The SAG Awards is basically a big party that the actors union gives the actors to celebrate the actors. So in a way, journalists are the odd people out. It is relatively easy for the photographers to snap images of the beautiful gowns as the stars race down the carpet, but for moi to get some face time on the carpet is . . . a lot of work. Justin, Justin, Justin. . . .Tina, Tina . . . Nicole! Niiiicole!!!!
I do best when I actually know them, happen to catch their eye and then wave them in with a little come hither hand signal.
I jetted to Los Angeles for the 19th Annual SAG Awards early Friday and barely made my 1:00 p.m. appointment to tour behind the scenes at the Shrine Auditorium, where the Oscars were intermittently held from the ’70s through the mid-’90s. The green room was designed by Fendi and had rugs emblazoned with big logos. Fashion product placement is big at the SAG awards. The stage set was a recycled art deco design, and they were just setting up long tables for the behemoth ensemble casts. They had just had the place cards delivered, and weren’t certain where they were placing the team from “Breaking Bad” as yet, but they did know that Bryan Cranston also had to be seated near his “Argo”crew. Good thing; he won for both projects!
As with every big Award show, every slightly smaller organization uses the fact that all the big kahuna stars are in town to land them as guests. Saturday morning, I attended the Australian ACCTA International Awards at Soho house. Aussie Jacki Weaver mentioned that Jennifer Lawrence had called in sick. And the reporters filed claims that she was Fantine-ill with walking pneumonia. Then, whoops, she was fine the next day when she reappeared at the SAG awards. Before he saw her, one reporter on the red carpet was saying he should have brought a surgical face mask with E! printed on it. At the Globes, Meryl Streep was down for the count and people are coughing on every corner at the moment in Los Angeles.
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook, wearing Nicole Miller, told me she had a big thing for Esther Williams, 90-something, and that she knew her and had even been asked to stay over at her house once–and they went swimming together! Naturally, Russell Crowe skipped theACCTA red carpet in a close back area of the overheated parking lot slightly below street level (the job isn’t always glam)–he’s been taking heat for his singing in Les Miz. Meanwhile, David O. Rusell, wearing sneakers as usual, claimed that Bradley Cooper, who played a character suffering from mental illness, had been through rough waters himself. “He was 30 pounds heavier in ‘Wedding Crashers,” noted ‘Russell, who claimed that Cooper had told him he’d been been “unhappy, angry and overweight.” H’mm, didn’t he play a buff preppie.
A few hours later, I hit the Beverly Hilton for the black-tie Producers Guild Awards; had to change into my tux in the parking structure. I stopped Nicole Kidman on the red carpet to talk about walking in heels and she grabbed my arm and showed me her diamond bracelet that had just malfunctioned. The clasp was still open and she was holding it in her hand. Great catch! Meanwhile, I later learned by way of notes from his office that David Babaii had created her, as he called it, “peek-a-boo” hairstyle with fringe, half up, half down. And he used the IT&LY HAIRFASHIONS’s eco-friendly, cruelty-free Purity Design Line. He also did her hair on Sunday. Great look. On the left coast, cruelty free hair is now as in as the presently ominipresent Hybrid SUVs.
Sunday morning I showed up way early at the Shrine for the SAG Awards and was privy to the one-hour dog sweep for bombs. All the reporters were corralled into the parking lot and then put through airport-lilke security. Then every last reporter showed off their prom fashion on the red carpet for set-up shots and phone snaps for social media self-promo. Hence when the real stars finally arrived after 3:00 p.m.–fashion on the carpet then went way up a big notch.
The first fashion victim on the carpet was Jayma Mays from “Glee,” who was having trouble with her train. Her strategy to get down the carpet: “Walk really slowly and methodically.” She said she’d be in sweats on Monday.
Tina Fey’s trick to making it work on the carpet? “After the Globes, I just wanted to be comfortable if I could and this dress (Oscar de la Renta) is. She called her gowns at the Globes more “serious” and did a hand gesture like she was holding a large bomb, to indicate intensity and volume.
When I was talking to Victor Garber, I ended up having a very funny few minutes when Ben Affleck walked up and put an arm around Garber’s shoulder. I asked about the teams that got them ready. “My team is bigger than his team,” said Affleck, “I need a lot of mechanics” . . . and then he gave me a stern look and said, “Don’t read anything into that (then laughed)”
Garber asked if Affleck had seen his beau, Rainer [Andreesen]. “He looks good,” Aflleck answered. “I hate him. He went double-breasted and I think maybe I should have gone double-breasted.” Rainer also tied his own tie, according to Garber, which further had Aflleck grumbling.
Bleachers packed with photographers usually begin most red carpets, but they were near the end of the long stretch of carpet and big stars were backing up in a kind of nervous mob that included Julianne Moore; Marion Cottillard in a Dior Haute Couture ivory white silk bustier and dark green leather satin skirt (like all great beauties, she has that ability to look completely different at every event); Nicole Kidman, who quickly cut through the red velvet rope, opened by a handler, to rush her inside (all jewelry firmly attached). Jennifer Lawrence also had on Dior. She said she was feeling “so much better” and had gotten a “really cool inhaler.”
As he scampered down the carpet, Justin Timberlake was followed like gnats by a circle of A-list photogs down the thin channel beside the bleachers full of fans (escape route). Meanwhile, Tom Ford’s people tell me that Timberlake had on a brown and fawn wool silk linen suit, slim pastel brown gingham shirt, brown and white silk pocket square and dark brown and beige dot silk jacquard tie. Even at the quick clip he appeared elegantly put together. In images, Anne Hathaway’s dress photographed sheer, but up close she looked sensational in the Giambattista Valli Haute Couture embroidered
corset and tulle dress from the designer’s Haute Coture collection, first shown on
January 27. Wow, her stylist apparently has a fast draw.
Nearly everyone, from Kidman to Dick van Dyke’s daughter, got the memo that Navy Blue, purple and a deep turquoise and the hues of the deep sea blue are the colors of the moment. Sally Field had on a lilac tulle pleated dress with shoulder and floral detail by J. Mendel. Jessica Lang, Navy silk also J. Mendel. I get so many emails from the fashion houses, it makes sense that many of the A-listers on the carpet took their cue from last year’s hit “The Artist” and went mute.
“Everyone is wearing navy, said Busy Phillips, who had nearly fluorescent bright
pink lips by Nars. “Even me.” She was pregnant in heels, FYI. And the hot pink lips popped! I asked the exact lip color, “It’s called Flowers in the Garden,” she said.” I haven’t looked in a while, maybe I need to reapply.” She didn’t.
Oddly enough, someone had even informed the dudes about the color blue and purple theme. Tom Hooper, who directed “Les Miz,” had on a purple tux, likely Oswald
Boteng, his “good luck charm,” he had previously told me. And Bradley
Cooper, yup, a navy blue Tom Ford. FYI, Mark Salling had on a Zegna
tux in . .. navy, as was Harry Shum Jr.’s.
Shum still looked sharp in the wee hours when he had a dance-off with Chris Tucker at the Fiji water-sponsored Weinstein Company fete at The Sunset Tower. The late night accessories of choice? Jennifer Lawrence, by the pool, was wrapped in a beige blanket. And even on the dance floor stars were carrying a new slenderized Fiji water bottle with a blue cap with a blue straw fitted through the top. No spillage.