By Mark Caro Chicago Tribune
HOLLYWOOD — There’s a hierarchy and order to how the Oscars red carpet operates, and there are few deviations.
For instance, if about 4 inches of rain drench the Los Angeles area from Thursday through Sunday, and light-to-not-so-light rain falls again Sunday morning, the clouds will lighten, and the sun will peek out the moment the stars start showing up at Hollywood and Highland. That’s how Hollywood plans these things.
So the world’s glitziest, most scrutinized fashion show ran according to plan, albeit on carpet that had the fresh, squishy feeling of the freshly shampooed. The squeegee crew working on the carpet Saturday no doubt helped.
Another rule is that the carpet action takes a while to get going. Figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir were the first to chat with reporters more than three hours before the show began. Wong Kar-Wai, director of the foreign-film nominee “The Grandmaster,” was taking selfies on the red carpet as one of the early arrivals.
Members of the band Arcade Fire said they’d seen many more machine guns and gone through many more metal detectors at the Oscars than the Grammys. Discussing coming up with its Oscar-nominated score for “Her” while recording the band’s latest album, “Reflektor,” frontman Win Butler said the job was 90 percent palate cleanser from the album work and 10 percent a why-are-we-doing-this-now kind of thing.
Members of the band U2, nominated for best song (“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom”) walked by soon after but didn’t stop to talk, even with a certain reporter shouting out, “U2! Come talk to us! Arcade Fire talked to us!”
“Nebraska” producer Albert Berger said he was more relaxed than he was when his “Little Miss Sunshine” was a best picture nominee, in large part because he was aware that his current best picture nominee is a long shot. “We’re not expecting anything, but if something were to happen, we’d be ecstatic,” he said.
He added a note for someone from his hometown of Chicago: “My thoughts are with Harold Ramis and his family.”
“Vertigo” star Kim Novak, another Chicagoan, offered a shoutout as she walked the red carpet, saying, “Say hi to my hometown” to a Tribune reporter.
“Philomena” screenwriting nominee Steve Coogan said he’s really enjoyed the “friendly rivalry” among the nominees. Asked whether he could have shot a “The Trip”-like comedy about his adventures over the past few weeks, he said he wouldn’t lack for entertaining material.
“There’s a lot of hot air and campaigning,” Coogan said. “It like a political campaign.”
Darlene Love, walking the red carpet with her fellow singers from the nominated documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” said she’d learned this lesson: “Learn what to say and know who you’re wearing.”
As “Blue Jasmine” supporting actress nominee Sally Hawkins chatted with some photographers, best actress nominee Cate Blanchett got her co-star’s attention by stepping on the back of her dress. Hawkins turned around, and the two had a good laugh and little visit.
Asked what has been the most surreal moment of her Oscars experience, Hawkins said, “It’s all surreal. I’m at the Dolby Theatre at the Oscars. I haven’t quite landed.”
Asked how her blue flowing gown was making her feel, supporting actress nominee Lupita Nyong’o said, “It makes me feel like a cloud.”
Said screenwriter John Ridley, nominated for “12 Years a Slave”: “It was not my intention to open a dialogue on race. It was my intention to open a dialogue about each other.”
Julia Roberts offered a shoutout to “August: Osage County” writer Tracy Letts, calling him “a genius.”
Mark Caro: mcarotribune.com
&Copy;2014 Chicago Tribune
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