Oscars Party Diary: Inside the A-List Parties and Events

7:11 PM 2/21/2019

by Chris Gardner and Ramona Saviss

Hollywood Reporter staffers were on the scene at all the A-List events during Oscar weekend.

Rami Malek sprays Piper-Heidsieck, the sole champagne of the Oscars for the past five years.
Rami Malek sprays Piper-Heidsieck, the sole champagne of the Oscars for the past five years.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Step behind the velvet ropes for an inside look at the hot happenings at top Oscar parties and events surrounding film's biggest night. A-listers partied this year in celebration of Sunday's 91st Academy Awards as THR staffers dished on details from the annual festivities and star-studded soirees including stops at Vanity Fair's starry post-Oscars party, the Women in Film event co-hosted by double nominee Sandy Powell, the post-show Governors Ball and a detour to the beach for Film Independent's Spirit Awards hosted by Aubrey Plaza.

At first glance, this year's events and party schedule was more jam-packed than in recent memory. Some of the usual suspects were back hosting 2019 events, including Alfre Woodard, who celebrated her peers at the 10th annual Sistahs’ Soiree with nominee Regina King; J.J. Abrams, who hosted the 14th annual Oscar Wilde Awards at his Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica where nominee Glenn Close was feted; and Common, who was back with the fifth annual A Toast to The Arts Pre-Oscar Event in West Hollywood, where nominee Ruth E. Carter (who went on to win an Oscar)was celebrated alongside King, Rashida Jones, Amandla Stenberg and Chloe Zhao. New entrants also were on the scene, including a sustainability event hosted by Maison de Mode and co-chaired by co-founders Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre. That event honored Dr. Jane Goodall, Chopard and Caroline Scheufele. But when it's all said and done, the 2019 awards season circuit may be remembered for the first year that private clubs in Los Angeles — places like the H Club, Spring Place and San Vicente Bungalows — opened their doors for soirees while cannabis companies entered the fray to sponsor VIP events. 

  • Inside Vanity Fair's Oscar Party: Glenn Close Tumbles, Recovers to Epic Dance Circle With Amy Adams

    Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

    Party: Vanity Fair Oscar Party

    Players: Winners including Lady Gaga, Spike Lee, Olivia Colman, Regina King, Green Book’s Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie, Alfonso Cuaròn, Ruth E. Carter, Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Ludwig Göransson, Anthony Rossomando, Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, Guy Nattiv, Jaime Ray Newman along with guests including Taylor Swift, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Charles Melton, Billy Porter, Anthony Ramos, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Barbara Palvin, Amy Adams, Darren Legallo, Jessica Alba, Anthony Anderson, Patricia Arquette, Awkwafina, Elizabeth Banks, Javier Bardem, Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Kate Beckinsale, Lake Bell, Selma Blair , Orlando Bloom, Lisa Bonet, Jason Momoa, Chadwick Boseman, Adrien Brody, Linda Cardellini, Noah Centineo, Gemma Chan, John Cho, Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas, Emilia Clarke, Glenn Close, Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher, Toni Collette, Lana Condor, Vin Diesel, Adam Driver, Winston Duke, Idris Elba, Cynthia Erivo, Chris Evans, America Ferrera, Jamie Foxx, Jeff Goldblum, Henry Golding, Topher Grace, Richard E. Grant, Danai Gurira, Jon Hamm, Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Taraji P. Henson, Sam Heughan, Vanessa Hudgens, Jennifer Hudson, Frances McDormand, Joel Coen, Rashida Jones, Michael B Jordan, Mindy Kaling, Keegan Michael Key, Zoe Kravitz, Karl Glusman, Brie Larson, Kiki Layne, Juliette Lewis, Natasha Lyonne, James McAvoy, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Camila Mendes, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lupita Nyong`o, Sarah Paulson, Holland Taylor, Aubrey Plaza, Natalie Portman, Zachary Quinto, Sam Rockwell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Paul Rudd, Chloé Sevigny, Amanda Seyfried, Cobie Smulders, Taran Killam, Lakeith Stanfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Amandla Stenberg, Miles Teller, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson, Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas, Brian Tyree Henry, Cicely Tyson, Blair Underwood, Gabrielle Union, Sofia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Kerry Washington, Jesse Williams, Finn Wittrock, Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Steven Yeun, Renée Zellweger, Nicholas Holt, Vito Schnabel, Julian Schnabel, Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey, Ted Sarandos, Casey Wasserman, Anne Wojcicki, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, Pamela Aldon, Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, Guillermo Del Toro, Ava Duvernay, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Sam Taylor Johnson, Aaron Taylor-Johnsonm J.J. Abrams, Katie McGrath, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, Jill Soloway, Tom Ford, Ashley Olsen, Tommy Hilfiger, Zac Posen, Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, James Murdoch, James Corden, Don Lemon, Ronan Farrow, Jon Lovett, Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Alessandra Ambrosio, Paris Jackson, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Maye Musk, A$AP Ferg, Diana Ross, Evan Ross, Ashlee Simpson, Marilyn Manson, Halsey, Elton John, Miguel, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Beck, Jimmy Buffet, Camila Cabello, Gustavo Dudamel, Jimmy Iovine, Liberty Ross, Quincy Jones, Adam Lambert, Joni Mitchell, Kacey Musgraves, Diane Warren, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Anita Hill, Jason Blum, Dede Gardner, Mike Medavoy, Irena Medavoy, Mark Burnett, Shonda Rhimes, Jonah Nolan, Lisa Joy, David Benioff, Amanda Peet, Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd, Bruce Bozzi, Patrick Whitesell, Odell Beckham, Jr., Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Russell Wilson, Ciara, Donna Langley, Ron Meyer, Scott Stuber, Molly Sims and Steve Tisch.

    Place: Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts with Beverly Hills City Hall

    Served: Chefs Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Nomad served up eats for the whole evening (including the viewing dinner and tray passed hors d'oeuvres throughout evening) while late-night additions include In-N-Out burgers and Art Bird friend chicken (a restaurant run by Lady Gaga's father, joe Germanotta). More than 1700 went out during the night along with tray after tray of French fries. At the bar: "On the Rock" (Hennessy X.O on custom Hennessy ice), "The Envelope Please" (Hennessy X.O, demerar, aromatic bitters and citrus oils), and "The Oscar Night Special" (Hennessy X.O, sweet vermouth, cold brew coffee and absinthe). 

    Inside Dish: Conversations come quite easily at Vanity Fair's Oscar party.

    A-list stars are approachable — there's one just about every three steps, scattered everywhere underneath a custom tent and lining the pavement next to Beverly Hills City Hall (and clustered next to heat lamps on what turned out to be frigid Oscar night) — and as it turns out, many are up for offering quick takes on the telecast, the party, late-night plans and even pot (more on that later).

    Many, but not all.

    Nominee Richard E. Grant arrived just before 10 p.m. and told an event rep no to interviews but yes for photos. Easily forgiven considering that Grant, who lost to Mahershala Ali in the best supporting actor category, has been busy talking for months now as part of the Can You Ever Forgive Me? awards campaign. He would have to wait to face the crush of shutterbugs, however, because Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were hot on his heels.

    "Clear the carpet for J.Lo," the rep directed via walkie talkie, as the superstar entertainer handed her fur coat over to manager Benny Medina who slung it over his shoulder and asked for fashion approval. Making a path for Lopez and her beau took a few minutes due to the crush of stars already waiting for a turn. Maybe more than a crush, actually, as more than two dozen stars were lined up at that particular moment with hundreds already partying inside. The Vanity Fair Oscar party was a hot button issue in the days leading up to Hollywood's biggest night following a string of headlines that the event had lost its luster and title as Oscar night's hottest and most exclusive party due, in part, to late-night competition from two parties — Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Chateau Marmont-set bash and Madonna and Guy Oseary's Coldwater Canyon event.

    While the party battle is definitely still a thing, so is Vanity Fair's pull. J.Lo, Taylor Swift, Barbra Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Jeff Bezos and newly-minted Oscar winners Lady Gaga and Spike Lee lead a very long list of boldfaced names that made the rounds alongside VF's host, editor-in-chief Radhika Jones. The Hollywood Reporter's rounds were interrupted by a reveler who suggested a quick dash to the dance floor where Glenn Close and Amy Adams were said to be tearing it up. 

    The rumor turned out to be true. 

    A barefoot Adams was in the center of a giant dance circle that had formed in the space where the viewing dinner had been held. In a dress reminiscent of her American Hustle wardrobe, the best supporting actress nominee for Vice was swinging her hips and soaking in the attention from a slew of spectators including Streisand, James Brolin, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner, Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson. It was the latter who told THR that she had to get close to the action to see what was going on. She must've heard the same rumors.

    "They are really taking the floor aren't they?" Hudson said of a space filled with beats by DJ Mateo. "I'm loving it. I'm not a partier but this got me out of my seat. Get it girl! I didn't know [Amy Adams] could move like that!" 

    Turns out she can and she did. Also showing off their moves were nominee Sam Rockwell, Adams' Vice colleague, his girlfriend Leslie Bibb, Erivo and Close, who lost in the best actress race to Olivia Colman in a surprise upset. She didn't look to be down in the dumps, however. Close followed Adams to the center of the circle and just as she entered, the 71-year-old took a tumble and fell to the floor, flat on her back. Completely uninjured, Close sprayed out like a starfish with a grin on her face. Marisa Tomei helped her up and the two danced off the moment, which was followed by a vogueing session from Erivo. "She can dance, I told you!" Hudson proclaimed to THR. "I can't do that." 

    As for Close, one guest complimented her on the ability to not show any sense of disappointment after losing out on her seventh Oscar. "She looks great. She changed her outfit, she looks like she's having fun and isn't upset," said the VF guest. "But then again she is an actress."

    Mayor Eric Garcetti was not spotted dancing but he did offer a spot check inventory on the scene and what it says about the city. 

    "It seems to be L.A.'s moment," he said, seconds after finishing a conversation with Trevor Noah. "It feels like L.A. is finally comfortable in its own skin."

    Streisand wasn't up for a long chat, but she did tell THR what she thought of the show. "I loved it," said the Oscar presenter as she exited the still-packed dance floor. Behind her was Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams who said that while "it's easy to get tangled in the pretension" of a night like Oscar night, he's inspired by what is found at the core of such a celebration. "It's a weekend full of people living out their dreams. I love to soak that in, blow off some steam, meet new people and just get inspired."

    Just then, Williams walked out to do that and behind him stood investigative reporting superstar Ronan Farrow. "I'm star struck," Farrow explained. "There's a lot of very important people here." While he's no doubt included in that bunch, Farrow was quick to deflect the compliment and shine the spotlight on the media business. "We're in a great moment for reporting in general," he added. "I'm honored that anyone knows my work and responds well to it." 

    Meanwhile, next to the restrooms, filmmaker Taika Waititi, dressed in the color of the night — pink — responded well to questions about what happened to his Postmates order from earlier in the weekend. "I feel so triumphant and so happy!" he said with a laugh. "I spent $60 on that food." 

    Deliveries aside, Waititi came to mingle and actually talk. "I prefer conversations that last longer than 20 seconds," he said. "So this can be a great party if you're into that." Amazon chief Jennifer Salke couldn't talk long because she was on a mission. "My daughter and I are going to find Joni Mitchell!"

    Outside on the smoking patio, Chris Evans and Aubrey Plaza were having that sort of chat — a long conversation that lasted more than five minutes until Evans broke to say hi to James Corden. Over their shoulder, Bill Maher cruised by. So what did the outspoken host think of the telecast?

    "I haven't seen it," he said. "Who won?" 

    After being informed that Green Book took home the best picture prize, Maher said, "I haven't seen that either. But I love Peter Farrelly." 

    So, maybe conversations don't come easily at first, but they do eventually get going. 

    "There are a few weekends a year where there are real parties in L.A. and this is one of them," Maher added. "Three people have offered me weed tonight, so it's a good night." Just then, a high-profile talent manager offered Maher her vape pen, which he declined. "It's really good weed, and I'm a really big fan," she said. Make that four. 

    Macro chief Charles King is a really big fan of his friend Ali, a winner for his role in Green Book. "I'm so happy for him, he's an incredible actor and a great family family. He deserves all great things. I'm also thrilled for Spike Lee, he played a huge part in me becoming an agent. We saw history being made tonight." 

    As for where he and wife Stacey were headed later? Maybe Beyoncé and Jay's party? If so, they weren't about to say. "We can never tell," she said. 

    If you get a guest to open up about the Vanity Fair party, one of the topics of conversation that typically come up are the unexpected group conversations that happen. For example, after his conversation with Plaza, Captain America star Evans chatted up shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Less shocking was the crowd surrounding Lee, who was gripping his best screenplay Oscar and posing for a constant stream of photos with everyone from Vin Diesel and Netflix chief Scott Stuber to David Boreanaz and Frances McDormand. 

    As the clock ticked past 1 a.m., the dance floor started to empty out and a stream of people headed for the valet. On the curb, Natasha Lyonne was looking for Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph was clutching an In-N-Out burger and Pamela Adlon jokingly wanted everyone to "just calm down." 

