“Hugh! Hug! Stop!” People with flashbulbs shout, with such ferocity you’d think they were trying to stop him from stepping in front of a bus. Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell bump into Cardi B, who has her face wrapped in red chiffon, as she passes by very quickly. “Someone’s covering me,” says Melanie Lynskey, clinging to a friend’s arm, perhaps feeling a bit too exposed after the show’s confident décolletage for photographers.
As with this year’s Oscars, the after parties were more warm and low-key than usual about these stars. Of course, Kate Hudson was pulling off a wide berth with her voluminous ruffled fuchsia sleeves, and Tracee Ellis Ross looked like she was going down the Titanic with a saucer-like white Balmain hat. But mostly everyone was stuffing their faces with In-N-Out burgers. Bill Nighy, 73, was on his knees as if paying homage to Steven Spielberg, who sat on the bench next to Tony Kushner and tore into some meat and cheese. Oh wait, Michael Williams is trying to get our attention! – Ah, no, she points out to her husband where the waiter is holding the cheeseburgers.
Unexpected pairings abound. Laverne Cox, in a skin-tight black gown towers over a foot-tall Andrew Garfield in an oversized crayon-red jacket that makes him look even shrunk, and they have plenty to talk about.
“I don’t think Andrew will mind me saying this, but he’s obsessed with ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race,’ and that’s what we first bonded over,” Cox says. She feels a little weird about it, her first Hollywood party since the pandemic, and Garfield is a friendly face.
“I haven’t had Covid yet, so I’m a little bit scared,” says Cox. “Tonight is probably my night.”
We need some fresh air, but blocked by a giant orange, embroidered train, we follow Sharon Stone, who gives Usher a big hug and talks about how it’s been so long. This makes perfect sense since all the famous people are friends with each other; It is a known fact. On a bench, Patricia Clarkson planted roots, motionless all night, letting everyone come to her – a true queen of passion.
Ava DuVernay is a director who can’t stop working even at a party, so she organizes a group photo of all black people here, sending friends to invite them to the portrait studio. Jeremy Pope Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan surround Majors on the patio. “I am the best AD you will find! I got this!” says Tiffany Haddish, who cuts her clothes and shakes them in silent-movie-star finger waves. Kerry Washington, Taina Taylor, Tessa Thompson, you’re in. Queen Latifah and Shonda Rhimes will be recruited from a confab, so they We envisioned planning a TV show together. The evacuation is almost total, with about 20 black figures from the party still hiding behind a curtain near the entrance. Donald Glover runs down the hall and then Idris Elba responds to DuVernay’s bat signal. He tries to recreate a portrait that went viral in 2018, but the result is that he seems to have drained all the color out of Soiree — or at least created a more convenient way for them all to escape to the shindig Jay-Z. And Beyoncé flaunts Chateau Marmont — Because once they disappear behind that curtain, very few return to the party.
The POC level does not resume until the “Everything Everywhere All At Ones” mob appears All Their Oscars. The Daniels have several, with Daniel Kwan’s mother June, his wife Kirsten LeBor and actor Harry Shum Jr. each assigned to carry one.
“It’s very heavy,” says June, who is on a mission to figure out why people love her son’s movie so much. “If you read the commentary, it makes a lot of sense,” he says. “I think it’s a young man’s movie.”
Kwan quickly tells the story of his jacket, which has “Punk” embroidered on the back. It’s an homage to the scene where Cardigan Michael Yeoh takes a Google-y eyed baseball bat to his laundromat’s window. The cardigan was a random Chinatown find, but the jacket was made from an Asian-American-run clothing company in Los Angeles called Goodfight. “They came before we were nominated and said, ‘Hey we want to do … a suit for you,'” Kwan says. “They didn’t even know we were going to the Oscars. They hedge their bets.
