The Oscar nominee luncheon is one of the most exclusive tickets in Hollywood. A performer has to be nominated for an Academy Award to attend. But, SheKnows did not create a film in 2008, yet here we are standing next to a giant Oscar gold statue.
Arriving at the Beverly Hills Hotel, SheKnows was here only days prior to meet the cast of He’s Just Not That Into You, today the Hollywood legendary hotel has a new look. It is all gold.
Oscar statuettes lined the arrivals carpet as most of the nominated actors and actresses made the scene. Even Penelope Cruz, who only hours before was in Spain for the Spanish Academy Awards. “I have jet lag so bad,” she says. “I have jet lag over jet lag, so I think it’s canceling it all out.”
Cruz understood the importance of attending the event and judging by the star-studded line up that came across the SheKnows microphone, the Spanish actress was right on with her desire to attend the event.
The parade of academy award nominees began with The Visitor star Richard Jenkins. It was a delight to see Jenkins get nominated after a career of stellar work. Audiences would remember Jenkins from last year’s Burn After Reading. His co star in that film, Brad Pitt, immediately phoned the actor to congratulate him on his nomination.
“This is pretty special,” Jenkins says as he saunters up to the microphone. “I tell you I have heard from a lot of people that I haven’t talked to in a very long time.”
After Jenkins departs, a delightful Kate Winslet enters. “Hello everyone,” she says with her delightful English lilt. For the first time, Winslet admits that as she tackled her role in The Reader, she was not sure she could do it.
“Each day I had to get up and say, ‘OK, let’s do this, come on, we’ve got to do this.”
It is so refreshing to see such humility in such a talent. Even Winslet wakes up on the occasional morning wondering if she can tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
More from the actress in our second interview with the five-time Oscar nominee as SheKnows gets closer to Oscar night.
Frank Langella, nominated for Frost/Nixon, seems pleased with SheKnows question about if director Ron Howard – also a nominee – sought any advice from the man who staged the show in its original form on Broadway.
“That’s interesting because Ron told us he just wanted it to be free,” Langella says. His baritone is intimidating, as is his height, but this Oscar nominee is all heart in person.
Langella says he spoke with the Nixon family after tackling the role and the scoop from Langella will also follow as SheKnows Goes to the Shows: Oscar edition continues.
The rest of the afternoon was a visit from one celebrity after another that brought us right into the heart of Oscar fever.
Robert Downey, Jr was there for “my own personal amusement,” and was followed by a glowing Taraji Hensen from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Melissa Leo followed from Frozen River (our exclusive with Leo appears Feb 17).
“Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Oscar nominee for Actor in a Supporting Role, Josh Brolin.”
Of all the stars that would walk in the room including Amy Adams, it was the sight of Josh Brolin that made SheKnows star struck. A subtle actor who has only grown in his stature in Hollywood, has a special spot in our hearts at SheKnows. It is not easy to escape from a father’s shadow — particularly, James Brolin’s.
“As I was coming up I was told about my father quite a bit,” Brolin admits. Well Josh, your father’s work is fabulous, but you knock it out of the park.
Nominated for his role in Milk, Brolin was graceful in his adulation for co-star Sean Penn and simply being in the room on this afternoon sharing lunch with the likes of the 2009 Oscars and all the company it keeps. More on his interview coming this week!
Marissa Tomei, Cruz, Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams, Mickey Rourke, Viola Davis and Revolutionary Road’s Michael Shannon would talk to SheKnows before our lunch with Oscar was concluded.
Stay on SheKnows throughout Oscar season as we give you unparralled access to the 2009 Academy Awards.
And on a side note, although at this luncheon, the stars on not judged on their fashion, we will just say this: stylists earned their pay. Everyone looked fabulous! Particularly Amy Adams, who dazzled in a fantastic shade of green.
Stay tuned to SheKnows!