    Trudie Styler, who produced the Oscar winning short film Skin, told THR that she was ready to do just that but there was one problem. "I'm staying at the Chateau Marmont next to where Jay Z is having his party," said Styler, fresh from the Berlin Film Festival where she was on the jury. "So I told them that if its too loud there, I'm coming in for a night cap even though I wasn't invited." Oscar night: When conversations always come more easily than invites to the night's hottest parties. — Chris Gardner

  • Rami Malek's Champagne Showers at Governors Ball; Barbra Strisand Greets Star Fans

     Rami Malek
    Rami Malek
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Party: Governors Ball

    Players: Rami Malek, Barbra Streisand, Richard E. Grant, Glenn Close, Michael Barker, Brian May, Michael B. Jordan, among others.

    Place: Dolby Ballroom

    Served: Wolfgang Puck catering went all out with Oscar statuette-themed food like Puck's famous salmon pizza, chicken pot pie, short ribs and quail, among other dishes and a brimming spread of gold-colored desserts. Francis Ford Coppola Winery served as the official wine sponsor of the Oscars and Governors Ball for a third year. Approximately 2,400 bottles of wine was served, more than 14,000 glasses. Meanwhile, Piper-Heidsieck was the sole champagne of the Oscars for a fifth straight year.

    Inside Dish: Immediately after the show, a chunk of attendees made their way up the escalators from the Dolby to the Hollywood & Highland Center, past a bank of photographers and videographers waiting to interview nominees, and into a ballroom for the Governors Ball, hosted by the Academy's board of governors.

    As waiters passed around chicken pot pie, short rib and quail — which Barbra Streisand carefully inspected before meeting and taking a photo with her biggest fan, Richard E. Grant — nominees and winners spread throughout the room.

    Glenn Close, despite her shocking loss, was a good sport and attended, smiling and chatting away with her daughter, publicist, and Sony Classics co-chief Michael Barker. Queen's Brian May gamely posed for a long line of photos with fans.

    Ruth E. Carter, the best costume design winner, visited the seafood station after getting her new Oscar engraved in the back of the room.

    Diane Warren was there, too, having lost best original song for the 10th time — "At least I'm consistent," she cracked.

    Legendary Hollywood publicist Marvin Levy, who received an honorary Oscar in the same room back in November, celebrated the best picture win for Green Book with his wife Carol, as Rami Malek (who sprayed onlookers with a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck champagne while waiting for his best actor statue to be engraved) posed for photos with his team of representatives, and Michael B. Jordan waited for a drink at the bar and, with a slight smile, said in reference to Black Panther's showing, “Good night — Ruth, Hannah and Ludwig.” — Scott Feinberg

  • Barry Jenkins Talks Oscars PTSD; Elton John's Famous Friends Help Raise Funds for AIDS Research and Care

    Sir Elton John and Diana Ross
    Sir Elton John and Diana Ross
    Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF

    Party: Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party

    Players: Hosts Elton John and David Furnish, Heidi Klum, Eric McCormack, Lindsay Vonn, Gus Kenworthy, Patricia Arquette, Stephen Moyer & Anna Paquin, Chris Colfer, Taron Egerton, Terry Crews, Crazy Rich Asians’ Nico Santos and Survivor’s Zeke Smith, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara, Billy Zane, John Ratzenberger, Barry Jenkins, Brody Jenner, Chase Crawford, Patricia Clarkson, The Killers, Tiffany Haddish, Diane Lane, Amy Linklater, Our Lady J and Janet Mock

    Place: West Hollywood Park by the Pacific Design Center

    Served: Passed hors d’oeuvres such as grilled raisin bread, mascarpone, gorgonzola and Asian pear sandwiches; endive cups with persimmon, feta and micro mint; kiwis wrapped with prosciutto and topped with balsamic glaze; open-face New England lobster rolls with tarragon aioli; Beggar's purse with chicken and asparagus and sun-dried tomato; blue crab cakes. Dinner included a four-course meal starting with roasted beets and parsnip and coconut soup; choice of short ribs braised for 12-hours with garlic risotto or pan-roasted sea bass with sweet corn soufflé; Treviso radicchio salad; and chocolate tart, yuzu sorbet and candied caramel popcorn for dessert. 

    Inside Dish: A posh, dusty pink room beneath a white tent served as the gathering spot for 900+ well-heeled L.A. socialites looking to celebrate the Oscars in style. Cocktail hour lasted from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., where guests in a clear tent sipped on themed cocktails like “The Black Tie” (Ciroc Black Raspberry, lemon, raspberry and sparkling wine) and “The Leading Lady” (Don Julio tequila, fresh grapefruit, lime, agave, soda water). The sky was sunny and inviting.

    Guests took their seats at 5 p.m. sharp for the Oscar telecast on screens scattered throughout the dining room. John and Furnish took to the stage for a special salute to the crowd. “Welcome to the 27th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party,” John told the crowd, thanking sponsors IMDb, Mercedes-Benz, American Airlines and special musical guest, The Killers. Furnish then instructed guests to follow instructions on the screen to make donations to the EJAF through a phone number provided.

    Messages from patrons then flashed across the screens during commercials breaks. “$5 from Tiffany Haddish,” read one. “Just playin’ — $500.” Another from Patricia Arquette left $5,000 in the name of her sister, Alexis Arquette, who died in 2016 from HIV/AIDS-related complications.

    Once the awards concluded a charity auction began. One item up for auction — a 2016 photo of Lady Gaga by Mark Selinger — went to a winning bid of $50,000. A pink neon sign reading “The Heart has its reasons” by artist Tracy Edmin went for $140,000. And a hot-pink pop-art image of Queen Elizabeth II with her eyes closed by Canadian artist Chris Levine entitled Lightness of Being went for $350,000. Later a woman on the stage pledged, “I have seven luxury cars and I will sell whatever I have to to get that piano.” She was referring to a grand piano John himself was playing, tinkling chords from “Bennie and the Jets” to the delight of the crowd. It went for $380,000. All the money raised went to AIDS research and care.

    At around 9:30 p.m. an influx of new guests swarmed into the event, breathing new life into it. Terry Crews stood in a buffet line with his wife, wearing the male accessory of the season: a harness. This one appeared to be made out of alligator skin. (Asked who designed it, Crews said, “I did. I had it custom made.”)

    Barry Jenkins stood by a bar and called the evening “interesting.” Then added to THR: “I’ll say this: It was efficient. Three hours 15 minutes.” Asked if he had PTSD when best picture was called — a callback to two years ago when his film Moonlight was best picture but La La Land was announced — he responded with a laugh, “Just getting out of the car I had a little PTSD. But who am I? I’m just a guy who made two movies.” 

    Olympic snowboarding star Gus Kenworthy dished on his favorite moment in the evening: “Without a doubt Olivia Colman’s speech,” he said without a moment’s hesitation. “She was so surprised and so genuine and ended it by blowing a kiss to Lady Gaga!”

    Our luck ran out with Taron Egerton, sadly, who, when asked if he had any comment about the evening, said, “I don’t, I’m afraid. I’m tapping out for the night,” then fled into the ballroom and the strains of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside.” 

    Chase Crawford was game, however, standing by the limo line, we asked him what the highlight of his evening was.

    “Meeting Patricia Clarkson,” he said with a smile. “I met her at the bar. That was cool.” — Seth Abramovitch

     

  • Fox’s Afterparty, Packed With Winners, Hits Capacity

    From left: Brian May, Rami Malek and Roger Taylor
    From left: Brian May, Rami Malek and Roger Taylor
    Courtesy of Todd Williamson/JanuaryImages

    Party: Fox and Fox Searchlight Oscar Afterparty

    Players: Rami Malek, Alex Honnold, Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Nicholas Hoult, Brian May, Roger Taylor, The Favourite cinematographer Robbie Ryan

    Place: Hollywood Athletic Club

    Served: Buffet with truffle mac 'n' cheese, chicken rice pilaf, kale & cheese ravioli, Aussie ratatouille pies (vegan), and prime rib; and hand-passed appetizers including an open-faced Rueben sandwich, garlic bread and mini cheesecakes; coffee station; dessert pancake station; specialty cocktails including "The Oscar," made up of vodka, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and soda water.

    Inside Dish: By about 10:45 p.m., FOX’s afterparty was so packed that the fire marshal was not allowing any more guests to enter, with security telling partygoers waiting outside that the party was “at capacity.” But 20 minutes later, the doors were back open, and many rushed to get in.

    One ambitious woman attempted to get into the party by telling security at check-in that her name was “Colman, Olivia.” But the guard was quick to send her away since she was, in fact, not the British Oscar winner (and wasn’t even trying to be British).

    For those who were able to get past the velvet rope, they were greeted by a blue and gold-motif fete, a sprawling party that took over at least four rooms of the building.

    In one corner, Rami Malek was swarmed by people trying to snap a photo with the best actor winner, or even just get a look at him. He didn’t stay long, making his way out within 30 minutes.

    Nearby, Bohemian Rhapsody’s Oscar winning sound team including Jon Warhurst, Nina Hartstone and Paul Massey were celebrating (with their statuettes floating around the room), along with the team from Queen Productions. A favorite moment from the show for them? Queen’s performance, of course. Near the red carpet, Queen’s Brian May was spotted with his wife, although he looked a bit overwhelmed by the attention, unable to go a few steps without someone asking to snap a photo with him.

    Guests could snack on passed plates of garlic toast and open face Reubens or opt for a full dinner buffet (featuring mac 'n' cheese, chicken rice pilaf and prime rib and onions). A dessert pancake making station was also set up at the party and featured chocolate shavings from a rotating spit manned by two waiters.

    One party goer was not pleased with the smaller pieces of chocolate being shaved off and decided to take matters into her own hands, commandeering the shaver from a waiter and using it and her hands to dispense larger pieces of chocolate. She then offered the larger chocolate shavings to guests waiting for the pancakes, who declined.

    In another corner, Free Solo’s director Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi also had their Oscar statuettes in hand. “There was a lot of love in that room,” Chin told THR of his first experience at the Oscars. “It’s so great. It’s definitely great when you win.” Nearby climber Alex Honnold was also chatting with several partygoers.

    In another room, several cast and crew from The Favourite were sequestered, with Nicholas Hoult among them. At one point, the DJ played a Taylor Swift song and some partygoers could be heard saying, “Is she here?” (Swift is dating The Favourite actor Joe Alwyn and was present at the celebration).

    Several partygoers dancing along to the music late into the night, even as most of the Oscar winners made their way to the exits by 11:30 p.m. Fox also decorated the space with a slew of its best picture statuettes from throughout the years, a fitting tribute to the studio’s storied history — and a fitting goodbye during what is likely the studio’s final Oscar party, as it prepares to be folded into Disney. — Rebecca Ford, Mia Galuppo and Carolyn Giardina

  • John Legend Jokes About Envelopegate, Chrissy Teigen Auctions off 'Real Housewives' Marathon at Entertainment Studios Party

    John Legend (left) and Byron Allen
    John Legend (left) and Byron Allen
    Courtesy of Dylan King/Entertainment Studios

    Party: Byron Allen and Entertainment Studios Oscar Gala 

    Players: Hosted by Jamie Foxx, the party featured a post-Oscars performance by John Legend and onstage appearance by wife Chrissy Teigen. Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Babyface and Anthony Anderson came late to catch Legend's show, and Entertainment Studios head Byron Allen, Kathy Griffin, David Alan Grier, Jon Lovitz and Omarosa Manigault came early for the watch party. 

    Place: Beverly Wilshire

    Served: First course of arugula salad with beets and goat cheese, followed by an entrée of grilled chicken, Chilean sea bass, Israeli couscous and grilled asparagus. For dessert, a praline-vanilla tart with praline mousse and candied hazelnuts. During Legend's set, waiters passed trays of grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, sliders and french fries. 

    Inside Dish: Entertainment Studios head Allen, who arrived with his wife Jennifer Lucas and their three children, hosted the Oscars viewing and afterparty for the third year, telling THR on the red carpet that "this year Mr. Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx is again gracing us with our amazing talents and we have a piece of history, first African-American and youngest person to ever win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony – an EGOT – John Legend. It's just an honor to have him here." 

    Griffin joked that she came to the party because "sometimes I like to watch Byron Allen just count his money, so I hear there's a big money counting ceremony later. And then Jamie Foxx just cries, because let's face it, Byron could buy and sell everyone here 100 times over. And of course I want to see John Legend perform." The comedian added that she was rooting for Glenn Close to take home best actress at the Oscars because "her reaction at the Golden Globes was so emotional and I just think she's really cool." 

    Kimiko Glenn, who voices Peni Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, said the nomination for best animated film (and later, the win), "feels unreal. I mean, once I saw it, I understood it for sure, it's an amazing film. I'm so excited." 

    Inside the party, guests dined while the Oscars telecast was shown on a dozen screens around the Beverly Wilshire ballroom. The room erupted in applause when Ruth E. Carter won best costume design for Black Panther, and again when Spike Lee won best adapted screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed "Shallow" on the Oscars stage, the room went quiet and large groups stood around the screens, watching the duet and clapping at the end. 

    When Green Book won best picture, the last award of the night, the ballroom once again filled with applause, and as the team gave its speech, Jamie Foxx hopped on the microphone to get the party started. As the DJ played, Foxx danced through the crowd, standing up a chair at one point, before making his way to the stage. 

    From the stage, Foxx rounded up women up at the gala to join him, calling for "all of you sexy, independent women." He danced with a group of 20 to 30 ladies at the front of the room, breaking it down to Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson songs. He called up various married couples to the stage, including one couple who had been together for 53 years, joking that it's "hard to stay together in Hollywood for 53 minutes." 

