Oscars: Inside Vanity Fair's Star-Packed Bash

Amy Adams
Amy Adams
 AP Images

The stars seemed to appreciate Vanity Fair's new party digs on Oscar Sunday. 

"At the other place [the Sunset Tower], it took an hour to get to the bathroom," said Penny Marshall inside the 12,000-square-foot, Basil Walter-designed glass-walled structure that was erected on the Sunset Plaza’s parking lot in West Hollywood.

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Asked how much the structure cost, VF editor Graydon Carter said: “We don’t talk about that. But like everything else in Hollywood, it’s temporary.”

The event -- considered one of the most sought-after tickets during awards season -- drew an eclectic mix of 800 guests, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, David Geffen, Sherry Lansing,  Shirley MacLaine, Elton John, Rupert Murdoch, Bruce Willis, Jared Leto, Julie Delpy, Jane Fonda,  Bill Murray, Will Smith, Paul McCartney, Barry Diller,  Judd Apatow, Donatella Versace, Bob Woodward, Jimmy Buffett, Tim Tebow and Olympic gold medalist Maddie Bowman.

“I don’t go to many parties,” said Conan O’Brien. “But I like this one because there’s so much high-wattage star power that for some reason everyone seems relaxed. You wouldn’t think it would work that way, but it does.”

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Screenwriter James Toback added that the party feels “like condensing Cannes into one night.”

Don Rickles said he like coming because there’s “a mix of the young and the old. Guess which group I’m in.” Quincy Jones, who was sitting with John Singleton, said he loves the VF party, but for him, Rio’s Carnival is “the crown jewel” of fiestas. He’s been going for 58 years and in 2015 plans to film an IMAX film there.

Also at the bash, Pink and Bette Midler weighed in on their performances earlier at the Oscars in the night. The former sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" during a Wizard of Oz tribute, while Midler sang "The Wind Beneath My Wings" following the "In Memoriam" segment.

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For her part,Pink said that “singing at the Oscars is way different than singing at the Grammys. It’s way cooler.” A few moments later, Midler said the same experience “is very hard work.” Asked why, she replied: “One day we’ll talk.”

As for the Oscar show itself, Steven Tyler said Matthew McConaughey’s speech stood out: It was “words to live by.” Spike Lee called the show “crisp and fast paced.”

Bruce Dern praised host Ellen DeGeneres, saying: “They should make Ellen  the permanent host. She brought a familiarity to it.”

And no less a critic of past Oscar telecasts than producer Joel Silver called it “one of the best in years.”

“This show is about one thing: star wattage,” he added. “And Ellen brought that out.”

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