The Hollywood Reporter Kicks Off Oscar Weekend With Nominees' Night 2012

Jessica Chastain Missi Pyle Penelope Ann Miller - H 2012

Jessica Chastain Missi Pyle Penelope Ann Miller - H 2012

Academy Award hopefuls and top entertainment executives joined THR at Los Angeles' Getty House on Thursday night to start the celebration early.

Hosted by THR editorial director Janice Min and publisher Lynne Segall and providing sponsor Moracconoil, the lavish affair, held again in Hancock Park at the gorgeous Getty House — home to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — feted nominated artists hoping to claim gold at the Oscars, such as best supporting actress nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help), best actor hopeful Demian Bichir (A Better Life) and best adapted screenplay nominee Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball) and the insiders who’ve helped cultivate their — and industry’s — success.

PHOTOS: THR's Oscar Nominees' Night 2012 Red Carpet Arrivals and Party

“With all the glamour of awards season, it’s important to remember that Hollywood is one of the most important industries in America,” said Min, upon welcoming the bustling crowd of about 600 guests. “You are the leaders and people whose creativity and skill make Hollywood a magical place, not only for those who work here, butbillions of people around the world.”

VIDEOS: THR's Oscar Nominees' Night Lounge Interviews

As party-goers sipped Grey Goose custom-created cocktails and dined on gourmethors d’ourves prepared by foodink catering, some reflected on a long, surprising awards season. “I can’t believe I’m here, still!” said Bichir, who is currently splitting his time between Mexico City where he is doing a play, and the awards circuit in Los Angeles. “Everyone has been so supportive of me, and I am so happy.”

VIDEO: THR's Oscar Nominees' Night 2012 Red Carpet Interviews

Tate Taylor, writer-director of best picture contender The Help, said he was “so proud of my ladies” (that would be Chastain, and fellow nominees Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis) and said that, even more exciting than Sunday’s Oscar affair, is his hope for diving back into work. “I can’t wait to make another film,” said Taylor. “For me, that’s what all of this is about.”