    At one point during the dance party, the DJ played Kanye West's smash hit "Gold Digger," which Foxx is featured on. He asked the crowd, "Do you think I should do it live?," then proceeded to rap his portions of the song. Later, he also sang his hit "Blame It." At one point, Foxx stopped the music to acknowledge the night's big Oscar winners, saying, "Give it up for Spike Lee and Mahershala [Ali] and Regina [King] and Ruth Carter and Obama," followed by his Barack Obama impression. 

    Shortly before Legend took the stage, Quincy Jones arrived at the party. Allen, who was on stage at the time, spotted Jones and told him, "I've been waiting all night for you. That is one of the most talented, beautiful men you'll every know. I love you, beautiful. You're going to make John Legend nervous sitting right there." 

    The Oscars gala, which also raised money for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, included an auction, and Allen brought Chrissy Teigen up on stage to auction off something personal. An admittedly drunk Teigen joked, "whatever you want, just bid and I'll do it," before auctioning a cooking lesson in her and Legend's home for eight people, as well as a Real Housewives binge-watching session. When bidding slowed, Teigen added that "you can take a shot out of John's Grammy," and the guest could choose from whatever season and city of Housewives they like, since she has them all on hand. Allen himself ended up as the final bidder, pledging $60,000 for he and his wife. 

    When Legend came on stage for his hour-long set, he introduced himself as "Chrissy Teigen's husband." He played a number of his hits, including "Ordinary People," "All of Me," "Love Me Now" and "A Good Night," and at one point played "Start A Fire," his song from La La Land. "It's Oscar night, I was part of an Oscar-winning film, and then it wasn't," Legend joked, referencing 2017's Envelopegate. 

    Stevie Wonder entered the party in the middle of his performance, and Legend stopped the show to shout out "three of my heroes in the crowd tonight," with Wonder, Jones and Babyface. Legend ended his set with his Oscar-winning song "Glory," saying "I had to do this one on Oscar night." The song, from Selma, is about Martin Luther King Jr.'s march for equal voting rights, and the singer said, "sometimes it's frustrating because it feels like we're still marching for the same things, but I won't give up and I hope you won't give up either. I know that one day when the glory comes it will be ours." — Kirsten Chuba

  • Inside the Party Where 'Roma' Actually Won

    From left: Jess Morales Rocketto, Rashida Jones, Olga Segura, Monica Ramirez, Eva Longoria, Onelia Ramirez, Rosanna Arquette and Alicia Garza
    From left: Jess Morales Rocketto, Rashida Jones, Olga Segura, Monica Ramirez, Eva Longoria, Onelia Ramirez, Rosanna Arquette and Alicia Garza
    Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

    Party: National Domestic Workers Alliance Oscars Viewing Party

    Players: Rosanna Arquette, Dolores Huerta, Rashida Jones, June Diane Raphael, Tarana Burke, among others.

    Place: The Jane Club

    Served: Black bean tostadas, mac and cheese gratin, sushi, plus Oscar-shaped cookies and Roma Negroni cocktails

    Inside Dish: A hush came over the room when Roma director Alfonso Cuaron appeared on the screen.

    Some women clutched posters of his movie’s lead actress, Yalitza Aparicio. Some knelt on the floor in their gowns from Rent the Runway, their faces made up by artists from MAC.

    When Cuaron used his speech to praise “the 70 million domestic workers in the world,” the partygoers, a collection of domestic workers and activists invited by Roma producer Participant Media, erupted in shouts and applause.

    Roma invites us to see the sacrifices domestic workers make to make our lives more comfortable,” said activist Dolores Huerta. “We don’t have a culture of respecting people who work with their hands.”

    The party was the first event at the newly opened, multi-level Jane Club, a woman’s work space on Larchmont Boulevard, created by Grace & Frankie actress June Diane Raphael and producer Jess Zaino.

    Revelers mingled among several rooms showing the telecast on big-screen TVs, partaking in theme cocktails, including the “Cleo the Shero,” named for Aparicio’s character in Roma, with vodka, red currant juice and chartreuse.

    Rosanna Arquette brought the woman she calls “the heroine in my home,” Onelia Ramirez, who has worked for Arquette since the actress was pregnant with her now 24-year-old daughter. “I would not have made it through these years without her,” Arquette said.

    “It’s nice for people to see that we do a lot for families,” said Ramirez, who wore a pair of Arquette’s Gucci shoes. Cha Murdock, a caregiver from San Diego, said she felt Roma just scratched the surface of the experiences of women who work in jobs like hers. “There are so many stories that have not yet been told,” Murdock added.

    After one of Roma’s three Oscar wins for the night, the group was shouting “sí, se puede,” but they quieted down when the first notes of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of "Shallow" began.

    Though it was a party in honor of Roma, attendees confessed to rooting for some other movies as well. “I have to tell you,” said Huerta, who appeared on stage at last year’s Oscars during the performance of "Stand Up For Something." “I love Spike Lee.” — Rebecca Keegan

  • Lady Gaga's Oscar Performance Dominates the Mercedes-Benz Oscar Viewing Party

    Party: Mercedes-Benz Oscar Viewing Party

    Players: The "voice of Mercedes-Benz," Jon Hamm, was the first through the door; Jamie Foxx was fashionably late; and in between they were joined by Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kelly Rowland, Ron Artest, Jessica Szohr, Charlie XCX, Danielle Savre, Anne Winters, Mykelti Williams, Ross Butler, Jake Choi, Kimrie Lewis, Ian Reed Kesler and Kenya Barris

    Place: Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills

    Spread: Charcuterie, beef sliders, fried chicken and waffles, chicken quesadillas, strawberry and ricotta cheese on toast, popcorn, yellowtail tuna tacos, spring rolls, bacon wrapped dates, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, housemade marshmallows, raspberry pop tarts.

    Inside Dish: At the Academy Awards, everyone wanted to take home a little gold statue, but at the Mercedes-Benz Oscar viewing party, guests would have been happy to take home the chrome gold Mercedes AMG GT 63 that greeted attendees as they walked through the doors to one of Oscar night’s most elegant soirees.

    The luxury car maker transformed the Four Seasons ballroom into a lux lounge with dozens of couches and a four-sided bar, so guests never had to go far for their next glass of champagne.

    Jon Hamm looked sharp as he strolled down the black carpet in a navy blue, corduroy Brunello Cucinelli tux. He shared with reporters who he most hoped would take home the Oscar.

    “I was pretty impressed by the woman Yalitza [Aparicio] in Roma. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before. I loved that film. I was really deeply affected by it.”

    Red carpet fashion was the hot topic of discussion and Tracee Ellis Ross needed only three words to tell THR how she put together her Oscar look. “It’s Versace, baby!” she shouted before disappearing into the party.

    Inside the ballroom, the energy was high and the drinks were flowing with guests enjoying specialty cocktails like the tequila-based The Best or Nothing or a cool Red Carpet Ready, made with strawberry basil infused vodka and lemonade.

    While there wasn’t a formal sit-down dinner, there was no shortage of delicious eats as waiters walked through the crowd with a never-ending stream of beef sliders, chicken quesadillas, bacon wrapped figs and other party foods.

    One young guest saw her red carpet selfie-session interrupted with the late arrival of Jamie Foxx and a half dozen photographers and she wasted no time jumping into frame for a few shots with the A-lister.

    Speaking with reporters, Foxx explained he couldn’t really pick an Oscar favorite to cheer for because he wanted to support all of the artists.

    “It’s about us being kids back in the day when we were in Texas or Oklahoma or wherever we’re from. Playing make-believe and to be able to walk down these red carpets, sometimes I think that gets lost a little bit. It’s really about the people watching their dreams unfold.”

    Oscar night was also date night for many of the celebs in attendance. Anne Winter, Ron Artest and Mykelti Williamson were all seen snuggling with their respective boos while watching the awards.

    And because it’s hard to keep a glam look together over the course of a three-plus-hour show, guests could have their makeup touched up, their hair redone or even receive a relaxing hand massage at stations provided by Orlane Paris, T3 and Priv.

    The evening featured two show-stopping moments, the first being when Spike Lee won his Academy Award and guests actually shushed each other to hear his acceptance speech. The second was the performance by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The raucous party became library quiet, as guests were obsessed with watching the electric chemistry between the two when they performed their Oscar-winning song "Shallow."

    And the end of the Awards was not the end of the party, with guests staying long into the night to drink a last glass of champagne, eat from the over-the-top dessert bar featuring cookies, cake pops and homemade marshmallows and chat about their favorite Oscar moments. — Alex Cramer

     

  • Dennis Quaid, Doug E. Fresh Turn Cinemoi Oscar Pre-Party into an Oscar Afterparty

    Party: Cinemoi Benefiting Children Uniting Nations

    Players: Dennis Quaid and The Sharks, Doug E. Fresh, and cast and crew from the Oscar-winning, live action short Skin, singers Jaki Nelson, Marieme, and Brittani Washington, and many actors from shows such as The Romanoffs, NCIS Los Angeles, Stuck In The Middle, and Speechless.

    Place: The original Warner Brothers estate owned by Daphna Edwards Ziman in Beverly Hills.

    Served: Gelato and Angels set up their cart outside of the dinner party tent, a clear sign that dessert would be served before dinner. Guests treated themselves to spaghetti-styled gelato sundaes topped with strawberry syrup along with donuts infused with gelato and Nutella while waiting for servers to bring forth the entrees. On the dinner menu: grilled pear salad covered in balsamic vinaigrette topped with caramelized walnuts, red tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles. Afterward, a stuffed chicken breast with spinach, fresh mozzarella, artisan artichokes with white caper sauce and baked salmon with orange miso sauce topped with shredded coconut.

    Inside Dish: “It’s for kids,” Dennis Quaid told THR after exciting the crowd with jokes and a rendition of "Great Balls of Fire." “This is our third or fourth time we’ve done this party. We love to come back; it’s such a good feeling here with everybody.”

    Attendees that partied also helped Daphna Edwards Ziman raise funds for “the most vulnerable and voiceless children,” Ziman told THR before explaining that she wanted the Cinemoi and Children Uniting Nations Oscar party to be a fun event that would also inspire people to get involved and “become an academic mentor.”

    All for a good cause, guests walked a red carpet into an auction showcasing Taylor Swift’s American flag guitar and other star-powered fanfare. They then passed bars serving Dulce Vida-sponsored cocktails before entering a heated tent lined with televisions for Oscar viewing.

    Guests chatted, mingling with one another under a see-through ceiling lined with gold holiday lights. Cinemoi chose a tent with clear sidewalls, wanting people to still see the afterparty happenings even if they were outside the tent, the event producer Robert Merrill told THR. “So that everyone gets the same feel.”

    When the cast of Skin suddenly stood up and began cheering, everyone knew that the live action short had won its Oscar category. Groups of people clustered around them, filming their reaction on their phones before requesting pictures.

    The Oscars soon ended, and the party host made an announcement for all attendees to shake the hand of the person beside them. House music filled the space, signaling the beginning of a fashion show. A model entered soon followed by another model, then another, all wearing designer Adolfo Sanchez’s flowing, beaded gowns.

    By the time Dennis Quaid and Doug E. Fresh kicked off the afterparty, guests were already buzzed, filled with gelato, and ready to party the night into the morning. — Lorraine Wheat

  • Cathy Schulman, Sandy Powell Call Out “Ridiculous Disparity” in Female Nominees

    Yalitza Aparicio (left) and Glenn Close
    Yalitza Aparicio (left) and Glenn Close
    Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

    Party: Women in Film party

    Players: WIF's Cathy Schulman and Kirsten Schaffer, Glenn Close, Marina de Tavira, Yalitza Aparicio, Regina King, Eva Longoria, Rita Ora, Angela Bassett, Kiki Layne, Betsy West, Julie Cohen, Jaime King, Sandy Powell, Rachel Morrison, Domee Shi, Becky Neiman-Cobb, Rayka Zehtabchi, Shannon Dill, Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Jaime Ray Newman, Christina Steinberg, Connie Britton, Lake Bell, Angela Sarafyan, Kate Bosworth, Rowan Blanchard, Lynette Howell Taylor, Diane Warren, Nia Vardalos, Our Lady J, Felicity Huffman, Kimiko Glenn, Gabriela Rodriguez, Diane Quon, Lily Sullivan, Liana Liberato, Erika Christensen, Fiona Xie, Candice Patton, Haley Lu Richardson, Alexandra Shipp, Maria Bello, Ceci Dempsey, Cindy Chupack, Yolonda Ross, Hannah Minghella, Kristine Belson, Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan

    Place: Spring Place Beverly Hills

    Served: Small bites including spring rolls and skewered chicken; Chloe wine and Stella Artois lager, spritzer and cider with vodka, ginger beer and pomegranate juice; black and white dessert bar with chai latte macarons, chocolate-dipped pretzels, white chocolate truffles, cake pops and black and white cookies. To celebrate female nominees, Stella Artois commissioned a custom Stella Artois Cidre cocktail for the party dubbed the "Red Carpet Fizz" along with the Stella Artois Spritzer.

    Inside Dish: Double-nominated costume designer Sandy Powell and president emerita of Women in Film Cathy Schulman kicked off the 12th annual Women in Film Oscars party by calling out the “ridiculous disparity” in male versus female nominees.