Michael B. Jordan (who’s still here!) runs over to greet every member of Kwan’s family heartily and takes a selfie with Kwan’s mom. But across the room, another set of flash bulbs explodes. Michelle Yeoh has entered the party like a force of gravity. Heads turn to see what’s going on, then more heads turn to see why those heads are turning, and suddenly even the In-N-Out caterer waiters are flocking to her corner. It wasn’t long before Ke Hui Quan fell down by her side, but within half a minute, he was up on his feet and jumping up and down because … did he see Jimmy Kimmel? Sir, it’s you Won an Oscar. Kwan’s entire family flocks in. It’s 1964 and Kimmel is a Beatle. Everyone takes selfies with him. Why? “Because I love him,” Kwan says. “When our film came out, he was the first to let me on his show. I will never forget him as long as I live. How does the newly minted Oscar winner feel right now?
“I’ll see what happens when I wake up tomorrow,” he says. “Maybe it’s just a dream.”
Brendan Fraser walked in and was surrounded by fans. It looks like he might cry again, this time because his teenage sons haven’t had enough, and this time the exhausted dad is standing on a city street past his bedtime. There is one person they want to meet more than anyone else. Fraser waved her Oscar to Billie Eilish, who swapped the four black camp tents she wore on the red carpet for a simple black dress. No is the answer. Inches closer and closer until Fraser waves the Oscar in front of her nose. Eilish finally notices, jumps back and laughs, then runs forward and hugs Fraser and his entire family.
“It’s good to be useful as a dad,” says the Best Actor winner. Being at a party like this is surreal. “The last time I won an Oscar was in 2005.” Could he see more coming in the future? “I’m fine for now.”
There, off to the side, Simona Tabasco — Lucia from “The White Lotus” — speaks Italian on her phone. “Pigeon?” she says sweeping the room. “Pigeon?!” (Translation: “Where? Where?!”) Finally, she finds her people, rushing into the arms of her co-stars Beatrice Grano and Adam DeMarco from the show.
Noah Centineo, sporting a mustache and shooting us with his fingers, dances to Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out.”
John Waters says it’s a great night for weirdos. He is a voting member of the Baltimore Cult-Film Directors Academy and the PGA and WGA. “I vote for all of them, even the Razzie Awards,” he says. Refers to the awards given to the worst films of the year. He is glad that something as original and innovative as EEAAO has found so many fans. So did he vote? Waters demands.
“I never say never, because there are movies I love and movies I hate, and I sit next to people at dinner parties. I learned that a long time ago,” he says. Top 10 movies of the year he posted on Artforum – Polish film set from the point of view of a donkey, except for “EO” for Best Foreign Film nomination. “It was the film I rooted for. It’s the movie of the year,” says Waters. “Donkeys are incredible, and Isabelle Huppert is in it, the best actress in the world.”
Night is falling and star power is draining from the room. There are other, always exclusive parties like Madonna, Jay-Z, and soon there are more Oscars than actual celebrities at the party. Alan Cumming is one of the last celebrities standing under a heat lamp in a shiny silver suit. “It’s nuts,” he says of the party. “I’m a Geezer and I walk around and there’s all these people, and I don’t know who they are, but they know me,” he says. “They’re all very famous and they all think I’m great because they saw me in ‘Spy Kids’ when they were kids. It’s interesting that I’m a part of their lives now that they’re adults.
Who knew him well? “Everyone here,” he says, turning to the younger-looking person next to him. “Spy kids?” he asks redheaded Megan Fox.
“I’m 36!” Fox says with a laugh. “I am not a child. Alan, I know who you are!” (Note to self: Check out Megan Fox’s skincare routine.)
Determined, she tries again, this time with singer Dove Cameron, 27, and “To All the Boys I Have Knew For” actress Lana Condor, 25.
“Yes! Yes!” They respond.
Our feet hurt too much to stay a minute longer. We walk five blocks past the booth offering free Rothie’s flats, get a free $75 Uber, and head to bed.