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The 2023 Oscars returned to the Dolby Theatre on Sunday for Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. The Oscars telecast may have featured Everything Everywhere All at Once taking home the top prize, as well as six other awards, but the cameras didn’t catch everything. From Ke Huy Quan’s emotional reunions to Lady Gaga’s heart of gold, here are some of the things the cameras missed during the 95th annual awards show.
You Get a Box, You Get a Box, Everybody Gets a Box
Jimmy Kimmel provided attendees at the 2023 Oscars with snack boxes under their seats that were topped with a caricature of a bearded Kimmel holding an Oscar and included Adam Shapiro’s Shappy Pretzels, a box of Sour Patch Kids or Milk Duds, an eco-conscious aluminum bottle of Open Water and a handwritten note from the host himself. “Isn’t this a nice surprise?” the slip of paper reads, along with a P.S. that referenced a charity element: “A donation in my name has been made to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.” The bag of Shapiro’s soft pretzels also had a handwritten note that read, “Eat this. You’re hungry.”
Another Night of South Asian Excellence
Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava took to the 2023 Oscars stage for a history-making performance of RRR‘s “Naatu Naatu,” the first song from an Indian production to be nominated for an Academy Award, which later won for best song. The film’s director S. S. Rajamouli excitedly cheered on the performers, who then ran up to the filmmaker after being onstage and celebrated in the hallways off the Dolby Theatre. The RRR team then rooted for their fellow Indian filmmakers — Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga — who took home the prize for best documentary short film, The Elephant Whisperers.
Michelle Yeoh Acknowledges the Academy’s Diversity Efforts
Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for best actress Sunday for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and she took a moment to thank the Academy for “embracing diversity and true representation.” The 95th annual awards marked the most winners of Asian descent in a single year, with eight trophies going to people of Chinese and Indian ethnicity.
“This is actually a historical moment, so I really have to thank the Academy,” Yeoh said backstage after accepting her statue. “Tonight, we frickin’ broke that glass ceiling. We need this because there are so many that have felt unseen, unheard. Not just the Asian community. This is for the Asian community, but for anybody who’s been identified as a minority. We deserve to be seen. We deserve to have equal opportunity so we can have a seat at the table. That’s all we’re asking for. Give us that opportunity, let us prove that we’re worth it.”
The Navy Opens the Show
Tom Cruise may not have been in attendance at the 2023 Oscars, but his presence was felt when Kimmel opened up the show pretending he was flying alongside Maverick. Kimmel may not have actually been airborne, but two aircrafts did fly above the Dolby Theatre at 5 p.m. The “Flying Eagles” provide training to future Naval aviators and maintainers who operate the planes, which are the backbone of the Navy’s air wing.
“Making an incredibly entertaining show was our top priority, and what better way to kick things off than with an unforgettable moment that sets the tone for the whole evening,” said Oscars executive producers and showrunners Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner. “A huge thank you to the U.S. Navy for helping execute a once-in-a-lifetime Oscars opening.”
No Little Mermaid for the Audience
Those watching the Oscars at home were given a look at a new full trailer for Disney’s Little Mermaid, but in the audience, guests weren’t so lucky. After introducing the two-minute video for the telecast, the live-action remake’s star Halle Bailey told the Dolby Theatre crowd that they would be watching something else, and the audience groaned. Instead, a montage played about the Academy’s Gold Rising Program and the student Academy Awards, among other things.
A similar situation took place when Warner Bros. aired its 100th-anniversary video, which featured clips of some of its biggest movies from the last century. The audience saw the introduction of the clip that took place onstage, but while the sizzle reel was playing for at-home viewers, attendees were shown a video about the adapted screenplay nominees, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg.
Ke Huy Quan Reunites With Brendan Fraser and Steven Spielberg
Ke Huy Quan has had an epic awards season, taking home one best supporting trophy after another, all leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night of the year, where he won an Oscar for his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. During the awards show, Quan reunited with his Encino Man co-star, Brendan Fraser, who also took home an Academy Award Sunday, and his Indiana Jones director, Steven Spielberg. “During one of the commercial breaks, I ran up to Steven Spielberg, and he gave me a big hug,” Quan said backstage. “He put his arms around me and he said, ‘Ke, you are now an Oscar-winning actor,’ and hearing him say that meant the world to me. I still cannot believe it.”
Lady Gaga’s Heart of Gold
Lady Gaga was a last-minute addition to the 2023 Oscars but an epic one nonetheless. The best original song nominee made her way onto the champagne carpet a little late, but that didn’t stop her from taking a second to make sure a photographer was OK after he fell on the carpet. (See the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.)
Everything Everywhere All at Once Team, Brendan Fraser Get Their Names Engraved on Their Oscars
Everything Everywhere All at Once came into the night with the most nominations and left the Dolby Theatre with seven of the 11 awards for which it was nominated — best picture, director, lead actress for Michelle Yeoh, original screenplay, editing, supporting actor for Ke Huy Quan and supporting actress for Jamie Lee Curtis. In keeping with the tradition, the EEAAO team, Brendan Fraser and more of the night’s winners took their golden statuettes to the engraving station at the Governors Ball to get their names permanently written on their trophies — and in history.
Here are a few fun moments from the 2023 Oscars:
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