    The co-hosts then toasted to the 61 female Oscar noms of 2019 and invited them to come to the mic and announce themselves. Nominated producers and directors of Bao, Minding the Gap, RBG, Free Solo, Period. End Of Sentence., A Star is Born, The Favourite, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Skin and more projects took to the stage for a group photo.

    “These are many of the below the line women that make movies … What you see is their work,” Schulman said. “I would say we are at the height of the women's gender parity movement in Hollywood.”

    Powell (The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns) also reflected on gender equality in her speech, in which she discussed androgynous style and her work on the forthcoming Gloria Steinem biopic directed by Julie Taymor.  

    “Here we are in 2019 and as you know there is a ridiculous disparity between male and female nominees … But looking around at all the amazing women in this room tonight, knowing that Gloria Steinem herself is still going strong, I can be hopeful that things will change,” Powell told the crowd. “We are at a particularly dangerous juncture in history right now, so the conversations we are having are especially important. … We need to hear from young women of all backgrounds and ethnicities who are still in school.”

    The costume designer called on the women in the room to mentor and encourage others, “so our industry and the world can move forward. … I'd like to be working with female grips and electricians one day.”

     

     

    Later at the event, Frances Fisher and Connie Britton hugged and laughed when they ran into each other. Erika Christensen grooved to “That's What I Like” by Bruno Mars, while Eva Longoria chatted with friends. Singer Rita Ora and Pose writer/star Our Lady J were each spotted by the Chloe black and white dessert bar, where two giant ice sculptures of their wine bottles were on display.

    Angela Bassett darted through the crowd for photos on the main stage with The Chi actress Yolonda Ross; the queen of Wakanda also snapped a group shot with Schulman, Felicity Huffman and Sex and the City producer Cindy Chupack. Meanwhile, best actress nominees Glenn Close and Yalitza Aparicio hugged it out on the carpet, just two days before they’ll see who takes home the trophy. — Lindsay Weinberg and Carolyn Giardina

  • WME Hosts Nominees Rami Malek and Richard E. Grant With "Spirit of Ed Limato"

    Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

    Party: WME

    Players: Rami Malek, Serena Williams, Amber Heard, Mahershala Ali, Amy Adams, Michael B. Jordan, Rosario Dawson, Gal Gadot, Mike Myers, Carey Mulligan, Miguel, Zachary Quinto, Kiki Layne, Pharrell Williams, Liam Hemsworth, Richard E. Grant, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Maher, Milo Ventimiglia, Rebel Wilson, Larry David, Dan Stevens, Brian May, Kid Cudi, Alessandra Ambrosio, Jenny Slate, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Pete Berg, Kali Uchis, Jasmine Tookes, Diane Lane, Greg Berlanti, Shepard Fairey, Jonah Nolan, Courtney B. Vance, Jason Clarke, Adam Devine, Wayne Gretzky, Diego Luna, Connie Britton, Michelle Rodriguez, Taylor Hill, Tyler the Creator, Josh Gad, Alex Israel, Lucy Boynton, Ginnifer Goodwin, Donna Langley, Pam Abdy, Wyck Godfrey, Stacy Kramer, Kyle MacLachlan and Desiree Gruber, Maria Menounos and Franklin Leonard.

    Place: Onetime Coldwater Canyon residence of legendary William Morris agent Ed Limato

    Served: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Jon & Vinny’s fame on catered the affair, dishing out vegan appetizers, sushi, their coveted pizza and late night tacos. Celebrity DJ Michelle Pesce served up the tunes, mixing hip-hop and dance hits.

    Inside Dish: The palatial estate received a few special accessories loaned out for the evening — art from Endeavor chief Ari Emanuel's personal collection with the Psychic Art Advisor by Lisa Anne Auerbach piece borrowed from the recent Frieze L.A. But there seemed to be something else in the air at this party, that might be permanently placed at the Heather Drive address. "I love this party — it feels like the spirit of Ed Limato is in the air," one actor told The Hollywood Reporter. This would be the weekend for it, too, as the legendary rep also made a name for himself hosting his own well-attended Oscar weekend bash. But this party was all current and that's why client Boots Riley was glad to be in the building. "It's great, I mean I got to go over and talk to Rami Malek and then go over and talk to Mahershala," the Sorry to Bother You director told THR on the blue carpet at the Spirit Awards on Saturday. "I talked to directors I never get to hang out [with]. I talked to Destin Cretton for a long time and realized that there are cool, regular people in this industry." Then there are rock gods. Queen rocker Brian May was spotted gliding through the party leaving lots of oohs and ahhhs in his wake. — Chris Gardner

  • Stars Go Green (And Get Lit) at Sunset Tower

    Mena Suvari (left) and Amanda Hearst
    Mena Suvari (left) and Amanda Hearst
    David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

    Party: Maison de Mode’s Second Annual Sustainable Style Gala and Afterparty

    PLAYERS: Amanda Hearst, Hassan Pierre, Caroline Scheufele, Karolína Kurkova, Petra Nemcova, Angela Lindvall, Tori Praver, Mena Suvari, Maye Musk, Lydia Hearst, Grace Mahary, Ellen von Unwerth, Gelila Assefa Puck, Allie Marie Evans, Zani Gugelmann, Oskar Metsavaht, Lucila Solá, Nadja Swarovski, Sasha Bikoff, Gisella Marengo, Carter Reum and Joachim Rønning.

    Place: Sunset Tower Terrace and Penthouse

    Served: Guests sat for a three-course meal starting with sustainably-farmed caviar followed by a bed of organic greens with shaved reggiano, grape tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. For their entrée, Impossible Tower Burgers were served with a choice of fresh fries or a quinoa vegetable medley. Completing the sit-down dinner, rounds of fresh chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies arrived. Afterparty trays brought around eucalyptus mint CBD vape-pens by Kurvana and plant-based meatballs. Kurvana used the occasion to unveil its new vape pen strain, High Fashion, from the ASCND High-Potency Line exclusively developed in honor of the Maison de Mode Sustainable Style Pre-Oscars fête.

    Inside Dish: For their second annual Sustainable Style Gala, Maison de Mode founders Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre honored Dr. Jane Goodall who accepted her Sustainable Style Award from Tanzania and Chopard’s Caroline Scheufele who was bestowed with the Designer of the Year Award.

    Arriving to the scene in Tesla’s and sustainable clothing from brands such as AMUR and Teatum Jones, the starry crowd was eager to discuss their green lifestyles.

    “I’ve been vegan for about two years now,” Mena Suvari said. “I’ve very much been a huge animal rights activist and proponent of anything that is sustainable (eco-fashion, cruelty-free fashion). I think it’s really important and incredible. We recently had Vegan Fashion Week and I think it’s a beautiful addition to the animal rights movement and I’m just excited to be here tonight.”

    The feeling was mutual as Karolína Kurkova noted, “I’m excited to be here and support friends. There are a lot of friends here tonight and in fashion who are changing the way they design and manufacture and the way they do things.”

    Naturally, with the gala falling on the eve of the Academy Awards, guests also had the Oscars on their minds.

    “I will be at the Elton John Oscars viewing party,” said Petra Nemcova who vowed to arrive in an eco-friendly gown. “I’ve been going for many years. I’m super excited to be there again to support his foundation and the HIV/AIDs research. It’s always fun because when you are watching with Elton, he has his favorite movies and favorite actors and he’ll let you know which movie he likes or not. It’s really funny.”

    Musk, who also makes a habit of dressing in sustainable-wear said of her Vanity Fair Oscar’s Party ensemble, “It’s quite fabulous. They always make things skin tight on me. I said, ‘Don’t I look too fabulous?’ My team said, ‘No, darling. Not for the Oscars you can’t look too fabulous.’

    As the gala ended, guests took the elevator up to the highest floor to indulge in a set of classic '80s tunes and eucalyptus and mint CBD-pens by Kurvana. Sans The Frug, the space was a modern version of Bob Fosse’s famous Sweet Charity dance scene with famous faces such as Kurkova and Zelda Williams in the crowd. — Ericka Franklin

  • Barry Jenkins Receives Standing-O at Shadow and Act's Rising Awards

    Barry Jenkins
    Barry Jenkins
    Quinnton Harris

    Party: Shadow and Act’s First Annual Rising Awards

    Players: Barry Jenkins, Lil Rel Howery, Logan Browning, Tetona Jackson, Blavity CEO and founder Morgan DeBaun, Nafessa Williams, Franklin Leonard, Jasmine Luv, Kendall Kyndall, Carvens Lissaint, Ben Corey Jones, James Bland, Larry Sims, Nijla Mu’min

    Served: Guests enjoyed champagne and bite-sized portions of avocado toast, cinnamon rolls and smoked salmon at the VIP reception. A family-style brunch was served during the awards which included a breakfast garden frittata, with roasted heirloom tomatoes, baby zucchini, pecorino and basil, as well as applewood smoked bacon, Idaho potatoes with heirloom peppers, banana bread French toast with roasted walnuts and maple syrup, seasonal fruit and mimosas. Goodies at the afterparty included the Churro Man truck, a cotton candy cart, chicken wings and a full bar with specialty cocktails such as the mango chili margarita and basil cucumber gimlet.

    Place: Grass Room DTLA

    Inside dish: An 11:30 a.m. start time did not dampen guests enthusiasm at Shadow and Act’s Rising Awards in downtown LA. The show had no red carpet and the late morning start on a bright sunny day gave the event an informal, garden party vibe. Attendees were still dressed to impress with men favoring brightly colored blazers and turtle necks and women in colorful day dresses.

    Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to covering African American entertainment news and managing editor Brooke Obie told THR how they hoped to make the Rising Awards stand out in a sea of awards shows.

    “This is a way for us to honor people in our industry who have been doing amazing things, who have been moving the culture forward and that’s what Shadow and Act is all about," she said. "We’re trying to find who’s coming up next so that we can let the world know and celebrate them and keep them encouraged.”

    Black List founder and honoree Franklin Leonard was one of the first to arrive for the pre-awards VIP reception, held in the Grass Room’s sunlit courtyard.

    Actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery definitely got the style memo, looking fresh in a mint-colored suit with a white turtleneck. He chatted and posed for pictures with Boomerang star Tetona Jackson, while Black Lighting star Nafessa Williams showed off a nearly ankle-length hair braid.

    Honoree and Dear White People star Logan Browning shared with THR why she was so happy to be recognized by Shadow and Act.

    “It is a dream really because ever since I have started working Shadow Act has always been in support of me," he said. "They feel like a big brother or big sister, always kind of cheering me on and sometimes in my career I’ve done things that aren’t in the biggest public eye of the industry and Shadow and Act always makes me feel special and seen.”

    After a lively cocktail hour, guests gathered in the main dining room for a family-style brunch, that included a garden frittata, bacon, fruit and plenty of mimosas. Family and community were major themes of the day, and the show began with the hosts Jasmine Luv and Kendall Kyndall asking all of the attendees to get out of their seats and introduce themselves to the people around them.

    If the Oscars want to run shorter, they could definitely take a lesson from the Rising Awards which clocked in at a brisk one hour from start to finish. The 32 honorees were divided into four groups; behind the scenes, executives, creators and actors/actresses, with one member from each group receiving the award on their behalf.

    Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins was also recognized with the Game Changer Award, and he received a standing ovation as he took to the stage. He spoke to THR about how it was great to win Oscars, but what most inspired him was the success of black films around the world.

    “Whatever walks across the stage is one thing, but I think what’s getting on the screen, what’s getting into audience’s hearts and minds as evidenced by a film with an all-black cast grossing a billion dollars this year and then you go to Get Out and Hidden Figures the years before, its like, yeah the progress is definitely a runaway train and there’s nothing that anybody can do about it."

    After the awards, Jenkins stole a quiet moment with Browning and apologized for not being able to direct an episode on the third season of Dear White People, but also discussed some future collaborations the two could work on together.

    The afterparty was a lively affair with a full open bar and plenty of music. Guests were dancing, snapping pics in a photo booth and having elaborate henna tattoos applied to their hands.

    Oscar parties and plans were on everyone’s minds as guests discussed where they planned to be and what they were going to wear to the dozens of parties around town this weekend.

    Browning offered THR a strong opinion about who she thought would be a great Oscar host after seeing her speak at an event the previous day. “Regina Hall would be a fantastic host, mark my words. Hopefully, someone hires her as a host because she had us in stitches just from being herself. She talked for like 30 minutes. Hilarious.” — Alex Cramer

  • Crudite, Cocktails & Cookies at Norah for 'Spider-Verse' and 'Green Book' Nominees

    From left: Verve's Bryan Besser and Amy Beecroft flank Peter Ramsey
    From left: Verve's Bryan Besser and Amy Beecroft flank Peter Ramsey
    Verve

    Party: Verve

    Players: Peter Ramsay, Chris Miller, Brian Curry, Nick Vallelonga, Kimberley Pierce, Stuart Ford

    Place: Norah

    Inside Dish: Verve vetted their Oscar nominated clients Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsay and Green Book writer Brian Curry at the new WeHo eatery Norah on Thursday evening.

    Along with the requisite meat and cheese, crudite and fresh fruit spread, industry exces like Stuart Ford, John Davis and Fox’s Matt Riley snacked on passed plates of cauliflower croquettes, house ricotta toast and Dungeness crab rice crackers.

    Ramsay arrived with his Spider-Verse crew, including fellow directors Rodney Rothman and Bob Persichetti, as well as writer-director Chris Miller, and Curry was joined by his co-writer Nick Vallelonga. 

