QUICKQUOTE: LADY GAGA
”I’m going to go have a drink.” – Lady Gaga, in tears backstage after performing a song medley from ”The Sound of Music.”
– Sandy Cohen – www.twitter.com/APSandy
HE HAD IT COMING
John Travolta still can’t live down his mangling of Idina Menzel’s name from last year’s Academy Awards when he called her Adele Dazeem.
At this year’s Oscars, host Neil Patrick Harris mentioned Benedict Cumberbatch then said, ”It’s not only the most awesome name in show business, it’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce Ben Affleck.”
Harris added that the next presenter had ”been on the receiving end” of Travolta’s pronunciations, and Menzel took the stage. She then introduced ”my very dear friend Glom Gazinga.”
”I deserved that,” Travolta said as he nuzzled her onstage, calling her ”my beautiful, my wickedly talented Idina Menzel.”
Menzel responded, ”It’s not like it’s going to follow me around for the rest of my life.”
”Tell me about it,” Travolta countered.
As he was about to read the winner of the best song award, she said, ”You want me to do it?”
Menzel did read the winner: ”Glory” from ”Selma,” composed by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn. The song was performed during the show by Common and John Legend.
A WHISPER AND A SMACK
There was a hush-hush ”Gigli” reunion in the front row at the Oscars.
After ”Citizenfour” was crowned best documentary, Ben Affleck went over to Jennifer Lopez during a commercial break and whispered something to her.
His words prompted the ”American Idol” judge to playfully smack the ”Gone Girl” star – and her famous ex – across his arm.
Lopez and Affleck of course were once engaged, as well as co-stars of the notorious flop ”Gigli.”
After saying hi to Lopez, Affleck moved down the aisle and whispered something in Bradley Cooper’s ear. The ”American Sniper” star didn’t slap him, however.
GOING THE DISTANCE
The Academy Awards stretches more than three and a half hours – long enough to work up a thirst and an appetite.
To keep that joke energy up, Neil Patrick Harris munched on a Clif bar backstage while watching the In Memoriam segment on a monitor beside Meryl Streep and the show’s producers.
Benedict Cumberbatch was sipping champagne in the wings before going on stage to present an award.
”I’ve got to hand this to someone,” he said. ”Or else keep drinking.”
HONORING THE DEPARTED
Adrien Brody left Jeff Goldblum behind.
”The Grand Budapest Hotel” duo, both clad in white tuxedos, re-entered the Dolby Theatre together just as Meryl Streep stepped on stage to introduce the show’s in memoriam segment.
Brody opted to make a dash to his seat while Goldblum decided to hang by the door until the next break in the action.
Despite an announcer’s plea during a commercial break that the crowd ”refrain from applause during the in memoriam film sequence,” several audiences members clapped for colleagues or friends.
Robin Williams and Mike Nichols got the loudest response.
After an emotional performance by Jennifer Hudson, the chatter inside the theater was noticeably quieter – and Goldblum finally got back to his seat.
IN A HURRY TO CELEBRATE
It was a mad dash for Ellar Coltrane.
The 20-year-old actor who played the boy in ”Boyhood” ran from the back of the Dolby Theatre to join co-star Ethan Hawke and director Richard Linklater near the front in cheering Patricia Arquette’s best supporting actress award.
After Arquette accepted her Oscar, Coltrane went back to his seat while Hawke and Linklater continued to celebrate in the aisle with rapper-actor Common.
WHERE WAS THE OSCAR LOVE?
Even though she was at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s annual Oscar viewing party, Sharon Osbourne made it clear she could not care less about who was winning what a few miles away.
”I don’t give a (expletive) about the Oscars, I just care about being here,” she told the celebrity studded crowd at the 22nd annual event, which raises money to fight the disease.
”(Expletive) the Oscars,” she added.
Instead, the ”The Talk” co-host urged the well-heeled crowd to dig deep and donate beyond the ticket paid for entry to the swanky event.
And she did it in her usual coarse manner.
”Ladies, forget about the shoes, forget about the handbags, all that (expletive) you were going to do tomorrow,” she said.
QUICKQUOTE: JESSICA CHASTAIN
”Can you give someone else a chance, man?” – Jessica Chastain joking to Emmanuel Lubezki after he won his second consecutive cinematography Oscar.
QUICKQUOTE: J.K. SIMMONS
”I think there is much to admire in Fletcher’s passion for art, for, in his case, jazz music. I don’t find much to admire in his pedagogy.” -J.K. Simmons backstage at the Oscars after winning best supporting actor when asked about his character’s extreme teaching methods.
MERYL REALLY LIKED IT
Meryl Streep cheered, pointed and shouted ”Yes! Yes! Yes!” as Patricia Arquette ended her Oscar acceptance speech with a call for wage equality for women.
Arquette, who won best supporting actress for portraying the mother in ”Boyhood,” had just beaten Streep for the award and had read a long list of thank-yous and thrown in a plug for GiveLove.com, which advocates for ecological sanitation, when she changed themes.
”To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen in this nation: We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality in the U.S.,” she said.
The call to action, which seemed to take the audience by surprise, had many people on their feet and cheering.
”Made my night,” Streep told Arquette backstage.”
-Sandy Cohen – www.twitter.com/AP Sandy
KING OF SCHMOOZE
Neil Patrick Harris isn’t just the Oscars’ master of ceremonies. He’s also the king of schmooze.
