Squibb when THR asks how she'll feel tomorrow. She adds that she's looking forward to getting back to work. "I will miss a lot -- the people, the people have been wonderful," she says of awards season.

4:40 p.m.: "It's been equal parts exhilaration and exhaustion," says Nebraska star Will Forte of awards season. Forte, who brought his mom to the Oscars, tells THR that he's heard plenty of Bruce Dern's infamous stories. "My favorites are the unrepeatable ones, with coarse language," he says. "You know, sometimes he'll do some repeat stories and even with those, I find myself just really sucked in and hanging on every word, even though I know exactly how it ends up."

4:44 p.m.: Jared Leto, best supporting actor nominee, says he was "up at the crack-ass of dawn" Sunday morning because he's on European time as he's been touring with his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars. "I laid in bed for a while, thought about what I'd say if I was lucky enough to walk onstage, and then panicked a little about forgetting everything," he says.

4:47 p.m.: Leonardo DiCaprio arrives with his mother. He uses her phone to take a photo of the screaming fans. He then runs into his Django Unchained co-star Jamie Foxx. They pose for photos together.

4:50 p.m.: Emma Watson, who is presenting, says she just got to meet both Julia Roberts and Cate Blanchett for the first time.

4:52 p.m.: Jennifer Lawrence runs into American Hustle co-star Bradley Cooper on the red carpet. They give each other a quick hug. "This little baby just got picked out like 30 minutes ago," says Lawrence of her red Dior dress. "I didn't want to do a big ball gown this year, because we all know how that went." The actress, who told THR last year she was craving french fries, says that hasn't changed. "I'm still starving because I have to fit into a corset. That never changes. This red carpet just makes me hungry just looking at it," she says.

5:00 p.m.: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt hold hands and wave to the bleachers as they whisk by the red carpet.

5:04 p.m.: Gravity star Sandra Bullock, wearing a navy blue Alexander McQueen dress, is one of the last nominees doing interviews with the press as the red carpet shuts down so the show can begin.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford

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