    Partners Adam Weinstein and Bryan Besser gave a champagne toast (even though the passion fruit margaritas were the biggest hit of the night). Ramsay and Curry offered thanks of their own and giving a shout-out to The Favourite writer Deborah Davis, who was in attendance at the party and will be going up against Curry on Sunday night.

    As guests left the party, they grabbed a Milk Jar cookie (or two, or five) that were being given as parting favors with stickers that read: “We hope you had a sweet night.” — Mia Galuppo

  • Film Editors Dish on Deleted Scenes, Typecasting at Musso & Frank

    From left: Stephen Rivkin, Hank Corwin and Barry Alexander Brown
    From left: Stephen Rivkin, Hank Corwin and Barry Alexander Brown
    Courtesy of Peter Zakhary/Tilt Photo

    Party: The Motion Picture Editors Guild Invisible Art Visible Artists (IA/VA) Luncheon following American Cinema Editors 19th annual IA/VA panel with this year’s Oscar-nominated editors at The Egyptian Theatre

    Players: Oscar-nominated editors Barry Alexander Brown (BlacKkKlansman), John Ottman (Bohemian Rhapsody), Yorgos Mavropsaridis (The Favourite), Patrick J. Don Vito (Green Book) and Hank Corwin (Vice); Editors Guild president Alan Heim (Oscar winner for All That Jazz); ACE president Stephen Rivkin (Oscar nominated for Avatar); and guests including Oscar nominated editors Tatiana Riegel (I, Tonya), Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Sidney Wolinsky (The Shape of Water).

    Place: Musso & Frank Grill

    Served: Cream of tomato soup or baby iceberg wedge salad; New York steak, grilled salmon or linguine al pomodoro with mashed potatoes; French green beans & mushrooms and creamed spinach; New York-style cheesecake and hazelnut chocolate cake.

    Inside Dish: As guests arrived at the 100-year-old Hollywood landmark, Diane Adler, 95, an ACE 2015 Career Achievement Award winner, received warm wishes and thanks from the guests. She is among the volunteers that has worked on all 19 of the IA/VA programs.

    BlackKkKlansman’s Barry Alexander Brown talked about how the editing nominees have all become friends during the season. “Not only do I respect them, I like them. We have all had the same experiences and can joke around,” he said. “I’m not going to mind losing to any of these guys. I will stand up and applaud them.”

    During the panel and the luncheon, the noms were all smiles as they talked about shared experiences including being typecast (“[Green Book editor Patrick J. Don Vito] can cut the ‘60s,” joked Brown) and deleted scenes (Corwin described the musical number that was cut from Vice).

    Brown, who also directs, is getting ready to helm Son of the South, which he also wrote (and expects  to edit). But he may be getting help from one of his new friends and fellow nominees, Vice editor Corwin. “Hank has offered to help me. It would be great to have Hank come on, even if for a short time,” he told THR. — Carolyn Giardina

  • Spirit Awards Festivities Continue at Afterparty

    From left: John Waters, Josh Sapan and Diallo Riddle
    From left: John Waters, Josh Sapan and Diallo Riddle
    Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IFC Films

    Party: IFC Spirit Awards Afterparty

    Players: IFC Films’ Lisa Schwartz, Arianna Bocco and John Vanco; AMC Networks’ Josh Sapan, Spirit Awards nominees Carey Mulligan, Ari Aster, Jeremiah Zagar, and such other guests as John Waters, Alex Wolff, Miguel Arteta, Craig Johnson, Aaron Katz, Crystal Moselle, Nicolas Pesce, Mary Kay Place, Sophia Takal and Lucy Walker, among others.

    Served: The extensive dessert bar provided by HERS Bakery included sweet potato bourbon cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate and vanilla cake pops, sponge cake with strawberry and meringues, Oreo mousse cups and chocolate chip and s'mores cookies. For those not interested in a sugar rush there was also small bites of caprese salad on crostinis. Custom-made cocktails included a Monkey Shoulder Old Fashioned, Milagro Freshest Margarita, Hendrick’s Martini, Reyka Radio Collins and Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Gold Rush.

    Place: 41 Ocean

    The Scene: The Spirit Awards have long been seen as Oscar’s funkier little brother, with a laid-back, beach vibe that has always stood in contrast to the Academy’s buttoned-down image.

    At the awards show afterparty, held at the private club 41 Ocean, leather jackets and leopard print far outnumbered formal suits and gowns. After being complimented on her colorful heels one guest replied “I can only wear them in California. These don’t work in New Jersey.”

    John Waters, one of the spiritual godfathers of American independent film, arrived early and quickly settled into a back corner of the lounge, where he held court with friends and fans.

    The director told THR why he always tried to show support for the next generation of independent filmmakers.

    “Because they’re all juvenile delinquents. These are the bad kids that got thrown out of school that went to film school instead. They’re the ones that cause trouble and what happens is there’s this worry that once they have a hit, can they survive what happens next?”

    The Academy board member also shared with THR what he thought would bring excitement to this year’s Oscar ceremony.

    “I hope Oprah streaks!”

    Attendees hit the dessert bar hard with one enterprising guest even loading up a to-go container with pastries and sweets to take home.

    In addition to a full open bar, partygoers also had the opportunity to enjoy a sampling from a variety of different flavors of Dewar’s Whiskey.

    Carey Mulligan turned heads in a bejeweled white Chanel gown and the actress clearly enjoyed herself, despite losing out for best actress to Glenn Close.

    Despite the chilly Santa Monica weather, the party was quickly packed with hundreds of independent film fans and filmmakers.

    While a few bold-face names did make an appearance, this event was really for those who work so hard behind the scenes at IFC and the Sundance Film Festival as champions of independent film, and they partied deep into the night, enjoying one last soiree before Awards Season 2019 wraps up with Sunday’s big show. — Alex Cramer

  • Stephan James Celebrates Canadian Film at Canada’s Oscar Salute

    From left: Shamier Anderson, Zaib Shaikh and Stephan James
    From left: Shamier Anderson, Zaib Shaikh and Stephan James
    George Pimentel/Getty Images

    Party:  Canada’s Oscar Salute

    Players: Actors Stephan James, Shamier Anderson, Nia Vardalos, Kate Flannery, along with Oscar nominees Alison Snowden (Animal Behaviour), David Fine (Animal Behaviour), Domee Shi (Bao), Jeremy Comte (Fauve), Marianne Farley (Marguerite), Marie-Helene Panisset (Marguerite), Trevor Jimenez (Weekends). Hosted by The Canadian Consul General Mr. Zaib Shaikh.

    Place: The Canadian Residence

    Served: A “shorts” inspired menu — in honor of Canada’s historical achievements in short filmmaking — including short rib sliders, short grain rice scallop risotto, microgreens spring rolls, shrimp ceviche shooters, mini mac & cheese, lemon shortcake shooters, strawberry shortcake mousse, shortcrust pastry fruit tarts, and pecan shortbread.

    Inside Dish: From the heavy coats that guests were sporting to the chilly temperature in the backyard of the Los Angeles Canadian Residence, one may have thought the Canadian Oscar Salute was held back up north. However, there was plenty of warmth provided by Canadian actors and filmmakers — like Stephan James and Nia Vardalos — who gathered to celebrate Canadian achievement in film, along with this year’s Canadian Oscar nominees Friday evening.

    If Beale Street Could Talk star and Oscar presenter, Stephen James felt particularly proud to celebrate his Canadian heritage. James, who arrived at the party with his brother, Destroyer actor Shamier Anderson, in matching red letterman jackets told The Hollywood Reporter about the significance of the evening’s festivities.

    “This is such a special moment for us to be here. To get to look at our Canadian brethren and sistren in the eye and tell them how proud we are of the work we’ve accomplished for the year,” James told THR. “It’s so inspiring to be around so many people who come where you come from. Who’ve literally grown up the same way you’ve grown up and come from the same sort of industry. To come and have it translate and transition into the states and into the world in this type of way is a moment to be celebrated. To know myself and my brother, Shamier, have contributed to that in some small fashion is an incredible feeling. We’re just happy to be here and happy to be celebrating Canada.”

    The fact that five out of ten of this year’s Oscar-nominated short films were made by Canadians was not lost on Friday evening’s’ crowd, which included many representatives of those short films. The attendees snacked on a “shorts” themed menu of hors d’oeuvres and desserts — including short rib sliders and lemon shortcake shooters — to honor Canada’s legacy in short film production.

    Several nominees mentioned the importance of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) — a Canadian government agency which funds and produces Canadian films — to their own films and careers. Oscar-nominated director of Pixar’s animated short Bao, Domee Shi, told THR that she grew up watching NFB shorts, “I definitely think the NFB and Canadian shorts helped me get to where I am today because that’s how I was exposed to short-form storytelling. It’s really cool to be a part of that legacy because Bao is technically set in Toronto.”

    Shi commented on the night’s atmosphere adding: “Even though it's a big crowded party with lots of people — which I’m usually afraid of — I feel very comfortable here and very at home since everybody is Canadian. “

    The evening’s host, Canadian Consul General Mr. Zaib Shaikh believed that Canada’s legacy in short film can be attributed to the country’s diverse understanding of what cinema is:

    “The beauty of Canada's content creation is that — through engines like Telefilm and the National Film Board of Canada — the idea of filmmaking has always been much more diverse than say in a typical dream factory, like “Hollywood,” the Consul General told THR. “What filmmaking means to Canadians is all sorts of things and what they’ve really showcased is that they can tell diverse stories in diverse formats. The short film format is something we’ve excelled at because sometimes you got to get in, tell your story and get out and make sure it counted and we always do that.” — Alexander Modiano

  • Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee Dissect Black Films and Reflect on Careers

    Lee also spoke about #OscarsSoWhite from the podium at the Icon Mann Power 150 party.

    Samuel L. Jackson (left) and Spike Lee
    Samuel L. Jackson (left) and Spike Lee
    Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

    Party: Icon Mann Power 150 Dinner And Honors

    Players: Honorees Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee and Ruth E. Carter, along with friends and supporters Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, David Oyelowo, Michael Ealy and Stephan James. Marvel boss Kevin Feige was also on hand to celebrate Avengers star Jackson and former Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs gave a speech on behalf of Lee. 

    Place: Waldorf Astoria

    Served: A three-course meal starting with butternut squash soup, followed by a pan-seared black sea bass or chicken honey tagine entree. For dessert, warm chocolate cate, cocoa bean brittle and vanilla bean ice cream. 

    Inside Dish: The entrance to the party was filled with costumes spanning Ruth E. Carter's career, including pieces from SelmaAmistadRoots and Shaft. Most notably, several of the Black Panther costumes were on display, including Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger suit. Carter is nominated for an Oscar for best costume design for the superhero flick.

    David Oyelowo was one of the first stars on the red carpet, and told reporters how Spike Lee's films were "one of the reasons I came to America and wanted to be in Hollywood." The Selma actor took photos on the carpet with fans, and made sure they were happy with the pics before he went inside.

    If Beale Street Could Talk's Stephan James arrived at the party with a large crew in tow, briefly taking photos before sitting down at the dinner.

    Carter told THR she was most excited for Sunday's ceremony to "be together with the whole cast of Black Panther, of all of us being reunited and the possibility of us taking home the gold" for best picture. She also said she's rooting for Roma and The Favourite to win awards.

    Carter, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee stopped to take photos together on the carpet and even snapped a selfie. The three first worked together in 1988 on School Daze and have since collaborated on more than 15 films. Lee, an avid basketball fan, shut down the red carpet and chatted with reporters about the Duke-UNC basketball game earlier in the week. He also revealed that he doesn't have a speech written for the Oscars, where he is up for three awards and his film BlacKkKlansman is up for six.

    Inside the party, before dinner was served, Jackson was the most popular man in the room, taking photos and surrounded by those waiting to have a conversation with the star. Angela Bassett mingled with Don Cheadle and John Singleton, and stopped for a picture with America's Next Top Model's J. Alexander. Cheadle and Carter also spent time sharing jokes and posing for photographers. Lee went over to the band as they were winding down their performance to compliment their set.

    Marvel boss Kevin Feige presented Jackson with his award, calling him "an everyman who is everything but. When Sam Jackson comes on screen, you know he means business... without Nick Fury, without Sam Jackson, this is no exaggeration, the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn't exist. He ties it all together, 23 films now." Feige also teased Jackson for his seemingly ageless appearance, joking that when the star was to appear younger in Captain Marvel, "we saved a lot of money on visual effects. We just take the eye patch off and add a little hair."

    Accepting his Icon Award, Jackson remembered his early struggles and start in the business with Lee, as well as the impact of the women (his mother and aunts) in his life. "They constantly reminded me when I left home that I represented them, and not only that I represented them, but I represented my race. So get out there and do what you do and make sure you don't embarrass us." As for his career as one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, Jackson said, "This road that I've been on is not something that I planned, just something that happened. Every day when I got up when I was a kid, the grown people in my house went to work, so I get up and try to go to work every day. There's only so many acting opportunities you have in this lifetime, I want to have as many as I can."