During a single commercial break, Harris checked in with Octavia Spencer to make sure she was keeping an eye on his locked-down Academy Award picks, smooched husband David Burtka near his fifth row seat, chatted with ”Selma” stars Oprah Winfrey and David Oyelowo and embraced his ”Gone Girl” co-star Rosamund Pike.
Harris managed to accomplish all that and be back on stage in time to introduce Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
TALK, TALK, TALK
Try to play Pawel Pawlikowski off stage, will you? Forget about it.
The director, accepting the Oscar for best foreign film for ”Ida,” mumbled something about ending his acceptance speech when the music that was his cue to wrap it up started playing.
Then he just kept talking until the orchestra finally gave up and stopped playing.
Among those he thanked, as the audience cheered, were his late wife and parents, his children and his film crew, ”who were in the trenches with us and who are totally drunk now.”
Adam Levine performs huge concerts with his band, Maroon 5, and appears weekly on ”The Voice.”
But performing at the Academy Awards – well, that’s a whole other experience.
He had just three words when he walked off stage after his performance of ”Lost Stars.”
”Expletive!” Was the first one, followed by ”God!” and then ”bllllggggrh.”
With that, he dashed off to the green room.
BEST OSCAR BETS
If you were a betting man or woman with a penchant for offshore wagering, the Oscar odds would be ever in your favor if you backed Julianne Moore for best actress, J.K. Simmons (best supporting actor) and Patricia Arquette (best supporting actress).
That’s based on wagers from United Kingdom sports book William Hill.
But don’t expect a fortune. The three were such front-runners that a $100 bet would only win you a dollar.
Biggest longshot? Steve Carell for best actor in ”Foxcatcher.”
If he wins, a $100 bet would pay off with a $20,100 return.
QUICKQUOTE: MARGOT ROBBIE
”The most important thing is to have a ginormous team of professionals making you look beautiful.” – actress Margot Robbie on what it takes to look great on the Oscars red carpet.
QUESTION OF CONTINUITY
Ethan Hawke, who played the father in ”Boyhood,” said he was stunned by ”the reality of what’s happened with this movie.”
It was shot over 12 years with the same cast growing older in real time and was nominated for six Oscars, including best film.
”This movie started as a dream 12 years ago,” he said on the Oscar red carpet. ”What if? What if? It seemed so ludicrous.
”The biggest challenge is figuring out how to make the people have a continuity to them so they’re changing but they don’t seem like different people,” he said of playing the same character over 12 years.
Ellen DeGeneres may have taken the selfie of all selfies at last year’s Oscar show. But this year’s Reese Witherspoon snaps were the hit of the red carpet fan bleachers.
In an off-shoulder black and silvery grey gown, Witherspoon took grinning photos of herself in front of the bleachers as fans whooped with delight.
”Wow, she’s so awesome,” yelled Andressa Weber, in town from Miami.
DIVERSITY IN EVERY WAY
David Oyelowo says it’s not just the Academy Awards that need diversifying.
”Every facet of life, whether institutions or the nation in general, should reflect what society is composed of, not just racially, but in terms of sex, women, young, old,” the star of ”Selma” said on the Oscar red carpet.
Although ”Selma” was nominated for best movie, Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr in the film, was passed over, something many considered a snub.
QUICKQUOTE: VIOLA DAVIS
”You have to greenlight more stories that include people of color … You can’t get nominated for anything you’re not in.” – Viola Davis, asked about how to improve diversity in Hollywood.
QUICKQUOTE: STEVE CARELL
”I’m just going to play dark, complex characters from now on, even in comedies. They’re not going to be funny, they’re just going to be dark and complex.” – actor Steve Carell, who’s known for comedy but was nominated for best actor in ”Foxcatcher,” a drama.
QUICKQUOTE: RICHARD LINKLATER
”It was surprisingly easy. Everyone asked would people lose interest and drift away. It kind of went the other way. They care more and more about it.” – director Richard Linklater about making his Oscar-nominated film ”Boyhood” over 12 years.
The first to arrive on the Oscar red carpet are likely to be a small army of publicists trying frantically to draw attention to their not-really-famous actor clients.
Some will hold up signs with a nominee’s name and a list of film credits to help those reporters thinking to themselves, ”That guy looks familiar, but … ”
Sometimes they are turned away with a curt nod by a reporter or producer and they’ll fade into the crowd. Moments later they’ll be back, looking for another media pack to pitch.
QUICKQUOTE: ANDY SAMBERG
”It’s like losing your virginity, you gotta goof it.” – Andy Samberg about his appearance at the Oscars performing ”Everything is Awesome” from ”The LEGO Movie.”
Anna Kendrick just brings something out in fans in the Oscar bleachers that line the red carpet before the show.
The crowd howled its approval when Kendrick, wearing a peach-colored gown, flashed a devil’s sign at fans in a saucy move not entirely unexpected of the ”Pitch Perfect” actress.
”My heart melted, and I wanted to jump over the barricade, say hi, and sing with her!” gushed UCLA student Emilio Huerta, 19, who was sitting in the stands with his mother, Ofelia Huerta.
”She’s so cool and relatable,” he added, grinning widely.
FAST LANE TO OSCARS
Just like the freeway that carried some of them to the show, there’s even a fast lane for those who walk the red carpet at the Oscars.
It turns out the famous fabric is divided into three lanes.
The one you want to be in, if you’re really famous, is the Diamond Lane.
On the other side of the carpet is the one for people herded away from the TV cameras and reporters because nobody knows who they are anyway.
If it had a moniker it might be the No-Name Lane.