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The red carpet at the Oscars is one of the biggest fashion events of the year, and from what’s shown on TV, it can look like a pretty glamorous event.
But for the actors, publicists and press working the red carpet, it’s a three-hour marathon of weaving through crowds, getting interviews done and making it into the show in one piece.
From the actress who shocked fashion reporters to Jennifer Lawrence‘s shoe-less interviews about McDonald’s, The Hollywood Reporter reveals all the behind-the-scenes action from the Academy Awards red carpet.
3:18 p.m.: Kristin Chenoweth, hosting the red carpet for ABC’s preshow, interviews Jessica Chastain. After the interview, Chenoweth meets Chastain’s grandmother, whom she has brought as her date, and gives her a hug.
3:20 p.m.: Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin, whom THR photographed with Steven Spielberg for its Oscar Issue, chats with THR about the Lincoln director. “I mean, we don’t like go to the bar every night. But I’ve gotten to meet with him and talk with him at several events, and he’s been really, really welcoming and gracious with me.” Of attending the Oscars, he adds: “This is sort of the end point of a crazy, crazy journey. It doesn’t feel totally different. It just feels like, here’s the last stop. And tomorrow, it’s all going to go quiet.”
3:30 p.m.: Seth MacFarlane’s sister, Rachael, walks the carpet with their father, Ronald. She admits they got great seats for the show. “This is some, um, Robert Downey Jr. seating,” she says. She adds that her older brother has a poker face and hasn’t been showing any nerves. “He’ll tell us tomorrow how nervous he was today,” she says.
3:45 p.m.: Amy Adams on her stunning Oscar de la Renta dress: “I’ve worn a lot of different dresses, but I’ve never worn a big ballgown, so I thought I wanna wear a dress you can’t wear anywhere but the Oscars.” She adds that she goes right back to work Monday, shooting David O. Russell’s next film.
3:55 p.m.: Zoe Saldana tells THR about her Alexis Mabille Couture dress: “It was beautiful, and I just felt like it was going to be very unique and different and tell a story. It’s from a certain time too, you know, and as an artist I always have to be telling a story. I can’t just wear something because it’s trendy. So my stylist and I just went bananas over it.”
3:58 p.m.: Chastain runs into Amanda Seyfried. “You look insane!” the Zero Dark Thirty star says when taking in Seyfried’s Alexander McQueen gown.
4:00 p.m.: Les Miserables star Samantha Barks says she was most excited to meet Catherine Zeta-Jones while rehearsing for an Oscar musical number: “I was such a nerd. I was like, ‘I love you!’”
4:10 p.m.: Roman Coppola admits to THR that he’s wearing a clip-on bowtie. “I tried to use a real one, I practiced a few times, but I’m hopeless,” he says.
4:13 p.m.: Marcia Gay Harden offers to trade purses with Quvenzhane Wallis, who has a custom-made Pucci purse in the shape of a dog. Wallis is not interested.
4:19 p.m.: Dustin Hoffman, who only does interviews with reporters who will talk about Quartet, introduces his wife, Lisa Hoffman, to a reporter. When the reporter shakes her hand, Hoffman jokes protectively, “Don’t hold on too long!”
4:25 p.m.: Seyfried says her performance at the 2009 Oscars was “a nightmare.” “I had to dance, and I don’t like dancing. I don’t dance!” For this year’s show, she’s much more relaxed. “I’m not dancing at all — I’m standing and I’m with the people I love,” she says.
4:27 p.m.: Helen Hunt shocks reporters when she tells them her navy blue gown is from H&M. When asked by THR what she plans to do to unwind after awards season, she says, “Drinking, maybe.”
4:30 p.m.: Naomi Watts tells THR she only decided on her Armani Prive dress a few hours before the show. “It was because I liked that it was a stronger statement,” she says. “I saw a lot of dresses. It was hard deciding. I liked that this had a modern edge, but it feels deco at the same time.”
4:35 p.m.: Lawrence, wearing Dior, takes off her shoes while doing interviews. She tells THR that she’s “freaking starving.” She admits that she’s trying to convince her publicist to get someone to bring her McDonald’s. “I’ll eat it in the bathroom, just get me a freaking Happy Meal,” she jokes.
4:45 p.m.: Sally Field says that it’s bittersweet saying goodbye to her Lincoln co-stars and director. “We’ll all feel sad that we’ll have to put this away in our shoebox full of memories and cover it with tissue paper,” she says. She adds that’s she’s been surprised that adults are going back to see Lincoln several times in the theater. “That’s kind of amazing,” she says. “It’s a rare film where grown-ups, not teenagers, but grown-ups go back and see it many times.”
4:55 p.m.: Les Miserables director Tom Hooper says he went to the rehearsal Sunday morning for the Les Mis cast’s performance during the show. “Some of them are nervous,” he says, but when prodded to name names, he adds, “I think the question is who out of those people would admit they’re nervous. Everyone gets nervous.”
4:57 p.m.: Kristen Stewart arrives with crutches. Toward the end of the red carpet, she’s has some trouble walking, and Lawrence rushes over to help her.
4:59 p.m.: Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban breeze by the carpet. She waves apologetically to reporters for not stopping for interviews.
5:00 p.m.: “I’ve been sending your website around all day,” says Russell, who did a video interview with THR at the Spirit Awards on the eve of the Oscars. He then notices Queen Latifah standing down the press line. “Queen Latifah! Oh my goodness — that’s a whole lot of lady.”
5:02 p.m.: George Clooney and girlfriend Stacy Keibler, wearing a beaded Naeem Khan gown, are two of the last to arrive. “She plans it out, I wear the same tux,” says Clooney of their red carpet fashion choices.
5:07 p.m.: The last men standing on the carpet are Hugh Jackman and Clooney, who both stop to answer reporters’ questions even though the show has started. Jackman tells THR of the Les Miserables Oscars performance: “It’s the last time we’ll all sing together as a cast, so we’re going to make the most of it.”
E-mail: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford
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