    When it was time for Lee to accept his Legacy Award, the director discussed the award season success of BlacKkKlansman, but rather than taking personal credit, said it was due to the #OscarsSoWhite movement. He brought former Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to the stage with him and told the crowd that Isaacs and #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign "are the reason why we got nominations... they are responsible for all these black folks getting nominations," largely because of how they've helped change the number of women and people of color within the Academy. Later, he said that the success of black films tend to be a trend, and that "every 10 years black folks get awards."  — Kirsten Chuba
     
  • Hilary Swank, Zoe Saldana, Allison Janney and Tiffany Haddish Party It Up at Chateau Marmont

    Allison Janney (left) and Hilary Swank
    Allison Janney (left) and Hilary Swank
    Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Cadillac

    Party: Cadillac

    Players: Hilary Swank, Zoe Saldana, Allison Janney, John Stamos, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Zachary Quinto, Christoph Waltz, Tiffany Haddish

    Place: Chateau Marmont

    Spread: There was no shortage of Veuve Cliquot at the annual cocktail party, which also featured three full bars and hors d’oeuvres like chicken sliders, beef sliders, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, fried cauliflower and salmon tartar passed around by waiters.

    Inside Dish: “This is so L.A.,” said a New York attendee as guests, consisting largely of PR, press and miscellaneous, mingled inside the Chateau Marmont, scanning the space for famous faces.

    Recognizable names were definitely there to be spotted in the crowd. Inside the courtyard, John Stamos and wife Caitlin McHugh were having an extended chat with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, while Liev Schreiber was laughing with a group of friends next to Jessica Paré, arm in arm with her partner John Kastner.

    Christoph Waltz waltzed past the reporters on the red carpet and headed straight for the inside, where, circling the yard, were Joe Mazzello, Zachary Quinto, Adam Pally and Zoe Saldana, who made a quick entrance and exit, but an appearance none the less.   

    In the center of the courtyard, where tables were reserved for VIP guests, last year’s best supporting actress winner Allison Janney was holding court, chatting with Hilary Swank, taking pictures with Tiffany Haddish and palling around with Schreiber. It was Janney’s first Oscar party of the week and a nice buildup to Sunday’s awards. 

    “I’m really looking forward to being a part of that,” said Janney, who for a while had also been on the receiving end of the never-ending Oscar shake-up.

    “It stepped on a lot of people’s toes — mine included. I just thought it was a time-honored tradition to have the previous winners present, and I thought, ‘I guess they don’t always have to do that, so I should be ok with it,’ but I’m glad, in the end, that I get to present along with Gary [Oldman], Frances [McDormand] and Sam [Rockwell]. I think they were trying to make it a little different and stepped on people’s toes but I think everyone is…you know, I don’t even know at this point what’s happening. I’m just going to be there and have a great time.” 

    In the process of enjoying herself at the Cadillac party, Janney also possibly made a young actor’s dreams come true. The Night Of’s Ariya Ghahramani ended up running into the actress at the party just as he received notice that he was going to audition for her sitcom the following morning. “She was standing right next to me, so I walked up to her and said, 'I have an audition for you tomorrow.' She said, ‘You’re lying!’ so I said the character and she said, ‘Take a picture with me and tell the casting director you know me,’” Ghahramani told THR, showing the picture of the two of them on his iPhone.   

    While DJ Michelle Pesce played one danceable hit after another, from Donna Summer’s "Bad Girls" to Madonna’s "Dress You Up" and "Vogue," it wasn’t until after 11 p.m. that guests started to feel the beat – maybe appropriately so to George Michael’s "Freedom."   

    “I’m usually in bed by now,” said mother of 1-year-old Bodhi, Nikki Reed, who despite sleep deprivation looked like she was in her element as she and husband Ian Somerhalder made the rounds in the brisk 39-degree night. 

    Also taking precious time away from their 10-month-old son, Stamos and McHugh were happily hamming it up in front of the cameras, but moments later Stamos shared more serious thoughts about awards season. “I guess this goes against coming here, but it just feels like a weird time to be patting ourselves on the back. I think there’s a lot of discourse right now, and decency is at a low and [there are other] places we should be putting our energy and our time and attention,” he said, then adding with a smile, “but, I’m saying, tonight is fun.” — Carita Rizzo

  • Ava DuVernay Caps Off Jam-Packed Day at Charles D. King's Macro Bash: "Everyone is Out"

    Andrew Toth/Getty

    Party: Macro's Pre-Oscar Party

    Players: Mahershala Ali, Andre Holland, Ava DuVernay, Angela Bassett, David Oyelowo, Spike Lee, Tiffany Haddish, Kelly Rowland, Jesse Williams, Susan Kelechi Watson, cast members of Queen Sugar, Charles Burnett, Damson Idris, Debra Martin Chase, DeWanda Wise, Dondre Whitfield, Geoffrey Fletcher, Hannah Beachler, Keith Powers, Kendrick Sampson, Mara Brock Akil, Michael Ealy, Mimi Valdes, Omar Dorsey, Rick Famuwiya, Ruth E. Carter, Tim Story and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, among many others.

    Place: Casita Hollywood

    Served: Bartenders showed off sleek, black-tie 'fits while shaking up Courvoisier cocktails like the "Don't Be Chai" (Courvoisier, chai almond orgeat); "Club Cocktail," "Goodfellow" (Courvoisier, pineapple, lemon, maraschino liqueur and angostura bitters); and Casita Margarita. 

    Inside Dish: Thursday night's celebration could've been billed as a way to toast Macro's mega-week — Charles D. King's media company is red hot after signing a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures and announcing a co-production with Ryan Coogler on Jesus Was My Homeboy about iconic Black Panther Party member Fred Hampton with Shaka King to direct and Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield set to star — but King said his intentions far from self-serving. 

    "First of all, we’re celebrating the culture. There’s a renaissance happening for storytellers of all backgrounds and all of these incredible artists who have been pushing the needle and pushing the culture forward. We wanted to make sure that we celebrated them tonight. That’s what this party is about," he told The Hollywood Reporter. But he did open up a bit about the week's news, explaining that "it was a long time coming, working towards figuring out what the right relationship would be with a distributor."

    There was a bit of strategy in terms of the night's guest list, too. King said he and co-host wife Stacey Walker King poured over potential guests to make sure there weren't any wallflowers in the bunch. "We wanted to have folks that wanted to come out and have fun and party and celebrate," he said with a huge smile. "We wanted people to let loose." 

    Speaking of fun, King was quick to name his wife as one of the best party guests in town because "she loves to have fun." Also in the room and having a lot of fun was Ava DuVernay, who made a stop after a blitz of a day that included stops at a Vanity Fair party, Diane von Furstenberg's luncheon and the Essence Black Women in Hollywood event. "I like to get out on Oscar week because I can see everyone and then go into hibernation in the editing room. You get all your socializing done," she said. "Everyone is out and so it’s beautiful." 

    Activist DeRay Mckesson used the same adjective to describe what the Kings had done with the rooms inside Casita Hollywood, which were accessorized with giant mirrors that were tagged with quotes from this year's crop of Oscar-nominated films (see below). "They’re so incredible," he told THR. "Their commitment to highlighting black stories and telling stories that are nuanced and complicated about the lives of black people sets a model in Hollywood. So, I came to support them. I also know that so much of our work is about understanding that every story is a lesson in power. And they have exemplified what it means to tell stories."

    Mckesson, dressed in his signature blue vest, said despite the seriousness of his social justice work, parties are important. "I spend so much of my time dealing with issues of loss — lives lost, futures lost, time lost — but I know that we are more than our pain. We are joy. Parties are a part of that. Joy has to be a part of what we do and this is such a beautiful room."

    It was also a room that kept the party going late courtesy of a joy-filled dance party in front of the DJ booth well past midnight. You know who didn't stay out super late? Charles King. The mogul had to catch a 6 a.m. flight to Nashville to attend the reunion of his fraternity, Kappa Alphi Psi on Friday before heading back to L.A. on Saturday to finish out the Oscar weekend festivities. "It's crazy," he said. Indeed. 

  • Dolby Rocks Oscar Week With Sound Bash

    Party: Dolby Party celebrating the 91st Academy Award nominees in Best Cinematography, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing 

    Players: Nominees including Tom Ozanich and Dean Zupancic, sound mixing, A Star is Born; Tim Cavagin, sound mixing, Bohemian Rhapsody;  John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone, sound editing, Bohemian Rhapsody; Mildred Iatrou Morgan, sound editing, First Man; Ai-Ling Lee, sound editing and mixing, First Man; Mary H. Ellis,  sound mixing, First Man; and Sergio Diaz,  sound editing, Roma. Dolby execs including president/CEO Kevin Yeaman and audio pioneer Ioan Allen, who with the late Ray Dolby received an Oscar in 1988 for the advancement of cinema sound; as well as  Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution, 20th Century Fox Film and John Fithian, president/CEO, National Association of Theatre Owners.

    Place: H Club Los Angeles

    Served: Bar and passed hors d’oeuvres included heart of little gem lettuce with green tahini, crunchy quinoa and herbs; h roll, with lobster-scallop sausage and crispy shallots; dill macaroons with smoked salmon mousse; and medium rare bavette steak, crispy potato and bernaise sauce. Desserts included beignets with Vietnamese coffee sauce and carrot cake bites with dates, walnut and coconut.

    Inside Dish: Before heading to the Dolby Theatre for Sunday’s Oscars, the iconic company hosted its annual party during the soft opening of h Club Los Angeles. The members only club was started in London, founded by Paul Allen and Dave Stewart, and the new Vine Street location in Hollywood was designed by Russell Sage and the architect was HKS, both out of London.

    During the evening, guests mingled over drinks and hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed a live performance of the Greg Karas Band. Guests included sound nominees from Bohemian Rhapsody — “It’s great to meet all the people who work in L.A.,” said the film’s UK-based sound editing nom Nina Hartstone — who were joined by the sound engineers and producers that work with the band Queen.

    “This is my first Oscar party; it’s fantastic to be here,” said one of the Queen Productions guests, who was having a blast meeting Hollywood’s sound community. Of Queen performing live during the Oscar broadcast, he added, “It’s a big deal. It’s a big show and they love the excitement of playing live and the danger that that entails. That feeds the performance and the excitement for them and also for the audience.” — Carolyn Giardina

  • Irish Eyes Were Smiling — and Laughing — at the Oscar Wilde Awards With Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, J.J. Abrans and Chris O’Dowd

    The annual U.S.-Ireland Alliance’s fete was hosted by J.J. Abrams and wife Katie McGrath.

    From left: Melissa McCarthy, Glenn Close and J.J. Abrams
    From left: Melissa McCarthy, Glenn Close and J.J. Abrams
    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

    Party: The Oscar Wilde Awards

    Players: Event host J.J. Abrams and wife Katie McGrath welcomed an elite Hollywood assembly, both Irish and otherwise, into the filmmaker’s office complex for the U.S.-Ireland Alliance’s annual fete – held the same week as what he termed “the other Oscars" — where honorees Glenn Close, Aiden Gillen and Chris O’Dowd received their awards from, respectively, Melissa McCarthy, Allen Leech and Abrams himself in quippy, roast-esque style. Attending glitterati included Close’s daughter and The Wife co-star Annie Starke, Kathy Griffin, John Cho, Angela Sarafyan, Taren Killam, Aisha Tyler, Paula Malcomson, Kerry Condon, Nicole Holofcener, film composer Michael Giacchino, Warner Bros. TV’s Peter Roth, HBO’s Casey Bloys, YouTube’s Susanne Daniels and Academy Award nominees including The Favourite producer Ed Guiney and cinematographer Robbie Ryan, and Black Panther sound mixer Peter Devlin.

    Place: Bad Robot’s Santa Monica headquarters

    Served: Guinness and Teeling Whiskey were among the geographically on-the-nose potables, while appetizers and buffet items from Richard Mooney’s Kensington Caterers spanned the continents, from L.A. faves like skewered beef and fried chicken sliders to the U.K. staple fish and chips, served in a faux newspaper cone.

    Inside Dish: What does a group of Irish ex-pats in Hollywood talk about when they gather together? “About how much we hate the Brits!” exclaimed O’Dowd. “No, I'm only kidding. We talk about how we're all kind of family friends who just haven't seen each other in a long time. ‘Have you seen what's-her-face? I hear she got married. She's up the duff. Nobody knows whose it is.’ All of that — kind of like a wake.”

    We just have a good time,” Abrams said of opening his sci-fi toy and tchotchke-laden office for the celebration each year. “It's a sort of silly but also really fun night supporting a great organization that Trina Vargas started that supports leaders and artist from the US and from Ireland coming together and of sharing what they know, what they do.”

    Having recently wrapped filming on Star Wars: Episode IX and sharing an emotional last-day photo of stars Daisey Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac on social media, Abrams admitted emotions ran high above and below the line. “It was surprising, I think, to everyone, not just the actors,” he said. “It was incredible looking around and seeing all these people who've worked on so many movies, and weirdly on this one it felt like something very special was coming to an end.” Asked if he felt energized heading into post-production, Abrams replied “Very much so! And It's really a testament to all the amazing work that this crew and cast did. I cannot wait for you to see it.”

    The very Irish Kathy Griffin is a regular face at the event, and a longtime friend of Abrams. “I've known him since he was 18 — I was his Groundlings teacher when he was at The Groundlings,” she revealed to THR. “He used to work for his dad's production company, and he was, as I like to say, the secretary. And I would mess with him — I would call him and say, ‘Get my coffee!’ and just hang up. To this day, I don't know what he does now. I guess he makes Lifetime movies, but I'm always going to think of him as the secretary from Phoenix Productions.”

