Oscars: Ryan Gosling, Octavia Spencer Reveal Their Ideal Seatmates
Nominees Mahershala Ali, Nicole Kidman, Jeff Bridges and more also name their picks, from Oprah to Meryl (to Mom, of course).
A. "Moonlight folks! Other people are amazing, but that's my family! Those are my people." — Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), shown sitting with, from left, his castmates Janelle Monae, Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes
B. "It's perfect for me 'cause I sit next to my best friend Busy, so I wouldn't change a thing." — Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), shown sitting next to Busy Philipps
C. "My son, Henry, is going with me, so I'm happy with that. I don't know who the hell else will be there. If I could pick someone? I'd be really happy to be sitting next to Meryl Streep. That would be wonderful. Meryl on one side and Henry on the other, I think we'd have a good time." — Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), shown sitting behind Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
D. "I love Isabelle Huppert. I got to kiss her hand in Paris recently, so I'd bow down and kiss her hand." — Nicole Kidman (Lion), shown sitting next to Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
E. Ruth Negga (Loving) chooses Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
F. "I'm going to go with my wife, Kate. But I don't know who else I'd choose, there's a lot of interesting people there. It'd be cool to sit next to Jack Nicholson, though I don't know if he goes anymore." — Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals), shown sitting next to wife Kate Arrington
G. "Other than my wife? (Laughs.) My mom wore me out the year I won for Glory. She's 92 now, bless her heart. We went to the Governors Ball and stayed, I guess, too long. My mother was like, 'Those flower arrangements, they're just gonna leave those?' I walked out with a flower arrangement and an Oscar! Only a mother. It might be interesting to sit next to Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins and hear what they have to say because it's newer for them." — Denzel Washington (Fences star and director) shown sitting with wife Pauletta Washington, Damien Chazelle (La La Land director) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight director)
H. "Meryl Streep. I was lucky enough to be beside her at the SAG Awards, and she fixed my bow tie before the show started. She saved me from a fashion disaster. My bow tie was in the most vulnerable state. It was squirrelly." — Ryan Gosling (La La Land) shown sitting next to Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
I. "I'd love to be near Viola and Emma because it's a big family affair [all three starred in 2011 nominee The Help]. And I'd want to be in the front row. The thought of having to walk up to the podium is nerve-racking for women because there are no railings and you are in high-heeled shoes and have to hold the bottom of your skirt. No one wants to face-plant with a billion viewers watching like poor Jennifer Lawrence did." — Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) shown sitting between Emma Stone (La La Land) and Viola Davis (Fences)
J. "I would love to sit with Oprah Winfrey. My mom is coming with me. She's the hugest fan ever, and it's her dream to meet her. I met Oprah at an event in London, and I thought about calling my mom and saying, 'Just get in the car and get over here!' She is so calm and collected, but she will lose it while meeting Oprah. I want to see that moment!" — Naomie Harris (Moonlight) shown sitting next to Oprah Winfrey (13th producer)
"I'd love to be between Jeff Bridges and Denzel, but I'd be too intimidated to talk to either. I would be staring forward, freaking out in my head, too shy to introduce myself and shake their hand." — Shawn Levy (Arrival producer)
"Damien Chazelle and his editor, Tom Cross. They're brilliant." — Todd Black (Fences producer)
"I would like to sit in between Meryl Streep, because she looks like she's always having a good time, and Bradley Cooper, if he is going to be there, because he is one of the handsomest men on the planet and a good egg." — Donna Gigliotti (Hidden Figures producer)
This story first appeared in the Feb. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.