    “Unfortunately, apparently I have no Irish blood in me,” a chuckling Close revealed to THR on the red carpet, still professing her deep affection for the Emerald Isle despite the thwarted efforts of Irish genealogists to link her to it. “I love Ireland – I made Albert Nobbs in Ireland, and it was one of the great experiences of my career.” Indeed, after some impromptu dialect coaching from O’Dowd before the rooftop presentation, Close accepted her trophy – a hand-blown eternal flame with a green ribbon running through it – with an authentic-sounding thick Irish brogue. “People think I’m not Irish, because I don’t have the blood,” she said intensely. “But I’ll tell you one t’ing: I am Irish – I’m Irish in m’heart!

    Close also riffed on McCarthy’s proud claim of Irish-American lineage: “Two grandparents on a boat – I’m super, super Irish,” the comedienne proclaimed. “But it’s not about me, it’s about non-Irish Close, who’s Dutch-Norwegian at best.”

    “My people came over in 1670,” Close responded, “but anyway, one shouldn’t boast about that.”

    McCartney told THR before the ceremony that she never in her wildest fantasies envisioned sharing an Academy Award nomination category with Close one day, as she does this year. “It's like me being like, ‘I'll probably cut an album with Bowie!’” she laughed. “No. You just don't think that.”

    Getting to know her co-nominee, whom she revealed on stage provoked a profound reaction from McCarthy with her performance in Dangerous Liaisons, had been a special experience for her. “I guess when you meet certain people you expect them to kind of float into the room and they would be doing a scene from one of their amazing movies or doing some incredible play, and then you meet them and you're like they’re cool and super nice on top of it, and you just see the person behind it.”

    Leech also had a fandom for his Bohemian Rhapsody co-star Aidan Gillen, whom he’d admired first for his work in UK-based series like Queer As Folk and Love/Hate and later The Wire and Game of Thrones before they became collaborators, he told THR. “He's had such a varied career, and any opportunity to work with him was brilliant,” said Leech. “And then to have that kind of intimate relationship as like two managers in Bohemian Rhapsody — it was great fun to play those scenes with him.”

    In a very off-the-cuff speech — the actor had literally written some notes on his hand, only to have them get illegibly smeared after a hand-washing — Gillen noted that receiving the Oscar Wilde Award was “as exciting to me as getting an Oscar Oscar.” Less impressed was his five-year-old stepdaughter, who noticed him jotting down the notes on his hand and asked what they were for. When he explained he was receiving an award, she asked “’Is it for being the worst actor in the world?’ And I said ‘Yes, darling, that’s exactly what it’s for.’”

    Among the steady theme of slyly snarky and self-deprecating speeches, O’Dowd’s was easily the most amusing with a well-spun tale of seeing film star Maureen O’Sullivan — Tarzan’s screen Jane of the '30s, mother to Mia Farrow, grandmother to Ronan Farrow — in a parade during his boyhood when she returned to their shared hometown of Boyle in Ireland in her 70s.

    The young O’Dowd was stunned that someone who made films also got to have a parade in their honor, but as his mother explained, “’The parade is not only for her, it’s also for us, because we gave her to the world,’” he recalled. “What a lovely way of putting it. In hindsight, I think every decision I’ve made has been influenced by that answer. And also by the sudden realization that to earn a homecoming parade, the very least one must do is fuckin’ leave in the first place.”

    O’Dowd then took a turn for the serious as he reflected on being an immigrant parent to children born in America. “To witness the bombardment of terms like ‘border wall,’ ‘caravan’ and ‘separation camps’ breaks my heart,” he said. “I’m reminded of Oscar’s words: ‘The world’s a stage, but the play is badly cast.’ My humble advice to those in the lead roles, to paraphrase our friend J.J.: ‘Please, I beg you: act better.’ Your children are watching. And for those with names like Hannity, O’Reilly, Mulvaney, Pence, Bannon and Conway, I’d like to remind you that your immigrant ancestors are listening and you’re making their ears bleed. Well-chosen words can garnish your life with immortality. Remember where you came from or you’ll be long forgotten. Choose better words, or choose different roles.” —Scott Huver

  • Ava DuVernay, Zendaya Host Party for Black Women “Who Never Get This Invite”

    The Oscar week festivities were co-hosted by Vanity Fair and Lancome at Soho House.

    From left: Radhika Jones, Zendaya and Ava DuVernay
    From left: Radhika Jones, Zendaya and Ava DuVernay
    Rachel Murray/Getty Images

    Party: Vanity Fair x Lancome

    Players: Ava DuVernay, Zendaya, Radhika Jones, Lupita Nyong’o, Tiffany Haddish, Storm Reid, Judith Light, Olivia Munn, Linda Cardellini, Ali Wong, Maude Apatow, Amy Baer, Tarana Burke, Sydney Sweeney, Julie Cohen, Susan Kelechi Watson, Jimmy Chin, Jaime King, Our Lady J, Catt Sadler, Candice Patton

    Place: Soho House West Hollywood

    Served: Small bites bar with ham, Parmesan, honeycomb, cherry tomatoes, Brie with berries; buffet with grilled chicken, steak, brussels sprouts, beet salad, caprese salad, fingerling potatoes; passed dishes like sliders, tuna tartare and Japanese fried chicken. Drinks on hand included the Belvedere classic martini; Belvedere Bliss with vodka, elderflower liqueur and pear liqueur; and the Women in Hollywood with vodka, grapefruit, honey and bitters.

    Inside Dish: Ava DuVernay co-hosted the Vanity Fair party to benefit Time’s Up for a second year, because she wanted to include women of color from all sectors of the industry in the glam pre-Oscars bash.

    When editor Radhika Jones asked her in 2018 to host, DuVernay tells THR, “I said, 'Can I have 100 spaces on the guest list?' Because I wanted to invite women that usually don't get a Vanity Fair invitation. So there are grips, there are gaffers, there are black women who've worked as assistants in this industry for seven years.”

    DuVernay adds, “There are a full span of all kinds of women and colors of women who I know never get this invite. ...  And she let me do it again this year.”

    The Selma director says the reason she wanted to be inclusive with the guest list also ties back to Time’s Up and connecting to people “outside the walls of Hollywood. Hollywood is important, the images that we make reverberate through the culture, but also the inclusion of all the different industries. … So just like women of color need to be in rooms like this, people who are not in the entertainment industry need to be included in the spotlight, talking about workplace issues.”

    Still, the Soho House crowd was starry, with her Wrinkle in Time actress Storm Reid coming up to DuVernay’s Queen Sugar table for a hug (Linda Cardellini would later introduce herself, too). DuVernay posed with co-hosts Zendaya and Jones by a small pool in the center of the terrace. Judith Light chatted up Lupita Nyong’o, who later spoke with comedian Ali Wong. Meanwhile, Maude Apatow (daughter of Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow) introduced herself and her boyfriend Charlie Christie to Jones and later huddled with friend Sydney Sweeney. Guests snapped photos at a rosy Lancome photo booth or in front of lanterns hanging from decorative trees.

    Tiffany Haddish also made her rounds, though when THR asked if she’d be at the Oscars, Haddish merely said “I’ll be around, I’ll be around.” DuVernay, on the other hand, will attend the Vanity Fair viewing party instead of the ceremony. “It's chill. Spielberg on one side, Kathryn Bigelow on the other side. I'll stay here." — Lindsay Weinberg

  • Pharrell Makes Happy At Murakami’s Beverly Hills Opening With Julian Schnabel, China Chow and Billy Idol

    Gagosian Beverly Hills was swamped with fans and stars alike aat the opening of the 'Gyatei2' exhibition.

    Pharrell Williams (left) and Takashi Murakami
    Pharrell Williams (left) and Takashi Murakami
    Billy Farrell/BFA.com

    Party: Takashi Murakami art opening, Gyatei2

    Players: A cast of hundreds as the doors were thrown open to the public at 6 p.m., attracting a line around the block. But notables from the art and entertainment worlds were undeterred by the plebeian throng, people like MOCA Director Klaus Biesenbach, gallerist Jeffrey Deitch, entertainment executive Scooter Braun, tennis pro Maria Sharapova, rapper Tyga, legendary film producer Mike Medavoy and, straddling both worlds, Julian Schnabel, whose Vincent Van Gogh biopic starring Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate, is vying for a best actor Oscar on Feb. 24.

    Place: Gagosian Beverly Hills

    Inside Dish: It's a madhouse, a madhouse! The fans just keep coming through the door, packing the gallery bumper to bumper, like sundown on the 405. And then Pharrell arrives and a huddle of roughly 50 onlookers form a movable scrum with phones aimed at its center where Murakami takes the singer on a personalized tour of the exhibit.

    Spread over the two main galleries, it contains large scale works with the artist’s customary happy-flower motif, as well as the 50-foot-long Qinghua, an acrylic canvas fish painting based on a Yuan Dynasty vase.

    In his first solo stint at the gallery, Murakami’s opening is this year’s pre-Oscar event honoring a different blue-chip artist each year. The new show is called Gyatei2, named for a Buddhist mantra. “The title of the show references the climactic mantra, “gyatei, gyatei, haragyatei, harasogyatei,” that comes at the end of the Heart Sutra,” the artist wrote on Instagram. “This phrase could be full of meaning or devoid of meaning — some say it imitates an infant’s cry and, when chanted loudly, signifies rebirth.”

    “He’s perfecting whatever he’s doing,” says artist-filmmaker, Julian Schnabel, after viewing 28 new paintings and two large-scale sculptures. “When you look at the stuff, you have to go up close and look at it. It’s kind of a miracle how he gets it made and the detail of it. It’s unique.”

    Schnabel made no predictions regarding the Oscars, saying only this about his leading man, Willem Dafoe: “Without a doubt he gave the best performance of the year. It’s not even comparable to what anybody else did. It’s not really a performance. It goes to the depth of the character and it was a great privilege to do that. The reward was making the movie, not getting an award. We did that.”

    Legendary film producer and co-founder of Orion Pictures and current CEO Phoenix Pictures, Mike Medavoy has a relationship with Murakami going back nearly 20 years. “I actually bought a piece of his and I can’t remember what year it was but it was beautiful,” he told THR, but refrained from making Oscar predictions.

    Medavoy will be attending this year’s ceremony, a show that never gets old. Or does it. “It does feel old to me,” he confessed. “I’ve been nominated 17 times and I’ve won seven.”

    As Pharrell and his entourage duck out the back door and the crowd finally begins to thin out, Billy Idol and China Chow arrive, posing for photos and dodging questions.

    Luckily, Murakami’s old friend, gallerist Jeffrey Deitch is there to sum it all up: “It’s this fusion of this historical Japanese tradition with this pop contemporary world, that’s what’s so great about Murakami. If it was only the pop-world, it wouldn’t be profound enough. And if it was too historical, it wouldn’t be exciting, it would be too academic. So, he manages to fuse this traditional and pop sensibility.” — Jordan Riefe

  • Angela Bassett, Spike Lee and Regina King Among Power Players at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards

    The magazine's 12th annual Oscar week event honored Amandla Stenberg, Jenifer Lewis, Kiki Layner and Regina Hall.

    Regina King (left) with honoree KiKi Layne.
    Regina King (left) with honoree KiKi Layne.
    Leon Bennett/Getty Images

    Party: 2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards

    Players: Essence magazine’s 12th annual Oscar Week salute honored actresses/activists Amandla Stenberg, Jenifer Lewis, KiKi Layne and Regina Hall, who were celebrated by a diverse cross-section of guests from the film, TV, music, news, lifestyle and political arenas: U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, Angela Bassett, Spike Lee and wife Tonya Lewis Lee, Regina King, Octavia Spencer, Kelly Rowland and husband Tim Witherspoon, Ava DuVernay, Bozoma Saint John, Sanaa Lathan, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Marsai Martin, Meagan Goode, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Amber Riley, Loni Love, Angela Rye, Tina Knowles Lawson, Yvette Noel-Schure, Chloe x Halle, Trevor Jackson and Elaine Welteroth.

    Place: Beverly Wilshire Hotel

    Served: Microgreens salad with roasted pear, pomegranate seeds, grilled artichokes and champagne nage; rosemary-lemon chicken, Mediterranean orzo, green beans, key lime almond tart; red and white wine. Adorning each table setting were vibrantly colored, African-patterned napkins that prompted one guest to say, “This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to take home the napkins at an event.”

    At the cocktail reception before lunch, guests were treated to specially named libations ("You Damn Right," "Can You Dig It") promoting the upcoming Shaft sequel starring Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Hall and Richard Roundtree. The tasty "You Damn Right" mixes vodka with lime juice, triple sec and cranberry juice topped with lime garnish.

    Inside Dish: Essence CEO Michelle Ebanks and chief content & creative officer Moana Luu got the awards ceremony started … Or rather what’s become more of a family reunion as presenters and honorees alike reiterated how much they felt at home within the sisterhood teeming inside the Beverly Wilshire’s packed ballroom. Indeed before, during and after the awards presentations, guests table-hopped and mingled (Sheryl Lee Ralph hugging Maxine Waters) while phone cameras flashed incessantly to capture impromptu photo opps (Tina Knowles Lawson snapped with honorees KiKi Layne and Jenifer Lewis). Also among the celebrants: Ed Lewis, one of the five black men who founded Essence 49 years ago.

    Before taking the stage as the event’s host for the first time, Rowland said the occasion marked “the most amazing time because we are at our greatest right now as black people: in our pride for what we do, for who we are and for our culture. I’ve loved this event every single year, and I’ve always been inspired by this event every single year.”

    One inspirational moment came when Regina King walked onstage to present the award to her If Beale Street Could Talk co-star KiKi Layne. Before speaking, King was greeted with thunderous applause, boisterous shout-outs and a standing ovation in recognition of her first Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

    Underscoring this year’s theme, “Art + Activism" with "Power in Our Presence" signs hanging from either side of the stage, singer Amber Riley brought the house down with her dynamic interpretations of the Aretha Franklin classic “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” and “Home” from the 1978 film The Wiz. “Being in this room,” prefaced Riley, “really makes you feel like you’re home.” Running the gamut from impassioned to hilarious, the honorees’ acceptance speeches drew multiple standing ovations. A tearful Layne (“It’s my allergies,” she said to audience laughter) talked about what it meant to see “my chocolate skin and natural hair” on the cover of Essence—her first solo magazine cover. Hall’s rollicking comments included thank-you’s to her multi-ethnic team. “Behind the black girl magic there is some white man and black man power too,” Hall said to uproarious laughter. “They fight for me like I’m a 30-year-old white man.” — Gail Mitchell

  • Regina King, Amandla Stenberg, Rosario Dawson Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Alfre Woodard’s Sistahs’ Soiree

    “There is a collective intention between women of color, a particular way that we move through the world and navigate this industry, and when we do it together we're all more powerful,” honoree Stenberg said of the gathering.

    From left: Tessa Thompson, Octavia Spencer, Aja Naomi King, Regina Taylor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Kim Wayans, Edwina Findley, Chandra Wilson, Margaret Avery, Tiffany Haddish, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Lifford, Loretta Devine, Lorraine Toussaint, Amandla Stenberg, Regina King, CCH Pounder, Rosario Dawson, Yolonda Ross and Lashana Lynch
    From left: Tessa Thompson, Octavia Spencer, Aja Naomi King, Regina Taylor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Kim Wayans, Edwina Findley, Chandra Wilson, Margaret Avery, Tiffany Haddish, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Lifford, Loretta Devine, Lorraine Toussaint, Amandla Stenberg, Regina King, CCH Pounder, Rosario Dawson, Yolonda Ross and Lashana Lynch
    Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images
    Players: Co-hosts CCH Pounder and Lorraine Toussaint, honorees Amandla Stenberg and Regina King and guests Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Dawson, Margaret Avery, Tessa Thompson, Loretta Devine and Chandra Wilson, among others. 
     
    Place: Royal Suite at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

    Spread: Vegetarian rolls, tuna taquitos, spanakopita, tuna tartare and lamb chops passed around by servers during cocktail hour, then a seafood buffet of local sautéed prawns, crispy rock shrimp, Dungeness crab cakes, oysters on half shell, jumbo gulf shrimp, lobster medallions, crab claws, crispy calamari cones, lobster salad sliders and spicy hamachi tartar cones.

    Inside Dish: Host Lorraine Toussaint was already in place, warmly greeting guests at the entrance of the Beverly Wilshire Royal Suite as the doors opened at seven o’clock, but that doesn’t mean the last-minute gig was one she eagerly accepted, when Alfre Woodard announced that she wouldn’t be able to return from Vancouver in time for the 10th anniversary of her annual fete that celebrates women of color in film. 

    “No!” exclaimed Toussaint. “It was an immediate no. And then a repeated no, because those are big shoes to fill. I know how much this event means to me and the ladies, and Alfre is at the center of it – always. She did however convince me that this event should continue because of what it stands for, so we will carry on without ‘mom.’”

    Carry on they did.

    Margaret Avery grabbed a flute of Louis Roederer champagne on her way inside the sitting room, where she was soon joined by Octavia Spencer, Tessa Thompson and Edwina Findley.

    Findley made the evening her “coming out” party, revealing a baby bump that served as a magnet for almost every guest in the room. “Could you be more beautiful?” Toussaint gushed as she hugged her Middle of Nowhere on-screen daughter, and caressed Findley’s bump. “I've been hiding it for so long, so to be among my sisters and to love these women so much and be able to celebrate this moment with them is really a joy,” a beaming Findley told THR.  

    The Wire actress reflected on her beginnings in Los Angeles, when Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon took in the young, struggling New Yorker. “Julius and Viola have been probably the most impactful couple in my whole life, honestly,” said Findley. “One, being able to just sit with her day after day, and her share with me her process and journey. But, on an even deeper level, [seeing] what to prioritize in this business. The industry is so demanding that if you're caught up in your own Hollywood bubble you can start to ignore the person that means the most to you. What they've done so wonderfully is establish their priorities: God first, family second, and they've held on to it, feast or famine. I'm so appreciative of that beautiful example that they've been to me.”

    Findley wasn’t the only one eager to pay her good fortune forward to a new generation. “You'll see in just a little bit,” teased Tiffany Haddish. “Tiffany is paying it forward. Tiffany's opening doors. I feel like if I get blessed with opportunities it's only right to turn around and help others, too.”

    Rosario Dawson bowed down to Toussaint as she arrived at the party. “I want to celebrate how amazing someone can be in every aspect of her life,” said Dawson. “That generosity and that community is what's going to save the world. We’ve lived under this fallacy of self-promotion and self-realization for too long. We are interdependent and we need each other. It's not something that's weak, it's actually very powerful.”

    Also drawing on the collective girl power was Oscar-nominee Regina King, who, with just a few days to go before the main event, was doing her best to just stay calm. “My mother’s here,” she said, in regard to how she’s preparing for Sunday. “That’s always good. She just got here today and I feel a bit of Zen mom energy. That keeps you nice and grounded.” 

    As the evening’s honoree, Amandla Stenberg entered the hallway, King gave her an extended hug. Stenberg told THR that being honored by a group of women that she respects so much felt like “the highest honor.” 

    “It makes me feel loved, supported, and gives me hope,” she said. “Hope that there is a collective intention between women of color. There's a particular way that we move through the world and we navigate this industry, and when we do it together we're all more powerful. I feel like that's always what I get out of this event, seeing what happens when we put our heads together and talk, air grievances and recognize that all we need to do is love and support each other. It makes me feel less alone.” 

    As is tradition, all women gathered to take a class photo before the “real” event began behind closed doors. While Woodard couldn’t physically be present, the creator of the decade-long tradition was certainly there in spirit. “She has encouraged us [by saying] that this evening is not really about her,” said interim co-host CCH Pounder. “She was the great creator and the mother of this, but it's really about us. I'm hoping we'll be able to have the same great conversations during what we call the vault time, which is that private moment where we get to speak our minds without any kind of consequences of ‘I heard this’ and ‘she said that.’ It's been a wonderful thing.” — Carita Rizzo

  • Stars Reignite Support for Woolsey Fire Victims at Global Green’s Pre-Oscar Gala

    The 16th annual event raised funds for the Malibu fire victims.

    Courtesy of Global Green

    Party: Global Green Pre-Oscar Gala

    Players: Amy Smart, Andy King, Beau Mirchoff, Billy Zane, Carter Oosterhouse, Chevy Chase, DJ Cassidy, Ed Begley Jr., Ed O’Neill, Fran Drescher, Isaiah Washington, Jane Seymour, Michelle Kwan, Robin Thicke, Tara Reid, Taylor Dayne

    Place: Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

    Served: Mushroom Parmesan risotto, chicken and waffle bites, housemade pizzas and vegan pizzas. Plant-based vegan options from local growers: kelp noodles, roasted beet tartare, and dukkah seed crackers with avocado. Organic coffee from Frinj and made-to-order roasted beef and rosemary potatoes. Dessert selections included apple jam empanadas, goat milk crème brûlée, mini organic carrot cake, raspberry chocolate ganache tart, chocolate-dipped tangerine. Assortment of cheese plates included saffron pecorino, caciocavallo, and aged cheddar.

    Inside Dish: Stars and environmental advocates stepped out onto the green carpet with a plant-decorated backdrop to talk about how they are going green in their own lives.

    Beau Mirchoff spoke proudly about his daily decision to compost his yard waste, which he then uses to fertilize his garden, while Fran Drescher talked about her choice to buy sustainable fashion and beauty products for the health and safety of her family and the earth.

    Inside, the event didn’t even seem like it was actually indoors — the sudden rain put event staffers into a frenzy to construct canopies around the plant-lined walkways. Whether on purpose or not, the indoor-outdoor cocktail hour made the gala feel like an upscale farmers market.

    Unlike other star-studded Oscar events this week, pop-up shops showing off sustainable clothing for purchase like singer Goapele’s brand Dreamseeker studded the event like a market of sorts.

    Actors Ed Begley Jr. and Ed O’Neill chatted while enjoying vegan and vegetarian hors d’oeuvres provided by local farmers and growers. The gala began right on time with a powerful performance by the Planet 911 Youth Choir, who covered the Oscar-nominated song “I’ll Fight” from the film RBG.

    Following the performance, the night took a somber and political turn when Native American Chief Oren Lyons mentioned that we only have 10-12 years left before “the point of no return,” when discussing the environmental concerns.

    The rest of the evening was focused on the live auction and donations to raise money for the victims of the late 2018 Woolsey fire in Malibu. Global Green donated three vacations to the auction that racked up over $20,000 for Woolsey victims. The party kicked up again when Robin Thicke and DJ Cassidy took the stage to close the event and turn up the heat for an after party that went well into the night. — Maya Tribbitt

  • Henry Golding on Inclusive Stories at 'Vanity Fair' Party: "There's So Much More to Come"

    Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

    Party: Vanity Fair and L’Oréal Paris Celebrate New Hollywood on Tuesday, Feb. 19

    Players: Hosted by Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith with co-hosts Yalitza Aparicio, Henry Golding and Amandla Stenberg, the event drew Ben Barnes, Rowan Blanchard, Rachel Bloom, Sofia Boutella, Nicholas Britell, Rory Culkin, Whitney Cummings, Marina de Tavira, Nina Dobrev, India Eisley, Colton Haynes, Taylor Hill, Tess Holliday, Machine Gun Kelly, Pom Klementieff, Liza Koshy, Kevin Kwan, Alex Landi, Peyton List, Danielle Macdonald, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Porter, Jack Quaid, Francia Raisa, Halston Sage, Alia Shawkat, Stephanie Shepherd, Dominic Sherwood, Iliza Shlesinger, Lilly Singh, Harley Quinn Smith, Karla Souza, Destry Spielberg, Amanda Steele, Susan Kelechi Watson, Finn Wittrock, Fiona Xie, Nora Zehetner, and others, some of whom were chauffeured in luxury Genesis rides. 

    Place: Ysabel, 945 N Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood

    Served: Tray-passed hors d'oeuvres like crispy shrimp, grilled cheese, tuna tartare on crispy rice, kimchi chicken meatballs, butternut squash tortellini, arancini and mini burger sliders. Belvedere Vodka, Johnnie Walker, Hennessy X.0 and Peroni Nastro Azzurro were well represented at the multiple bars where bartenders were slinging "The Rouge Signature" (Johnnie Walker Black Label, the Jane Walker Edition, blood orange juice, lemon juice, Earl Gray and lavender honey syrup) and "Walk With Us" (Johnnie Walker Black Label, the Jane Walker Edition, grapefruit juice, ginger ale and angostura bitters). 

    Inside Dish: "Yas! Work!" So said Nina Dobrev upon stepping foot in front of the Ysabel entrance — customized for the night's event with Vanity Fair tagged on one side and L’Oréal on the other. Just a few feet ahead was the subject of her exclamation, a young woman caught mid-pose and working for that social content. But she might as well have been talking to the entire party of working actors as Vanity Fair hosted the whole affair to celebrate how Hollywood has embraced an entirely fresh roster of faces, hence the "New Hollywood" title on the invite alongside names like Golding, Stenberg and Oscar-nominated Aparicio. 

    "It's about time," Golding told The Hollywood Reporter inside the event, in reference to the types of stories being told today by the crop of performers circling around him. "We've had representation in the past, but not in such a beautiful spectrum. It's wonderful to see everybody celebrated and I think there's such joy in knowing that there's so much more to come — so much more possibilities, so many more legitimate stories to tell with really authentic voices." 

    Though it was not an official cover party — it was, in fact, the first night of the mag's annual Oscars week Campaign Hollywood series of events — Golding looked to be accepting plenty of congratulations and warm wishes during the course of the evening, which also played host to many members of his Crazy Rich Asians family. Golding and Aparicio were spotted posing for photos with VF's Smith, who was involved in putting the duo on the Hollywood Issue cover alongside Rami Malek, Chadwick Boseman, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Nicholas Hoult, John David Washington, Regina King, Tessa Thompson and Elizabeth Debicki.

    Also getting a lot of attention on Tuesday were the party hot spots. Heat lamps and an outdoor fire pit had guests huddling due to chilly temperatures in Los Angeles where it was a frigid 48 degrees. But Golding was all fired up over his weekend plans. 

    "I'm going to the Oscars as a guest of Warner Bros.," he revealed. But he'll be off-duty and "kicking my feet up" to watch from the audience as his Crazy Rich friends Awkwafina and Constance Wu get to present. Look for the 32-year-old to be dressed in a "beautiful" custom Ralph Lauren Purple Label tux, alongside his wife, who will also be wearing a Ralph Lauren design. "I'll be enjoying my time and then it's Vanity Fair Oscar party, baby!" — CHRIS GARDNER